“No, away, pernicious sureness. Save me, O God, from ever being completely sure; keep me unsure until the end so that then, if I receive eternal blessedness, I might be completely sure that I have it by grace! It is empty shadowboxing to give assurances that one believes that it is by grace—and then to be completely sure. The true, the essential expression of its being by grace is the very fear and trembling of unsureness. There lies faith—as far, just as far, from despair and from sureness.”
— “Resurrection of the Dead,” in Christian Discourses (1848), by Søren Kierkegaard (Hong & Hong translation)
I first discovered part of this excerpt thanks to a post on the Søren Kierkegaard and Christian Existentialism Facebook page.
Posted in Christian Humanism, doubt, faith, grace, Kierkegaard
Tagged assurance, certainty, Christian, Christian Discourses, confidence, despair, doubt, faith, grace, Resurrection of the Dead, Soren Kierkegaard, sureness
Marcel often helps me do some sorting-out:
“We shall understand nothing of the relation between the believer and the non-believer and there is danger of giving the most harmfully pharisaic interpretation of it if we fail to perceive something else which is even more mysterious, namely the symbiosis of belief and disbelief in the same soul. If the believer has any duty at all, it is to become aware of all that is within him of the non-believer.” — Gabriel Marcel, in “From opinion to faith,” Creative Fidelity
I might break it down this way:
- We shall understand nothing of the relation between the believer and the non-believer
- if we fail to perceive the co-existence of belief and disbelief in the same soul
- and if we fail to perceive that co-existence, we’ll probably be Pharisees, or pharisaic,
- so if you or I count ourselves among believers, we should probably get our heads around our own unbelief and our own non-believer tendencies before we consider ourselves too distinct.
Posted in belief, Christianity, disbelief, faith, Gabriel Marcel, non-belief
Tagged believer, Creative Fidelity, doubt, existentialism, from opinion to faith, Marcel, pharisees, skepticism, Sunday morning