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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Musings on Kierkegaard

This week I am participating in a Pastor/Theologian Retreat with 10 other minsters and a seminary professor.  We are spending part of our days hiking and conversing along the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park and another part in more formal conversations around several pre-assigned books.  One of the authors we are discussing is the 18th century Danish philosopher/theologian Soren Kierkegaard.  We have been reminded of how influential Kierkegaard is on our modern western understanding of the world even to the point of coining phrases and ideas that are now common place.  Here is a partial list:  "Leap of faith."  The "Masked man."   We are "people not numbers."  "Subjectivity is truth."   "What labels me negates me."   "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."   "Life must be understood backward, but lived forward."

Below are a couple of my favorite Kierkegaard parables for you to ponder:

"A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke."


"There was a little town of Ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down Main Street to their church. They waddle into the sanctuary and squat in their proper pews. The duck choir waddles in and takes it place, then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible (Ducks, like all other creatures on earth, seem to have their own special version of the Scriptures.) He reads to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles. No walls can confine you! No fences can hold you! You have wings. God has given you wings and you can fly like birds!” All the ducks shouted “Amen!” And they all waddled home."

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