An email exchange with D. Anthony Storm: Kierkegaard, the Gospel, and spiritual formation


Could a long-dead existentialist philosopher really help today’s Christians express the Gospel and grow spiritually?

D. Anthony Storm thinks so.

Storm has built a fascinating, searchable Web site devoted to the works of the 19th-Century Danish existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. Storm has written extensive commentaries on Kierkegaard’s books for his Web site.

I recently emailed a couple of questions to Storm regarding Kierkegaard’s value to Christians in our time.

Colin Foote Burch: How can Kierkegaard’s works help contemporary Christians express the Gospel? Are some of his writings better suited for that task than others?

D. Anthony Storm: Some of the same issues prevail today, especially collectivism versus individualism. His work on the Single Individual is still important. There is much talk within and without the church about “community” and not a lot of talk about standing upon one’s convictions even if they are wildly unpopular in society or the church. The Gospel at heart is an offense, which I see very well expressed in Practice in Christianity. In striving to reach the world we have accommodated ourselves to the world so that we can say, as Kierkegaard said, that we are no longer teaching the Christianity of the New Testament. I consider Practice in Christianity to be perhaps his most important. Obviously such a work is a lot more important than Prefaces. I also think the Attack Upon Christendom is a needed corrective.

CFB: Do you find value in Kierkegaard from the standpoint of devotional reading or spiritual formation? Which works would be easier for an average reader, let’s say someone with only a bachelor’s degree, to read for the purposes of devotional time or spiritual formation?

DAS: Yes. Christian Discourses is my favorite, though you would not know that from my site. It is also an easy enough work to read, as all his devotional works are, with the possible exception of Works of Love.

Visit Storm’s Web site at www.sorenkierkegaard.org

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