Generally I’m more apt to hang out with grill-in-the-driveway, figure-it-out-yourself, change-your-own-oil, workaday kind of guys than intellectuals. When I was younger and thought I knew what was important, I developed an anti-intellectual prejudice that continues to the present day. But as Tim Keller says, “You cannot be a Christian without using your brain to its uttermost,” so game on.
Many of us have a tendency to read Bible passages simplistically, without empathizing or thinking beyond the sacred page. Teachers like Michael Card encourage reading “at the level of our imaginations,” but that takes time and work.
Take the story of the testing of Abraham in Genesis 22 for example. Danish philosopher, theologian, and Lutheran ethicist Søren Kierkegaard thought about the anguish that Abraham felt while walking for three days to Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac. To Kierkegaard this is not a simple story to be read dryly or mechanically from one punctuation mark to the next. Kierkegaard thought about the huge weight being placed upon Abraham’s conscience, and posited ideas about the teleological suspension of the ethical. This isn’t (actually) a post about Kierkegaard, but just to help set the background, here are a few of his quotes: Continue reading