Second of two posts on Kierkegaard and and my family’s interest in Lutheran hymnody Link here (https://hogfiddle.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/lent-luther-chorale-den-danske-salmeduo/) for the first one, dated March 22.
Where to begin?
Welp, let’s begin with the quote …
It’s from a very good recent biography by a Stephen Backhouse, a Kierkegaard scholar and lecturer in social and political theology at St. Millitus College, London. I would submit it sums up all of Kierkegaard — the leap of faith, Christian existentialism, the whole nine yards — in a very few words. In fact, I’d say it sums up all of Christianity, at least to my understanding of it, in a very few words. Backhouse says:
The infinite, eternal God is standing before you now with greasy hair and a bit of fish in his beard, bidding you who are weary to come to him and he will give you rest. To turn away in offence from this person is natural, expected, even reasonable. Yet to turn towards such a one is to turn away from all that has a false claim on your identity and into the one who defines what it is to exist.
Source: Stephen Backhouse, Kierkegaard: A Single Life (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2016). 207.
Let’s back up some, and fill in a blank or two. On Thursday, March 22, I started posting something to Hogfiddle (https://hogfiddle.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/lent-luther-chorale-den-danske-salmeduo/) bringing Kierkegaard together with early Reformation music by a Danish jazz combo in what was going to be a Lenten meditation on spiritual direction. But I never got around to Kierkegaard — I hadn’t even been thinking about him till I read the quote in “Doc-in-the-Box,” our walk-in primary health care clinic where I was waiting to be seen for what I described as my “1001th flare-up of flu-like symptoms since the holidays.” I came home, took my meds, sat down to finish the post and realized I was trying to cram three pounds of, uh, wisdom into a two-pound bag.
(What can I say? I’m an old print guy. My stuff runs long.)
So I promised to turn the post into a two-part series — an old trick I learned back in the day when I was waxing verbose at the Rock Island Argus — and get back to it after I finished another writing project. I wrapped that one up Saturday and submitted it to the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette (permalink http://news-gazette.il.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=0f4548877). Then, BAM, I felt a little tired and lay down for a quick nap before ordering out for pizza.
And BAM, BAM, BAM, the next thing I knew I was in the emergency room. On a Saturday night, no less!
I spent the next four days in a hospital bed with a Sp02 pulse-ox clipped to my finger, an arrangement that gave me plenty of time to think since I couldn’t keyboard. And one of the things I thought about was starting a new blog instead of continuing to overload this one. Debi has one called Seriously Seeking Answers, subtitled “A spiritual journey in which I explore politics, religion, personal choices and the meaning of life with people on all sides of the issues. Plus a few recipes” https://seriouslyseekinganswers.com/). It’s definitely worth a look.
(I also thought it was a good thing we didn’t get around to ordering pizza before the ambulance came.)
Watch this space.