A cautionary note when preaching….

I may have featured this before but it still brings me up short:-

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any word in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament. “

–Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard, ed. Charles E. Moore (Farmington, PA: Plough, 2002), 201

A pause for thought as the working week begins…

I think I may get myself a nice hat: it may give me gravitas…

Ok: technically for me it began yesterday. But Monday always feels like the first day of the week.

“If you believe something is true, you don’t argue that it’s true. You live as though it’s true.”

Eckhart Tolle.

I like this quote very much. I was getting tired during my time at theological college (1996-1999) about arguments about ‘Truth’ and ‘proof’ and over time have become even less enamoured with them. I now tend to actively avoid blogs, events and discussions that try and establish ‘Truth’ and ‘Proof’. This is not that I don’t believe in those ideas; I do- but more often than not they just lead to hot air and endless rancour.

I think it was Kierkegaard who said something like he did not want to see a man gesticulating in a pulpit, but rather a man gesticulating with his entire personal existence.

Enough blogging for today then. I want to live it.

Kind of same as same as…

I used this parable on Sunday…. It is one of Soren Kierkegaard’s (He is my favourite mid 19th century Danish philosopher) I have seen it in many guises- this one is one of the best IMHO…..

He ‘….. grew up in the countryside surrounded by farms that reared geese (among other animals). Each spring he would watch as a new gaggle of goslings was hatched and began to be fattened for the table. Over the course of their short lives these geese would gorge themselves at constantly refilled troughs of grain until they were so fat they could hardly walk. He imagined that they believed their lives to be perfect, as every need they had was catered in abundance.

 When autumn came, the truth became apparent. The wild geese that had spent the warm summer months in Denmark would gather in preparation for their southerly migration. As they assembled to fly south they would circle in the skies above the farms, calling out to any stragglers to join in their flight.

At this point the farmed geese would lift their heads from the feeding troughs and look into the skies, heeding the call of their wild cousins. For the first time in their lives they would become animated, running as best they could around their enclosures and attempting to fly. Of course, their gluttonous diet and life of luxury meant that they were far too fat to get airborne – but still they would try. And then, as quickly as the commotion had started, the wild geese would fly off and the fattened farm geese would watch them briefly before returning to their grain to continue eating their way to their deaths.

  (source: http://regularlatte.blogspot.com/2007/07/wild-geese.html…….. full text from the Great Dane himself http://fou.uniting.com.au/geese.html)