Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kierkegaard & Doubt, Faith and Character,

It's come to my attention that I make life more difficult than it ought to be. I can be harder on myself than is necessary. And I guess this means I can be harder than I need to be on the people in my life (sooo... "Sorry" to Tara, Emma, Levi, Isaac, Eli, Dad, Mum, etc.). What are all the factors that drive me to be so hard on myself and others? That, my friends, is the kind of question which fuels my problem. I seek to understand to the point that I suck the fun out of the search. It's like I'm driven by a paranoia, a fear, an insatiable curiosity that requires boundaries.

This is where Kierkegaard comes in. You know how you find some writers/thinkers out there that can put into words what is churning within your depths? That's what Soren does for me.

Here's some stuff I read this morning that helped me, maybe it will help you too.

Faith's conflict with the world is not a battle of thought with doubt, thought with thought. It is a battle of character. The person of faith is a person of character who does not insist upon comprehending everything.

Now comes the conflict. The world insists that to believe what you cannot comprehend is not only blind obeisance but obscurantism, stupidity, and so on. The world wants to alarm the believer against such foolishness. This is precisely why faith is a task for the person of such a character. p258

Teach me, Lord, that the fight of faith is not a fight with doubt, thought against though, but a fight for character. Enable me to see that human vanity consists in having to understand. Save me from the vanity of not being willing to obey like a child, and of wanting to be like a grown man who has to understand.

Help me to realize that he who will not obey when he cannot understand does not, in any essential sense, obey you at all. Make me a believer, a "character man," who, unreservedly obedient, sees it as necessary for his character's sake that he must not always understand. Make me willing to believe even when I cannot understand. p258

If you suffer because you do good, because you are in the right, because you are loving; if it is because you are for a good cause that you live despised, persecuted, ridiculed, in poverty, then you will find that you do not doubt Christ's resurrection.

Why? Because you need it. pg 256

~ Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations


Andrew said...

Oh man. thanks for writing and summing this up for all of us in similar spots.

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