The real person of God: celebrating Kierkegaard

In the marvellous way of the internet, I came across this article by Andrew Torrance handily summarising Kierkegaard on his 200th anniversary. Inspired. These are a few chunks that leapt out at me.

…it is the real person of God, rather than a mere human idea of God, that lies at the heart of the Christian faith. For Kierkegaard himself, this person is the person of Jesus Christ, the God-human. What this means is that Christians are defined by a relationship with the truth “who” cannot become a possession of the immanent human mind; ‘God cannot be an object for man, since God is subject’.

Are we the object then for God, or the verb?

…as Kierkegaard engaged with the question of becoming a Christian, he was acutely aware that he was without authority in this task. He did not for a moment believe that it was within his power to present the world with the truth of revelation, nor did he believe that he could explain how exactly persons are awakened to the truth of revelation. Why? Because any human idea that he put forward could not communicate the truth of who God is; it could not take the place of the divine subject. Kierkegaard’s words could never mediate the Christian truth and could never explain the mystery of God’s grace. Consequently, his proclamation was completely at the mercy of God who encounters us in Jesus Christ.

One to remember for the preachers and the doctrinal box-tickers.

Kierkegaard challenged the overpowering belief that we are able to talk about God without God…


So, to the question of whether or not he himself was a Christian, he responds,


My answer would be: I trust to God that I am a Christian; I believe that out of grace he will accept me as a Christian… The question of whether I am a Christian (and thus for every individual, whether he is a Christian) is entirely a God-relationship. (Point of View, 135)


Ultimately, for Kierkegaard, it is not primarily our beliefs and practices that make us Christian. Again, if we find that we have become Christian it is because we are conscious of having been encountered by the God-human, Jesus Christ and have been drawn into communion with the one who, inconceivably, has established kinship with us in time.

Thank you to Jason Goroncy for the blog and guest author Andrew Torrance for the article. Read the whole thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s