scheming swindlers

[On my way back from Musoma today.  This repost I pulled out of a series on “Tendencies in the American Church.”  I’ll be back tomorrow.]

This has turned into a bit of a series.  Today, a simple quote given me by my good buddy, David Robinson (here and here).  And next post, more practical advice — but concerning how to overcome the American church’s infatuation with the individual.  Past posts in the series are here:
Tendencies of an American Church
Practical Advice for Incarnational Ministry — Part Moja
Practical Advice for Incarnational Ministry — Part Mbili

“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 words 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 (1813-1855)
Danish Scholar

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4 Comments

Filed under obedience

4 responses to “scheming swindlers

  1. Truth! What excited me about becoming a Christian some dozen years ago was the opportunity to be authentic. The reason I (and many others) shunned the church and subsequently, God, was because they acknowledge God with their lips, and deny Him with their actions. Can we help but ever by hypocrites? Methinks not. We have a standard set so high it is impossible to attain. But it is in seeking and pursuing continuously that our faith is constantly tested and refined. It is in trying to know the mind of God that we at least come to a better relationship with Him. I don’t have to BE like God to love him, but to know God makes us want to be more like Him.

  2. Gingles

    Define “swindler.” Not a word we use much day-to-day. I would personally define it as deceitful bargaining. So if I lie to sell you something then I would be a swindler. Other examples?

  3. this quote is a treasure…watch for it in a blog coming your way soon! thanks, brett, for reading intelligent dead guys do i don’t have to.

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