Training in Christianity: Part I

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“Come hither, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Above all, what Søren Kierkegaard, in this Christian work, has made me contemplate is how outrageous the act of Christ is. There is something utterly strange and unexpected in the fact that God not only loves us, but pursues us in love–to the point of suffering death and cosmic separation from the Father. Kierkegaard comes to describe this as divine compassion (contrasted with human compassion):

To make oneself literally one with the most miserable (and this, this alone is divine compassion) is for men the “too much,” over which one weeps in the quiet hour on Sundays, and at which one bursts with laughter when one sees it in reality. The fact is, this is so sublime that one cannot bear to see it in daily use; to bear it one must have it at a distance. Men are not on such intimate terms with the sublime that they really can believe in it. The contradiction therefore is this: This sublimity on the one hand; and, on the other, the fact that this is daily life, quite literally daily life, in which it manifests itself. When the poet or the orator illustrates this sublimity, that is, represents it with the poet’s aloofness from reality, people then are moved–but in reality, in the actuality of daily life, to perceive this sublimity in Copenhagen, in Amager market, in the midst of the weekday business life! Oh, when the poet or the orator does it, that lasts only an hour. Just for so long a time men are capable in a way of believing in this sublimity. But to behold it in reality every day! It is indeed a monstrous contradiction that the sublime has become an everyday thing. (pp. 54-5)

The fact that God’s love for us is a moment by moment reality is too much for man to behold. God’s love is too much for us to comprehend. Glory be to God!

———–

Part II: The Offense

Part III: He Will Draw All

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2 thoughts on “Training in Christianity: Part I

  1. Pingback: Training in Christianity: Part II | Lankford Press

  2. Pingback: Training in Christianity: Part III | Lankford Press

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