Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Fragment on the "Fragments"

This morning I biked over to It's a Grind and finished Kierkegaard's "Philosophical Fragments," 140 pages of defending Christianity against secular worldviews. In very sophisticated, witty writing.

In a way he is agreeing (with the German philosopher Hegel) that human life is determined by the fact that we live in time. But whereas Hegel thought that the reality of time means that human beings are first of all historical creatures--beings with a history and who are part of a larger history (and more or less invents the idea of evolution along the way...)--
Kierkegaard says that being temporal means first of all that we are temporary: that we live ever and only in the present--a constantly moving, transient present, to be sure, but a present that is present to us every time we decide or choose or think or act. So that The Moment--the "now"--is as, if not more, important to human life as the great drama of past and future is.

So our future, and our reading of the past, is "new every morning," as the psalm says, because we believe, decide, doubt, commit ourselves to some version of them each moment of each day. Like in marriage, I made one commitment on our wedding day, but it was a one-time commitment to make thousands and thousands of subsequent commitments every following day for unknown years. It was saying Yes, I will say yes every time the decision comes up, in small or large ways.

Furthermore, every generation is as contemporaneous with Jesus as those who lived with him in the flesh on earth, in that our decision for or against Him is no less immediate than theirs. A decision now is a decision now, regardless of when that "now" is. And if the original disciples had him to see for themselves whom we do not have, we have the whole historical unfolding of Christianity which they did not have.

And so the day for decision is always, as the Bible says, "Today."


Blogger LA the plannerd said...

Thanks for this, very nice! It was like finding an LGBC postcard from when those happened.

We are always sad that you are not the person Bill Maher or Julia Sweeney ( talk to when they are having their ruminations. Though Bill Maher, I don't think, would listen to even the most reasonable person, if their purpose is not to bash any belief system except that Islam is inherently dangerous - sigh.

12:20 PM  
Blogger John Macready said...

Nice to see you blogging again!

10:02 AM  

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