Tuesday, October 03, 2006

scheming swindlers

the unnecessary pastor asks these questions:
Should spirituality be inconvenient? Should the things I believe in inconvenience me from time to time? Is my faith convenient? Expedient? Should church be inconvenient?
These are some questions that came to mind this morning.
But what I really want to highlight is one of the comments, in reponse to the blog, which is a quote from Soren Kirkegaard. I don't profess to be a Kirkegaardian scholar. My one claim to fame in this area is I TAed a course for C. Stephen Evans when he taught at Regent College in Vancouver.
The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be able to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?

Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming to close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.
They didn't give a reference for the quote, but I think it's from Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

Tough words... but all too true.
As Mark Twain / Samuel Clemens said
It’s not the part of the Bible I don’t understand that bothers me the most, it’s the part I do understand that bothers me the most.

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