Put Your Bibles Away?
I came across this intriguing piece at Per Crucem ad Lucem via Faith and Theology. It’s a quote from one of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s journal entries—one in which he seems to be advocating something, well, something kind of un-Christian. Here’s a little (provocative) sample:
Fundamentally a reformation which did away with the Bible would now be just as valid as Luther’s doing away with the Pope. All that about the Bible has developed a religion of learning and law, a mere distraction. A little of that knowledge has gradually percolated to the simplest classes so that no one any longer reads the Bible humanly…. Christendom has long been in need of a hero who, in fear and trembling before God, had the courage to forbid people to read the Bible.
I’ve probably not read enough Kierkegaard to be qualified to make sense of how this fits in with the rest of his thought although it does seem odd to read these words coming from a man who devoted a book to trying to make sense of the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. It’s interesting to wonder what he was reacting against in his day, and how this passage might offer a word of warning to us today. I guess the question would be: what did “the Pope” signify for Luther in his day and how (if at all) does the role that the Bible plays in some circles of Christianity resemble this today?
It’s an interesting idea to think about, at any rate…