Flash forward

Remember the Star Trek movie with the whales? In an early scene the Klingon vessel carrying Kirk and his loyal friends sling-shots around the sun to complete its journey back in time. All hands on the bridge black out briefly, and during those moments Kirk hears disembodied phrases, such as "I never should have left him" and so on. They're snippets of dialogue from later in the movie, and by the film's end you have heard them repeated in the context of the unfolding story.

I'm going to share with you some disembodied phrases jotted down by me during the past week at a certain event involving philosophy and indepth Bible study. They're from small group discussions, lectures, and extended question and answer times.

Along with a few free hours for personal ponderings, we participants were served delicious, gourmet-type food. I feel as though I'm still digesting much of that bounty, along with banquets of conversation and reflection. So while I hope to someday produce an eloquent essay about Gutenberg and its unique methods, for now I'll beg your indulgence (and if you were there, maybe this will spark a memory or two).

Referring to the passage in Matthew often called the beatitudes, "The really fortunate (blessed) person is the one who's existentially embracing the faith, with all the qualities this entails."

Despair over myself can involve thinking something like, "God, you made me this way. How dare you."

Kierkegaard used "dialectic" to mean the process/dialogue between an individual and God.

"Truth" in Kierkegaard's writings could be understood as "what's most important to God."

"Subjectivity" in the same context means "how I interact with whatever comes my way in life."

New Testament writers may have meant the same thing K. meant by "subjectivity" when they used "the heart," "the mind," "the inner man."

On today's cultural Christian idea of "spiritual formation": "Somebody shoulda told Jesus."

You don't practice your way into the Kingdom of God. You choose the Kingdom of God.

A participant in my small group, as we switched from our Kierkegaard reading to the Bible: "From one thick book I don't understand to another."

"God, make me good. I want to be good." That's the heart-cry of a believer.

Kierkegaard says, "It's possible to have a logical system, but not an existential system." We humans are not just products of arguments and evidence. I'm not just a product of my world.

A philosopher named Lessing coined the "leap of faith" phrase. Lessing pictured a ditch filled with evidences against "truth" and said he couldn't make the leap across it. K. said the ditch existed, but a lack of evidence was not the problem. The problem was an "infinite loathing" of the leap, of the decision.

We who "make the leap" do so in the midst of uncertainty. There are reasons, but they exist at an instinctive level; we can't express why our instincts tell us to do so.

"Infinite" in Kierkegaard means "without boundaries." The Knight of Infinite Resignation does a good and essential thing in letting himself suffer loss for God. But he wears his suffering like a badge. The Knight of Faith believes all is well, loss or no, calf's head for dinner or not. "He does not do the least thing except by virtue of the absurd."

"That's part of life: making the wrong decision. It's our tuition."

In Mark 7:8-13, Jesus told the Pharisees that their manmade rules were ways of thumbing their noses at God and worshiping man.

All other religions encourage people to get control of their lives. True faith involves the acknowledgment of individual poverty.

True faith is hidden. "Inwardness" is K.'s term. It's absurd, because in our natural state we don't see how it could be this way.

An existential decision, according to K., is one directly related to my choice of whether or not to follow Jesus.


Cherie said…
I sense a little Jack in there.....YAY!

The leap of faith information is particularly useful as when I look K. up in the dictionary is says HE coined the phrase. Hmmm.....I wondered. Now I know.

Thanks for these table scraps which are a divine meal to me. Since I've done some of the readings I have a context for some of the quotes. I've copied them and will refer back once I'm done Kierkegaarding.

You're a gem to post these, Deanna. Thanks again.

Back to painting.....sigh.... :-)
elixir said…
Ah, thank you for the table scraps (it's hard to call them scraps, but you know what I mean). They make me remember fondly all the rich K. discussions at Gutenberg.
Deanna said…
Cherie, YAY! I'm glad this was useful.

Elixir, thanks for reading. I hope you'll let me know if what I transcribed sounds way off. But, wow, rich K. discussions indeed.
LK said…
Thanks for sharing, Deanna. I might try to find out who the wise person was who said,"That's part of life..." on Friday at the Summer Institute. That sounds like a quote to go down through history. -LK
Deanna said…
You're welcome, LK. I'd like to find out who YOU are; should I know from the initials? Were you at the Institute?
Cecily said…
oh dear - I'm tooooo tired to even think about these. Not even the scraps! But sounds like some stimulating discussion was had! Yay!