Minimalist Christianity

(Jay Johnson) #41

The Lutherans’ Lutheran. You shouldn’t encourage me to quote SK:

A choice! Yes, this is the pearl of great price, yet it is not intended to be buried and hidden away.… A choice – not between red and green, not between silver and gold – no, a choice between God and the world!.. The love of God is hatred of the world and love of the world hatred of God. This is the colossal point of contention, either love or hate. This is the place where the most terrible fight must be fought. And where is this place? In a person’s innermost being. Whether the struggle is over millions or over a penny, it is a matter of loving and preferring God – the most terrible fight is the struggle for the highest. What immeasurable happiness is promised to the one who rightly chooses. If anyone is unable to understand this, the reason is that he is unwilling to accept that God is present in the moment of choice, not in order to watch but in order to be chosen….

(Daniel Fisher) #42

Two more, since we got going on SK, and as relevant to the main topic… I love his take that miracles only get our attention, a miracle in itself doesn’t “prove” anything… it only gets our attention and makes us realize we have a choice to make.

“He himself makes it clear that in relation to him there can be no question of any demonstrating… that demonstrations can at best serve to make a person aware, so that made aware he can now come to the point: whether he will believe or he will be offended… You see something inexplicable, miraculous (but no more); he himself says that it is a miracle—and you see before your eyes an individual human being. The miracle can demonstrate nothing, for if you do not believe him to be who he says he is, then you deny the miracle. The miracle can make aware—now you are in the tension, and it depends upon what you choose, offense or faith; it is your heart that must be disclosed.”

And perhaps my favorite thought of his…

When in sickness I go to a physician, he may find it necessary to prescribe a very painful treatment-there is no self-contradiction in my submitting to it. No, but if on the other hand I suddenly find myself in trouble, an object of persecution, because, because I have gone to that physician: well, then then there is a self-contradiction. The physician has perhaps announced that he can help me with regard to the illness from which I suffer, and perhaps he can really do that-but there is an “aber” [but] that I had not thought of at all. The fact that I get involved with this physician, attach myself to him-that is what makes me an object of persecution; here is the possibility of offense. So also with Christianity. Now the issue is: will you be offended or will you believe. If you will believe, then you push through the possibility of offense and accept Christianity on any terms. So it goes; then forget the understanding; then you say: Whether it is a help or a torment, I want only one thing, I want to belong to Christ, I want to be a Christian.”

I actually find much commonality between SK and CSL… Lewis has some similar ideas in his article “On obstinacy in belief”, if interesting. Also I find his sentiment expressed in “Man or Rabbit” rather reminiscent of Kierkegaard: “If Christianity is untrue, then no honest man will want to believe it, however helpful it might be; if it is true, every honest man will want to believe it, even if it gives him no help at all”

(system) closed #43

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