Although remembered by many as foremost a philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard was quite the theologian in his time, with his own unique approach to theology and Christianity in general. In a time that was ruled by objective methodology in every aspect of acquiring and summarizing knowledge, Kierkegaard sought to bring Christianity back into the realm of the subjective, thereby making it much more interactive and personal. What this paper focuses on is Kierkegaard’s requirement of sacrifice that all Christians must be willing to make in order to be considered true Christians, followed by both a critique and a praise for his contagious notion.
What is Meant by Sacrifice in Christianity?
At the time of Søren Kierkegaard, many relatively new…show more content… Even more drastic, some tied in their religious beliefs and faith with their work ethic and/or national identity, which thought process Kierkegaard gives an example of: “How can you doubt that you are a Christian? Are you not a Dane…do you not perform you duties at the office like a conscientious civil servant; are you not a good servant of a Christian nation…so of course you must be a Christian.” Kierkegaard loathed how cold and detached the Christian faith had become, so he saw it fit that he remind people what being a Christian truly meant. In his famous work Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard declares that “no person has a right to delude others into the belief that faith is something of no great significance, or that it is an easy matter, whereas it is the greatest and most difficult of all things.” The difficulty of faith lies in the requirement of sacrifice. The story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his beloved son, Isaac, is what Kierkegaard utilizes to demonstrate how costly faith in God is. Here is a man, who after seventy years of waiting for God’s promise of offspring finally received his son, is commanded by God to slay his promised son with no stated reason for doing so. Kierkegaard, in attempting to experience what Abraham might have experienced in those moments, cries, “Now all is lost, God demands Isaac, I shall sacrifice him, and with him all my joy – but for all that, God is love and will remain so for me.” What bold words! The cost