On Christian Scholarship

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Nov 262006
 

I’ve been reading Shane Claiborne’s book “The Irresistible Revolution” lately. In it, he quotes Soren Kierkegaard:

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christian are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable 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 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 too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is ever dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

If you haven’t read “The Irresistible Revolution”, I highly recommend it – well, with one reservervation. If you are comfortable in your Christian walk and want to remain that way, if you don’t want to be challenged – you may want to avoid it. It is a book that has, and will continue to, challenge and change my view of what it means to be a Christian.