// thursday theologian: soren kierkegaard

Taken from Kierkegaard’s “Speech in Praise of Abraham” in Fear and Trembling:

But Abraham had faith, and had faith for this life. Yes, had his faith only been for a future life it would indeed have been easier to cast everything aside in order to hasten out of this world to which he did not belong. But Abraham’s faith was not of that kind, if there is such, for a faith like that is not really faith but only its remotest possibility, a faith that has some inkling of its object at the very edge of the field of vision but remains separated from it by a yawning abyss in which despair plays its pranks. But it was for this life that Abraham believed, he believed he would become old in his land, honoured among his people, blessed in his kin, eternally remembered in Isaac, the dearest in his life, whom he embraced with a love for which it was but a poor expression to say that he faithfully fulfilled the fathers duty to love the son, as indeed the summons put it: ‘the son whom thou lovest.’ Jacob had twelve sons and he loved one; Abraham had just one, the son whom he loved.

But Abraham had faith and did not doubt. He believed the ridiculous. If Abraham had doubted – then he would have done something else, something great and glorious; for how could Abraham have done other than what is great and glorious? He would have marched out to the mountain at Moriah, chopped the firewood, set light to the fire, drawn the knife – he would have cried out to God: “do not scorn this sacrifice, it is not the best I possess, that I well know; for what is an old man compared with the child of promise, but it is the best I can give. Let Isaac never come to know, that he may comfort himself in his young years.’ He would have thrust the knife into his own breast. He would have been admired in the world and his name never forgotten; but it is one thing to be admired, another to be a guiding star that saves the anguished.

But Abraham had faith. He did not beg for himself in hope of moving the Lord…

Thoughts?

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