"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent 15

"Look, there he stands--the god. Where? There. Can you not see him? He is the god, and yet he has no place where he can lay his head, and he does not dare to turn to any person lest that person be offended at him. He is the god, and yet he walks more circumspectly thatn if angels were carrying him--not to keep him from stumbling, but so that he may not tread in the dust the people who are offended at him. He is the god, and yet his eyes rest with concern on the human race, for the individual's tender shoot can be crushed as readily as a blad of grass. Such a life--sheer love and sheer sorrow. To want to express the unity of love and then not to be understood, to be obliged to fear for everyone's perdition and yet in this way trulty to be able to save only one single person--sheer sorrow, while his days and hours are filled with the sorrow of the learner who entrusts himself to him. Thus does the god stand upon the earth, like unto the lowliest through his omnipotent love. He knows that the learner is untruth--what if he made a mistake, what if he became weary and lost his bold confidence! Oh, to sustain heaven and earth by an ominpotent 'Let there be,' and then, if this were to be absent for one fraction of a second, to have everything collapse--how easy this would be compared with bearing the possibility of the offense of the human race when out of love one became its savior!"

Johannes Climacus, Philosophical Fragments, ed. Soren Kierkegaard, tr. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Unversity Press, 1985.


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