Thus, if someone wants to have faith and reason too, well, let the comedy begin. He wants to have faith, but he wants to assure himself with the aid of objective deliberation. What happens? With the aid of reason, the absurd becomes something else; it becomes probable, it becomes more probable, it may become to a high degree exceedingly probable, even demonstrable. Now he is all set to believe it, and he dares to say of himself that he does not believe as shoemakers and tailors and simple folk do, but only after long and careful deliberation. Now he is all set to believe, but, lo and behold, now it has indeed become impossible to believe. The almost probable, the probable, the to-a-high-degree and exceedingly probable, that he can almost know, or as good as know, to a higher degree and exceedingly almost know – but believe, that cannot be done, for the absurd is precisely the object of faith and only that can be believed with the passion of inwardness.
Christianity claims to be the eternal, essential truth that has come into existence in time. It proclaims itself as the paradox and thus requires the inwardness of faith – that which is an offense to the Jews, foolishness to the Greeks, and an absurdity to the understanding. It cannot be expressed more strongly: Objectivity and faith are at complete odds with each other. What does objective faith mean? Doesn’t it amount to nothing more than a sum of tenets?
Christianity is nothing of the kind. On the contrary, it is inwardness, an inwardness of existence that places a person decisively, more decisively than any judge can place the accused, between time and eternity, between heaven and hell in the time of salvation. But objective faith? It is as if Christianity was a little system of sorts, although presumably not as good as the Hegelian system. It is as if Christ – it is not my fault that I say it – had been a professor and as if the apostles had formed a little professional society of thinkers. The passion of inwardness and objective deliberation are at complete odds with each other. There is no way of getting around it. To become objective, to become preoccupied with the “what” of Christianity, instead of with the “how” of being Christian, is nothing but a retrogression.
Christianity is subjective; the inwardness of faith in the believer is the truth’s eternal decision. Objectively there is no truth “out there” for existing beings, but only approximations, whereas subjectively truth lies in inwardness, because the decision of truth is in subjectivity. For how can decision be an approximation or only to a certain degree? What could it possibly mean to assert or to assume that decision is like approximation, is only to a certain degree? I will tell you what it means. It means to deny decision. The decision of faith, unlike speculation, is designed specifically to put an end to that perpetual prattle of “to a certain degree.”
- Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, paraphrased.
I never really like Christian apologetics - they often sound too perfectly logical, too simplistic, too black and white. They seemed so preoccupied in creating a perfect, harmonious big picture of God and Truth by labouring hard to form this complex structure of systematic and predictable/comprehendable laws under the giant label 'Theology'. Jesus pass down his teaching, and instead of living the way he thought us to, people starts to categorizing them and draw cross-references with the Old Testament and juz... 'systematicalize' them.
It's scary how people overates Logic - funny how not many people realize that something can be perfectly logical while completely untrue. It's funny how people assume that Logic is the ultimate level of conscious thoughts when human nature itself is often illogical, like emotions and trust and faith. To be completely objective in one's faith, or to try to be objective, is to construct a system which is impossible to have faith in, for why would faith be required if everything is so glaringly obvious and self-explanatory?
To 'know' and to 'believe' are two very different things - many Christians have this bizarre perception that by studying and memorizing the Bible tirelessly, they will be more 'spiritually matured'. Balderdash. To read the Word is merely to 'know', or in other words, to not be ignorant of Truth. But to 'believe' requires action, and internalization of Truth into part of a person's being. Is it not said in the book of James: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."?
Yes, it's important to read the Word of God, every pastors and priests and reverends etc etc have emphasized on that, and all the Bible Knowledge competitions also prove the point. But it's merely the 1st step, and an incomplete step by itself, in the process of understanding Truth. One has to look inward into himself, and take the words in not as if the Ultimate Truth has been passed down upon him thru the holy words of the bible, but to establish a connection with God himself, with all the passion of inwardness. The establishment of the relationship itself, is so much more important than merely furnishing one's mind with all the Word of God in its hollow words without meaning. For meaning will only arise when one puts the Word into practise, into one's being, and not merely some 'floating' knowledge in the head of the so-called believer.
In order to clear off all the distractions and obstacles in establishing the relationship between God and the individual, one have to 1st deconstruct the entire myth of what Christianity is all about, as propaganded by the countless facets of Christendom, in all its factions and petty arguments. One have to disregard all the logical system that has been laid down throughout the entire so-called 'history of the Christian church', and take the leap of faith by relying on God and God alone, not some theology created, developed and finalized by mere humans. One has to realize that 'Truth is Subjectivity', that Truth can only be understood after one exists in it, after one take the step of living it, and not the other way round.