Christian Roots Of Existentialism 1Presentation Transcript
"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity Book II
“ My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” - Mere Christianity
The Christian Roots of Existentialism 19 th Century Europe
Soren Kierkegaard 1813-1855 Danish Philosopher
Highly critical of the “ deadness” and lack of commitment and devotion of the Christian church in 19 th century Europe
Sought an authentic Christianity, lived out in the life of those who professed to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Major Ideas and Beliefs
Kierkegaard rejected the notion of complete confidence in the power of human reason put forth by the Enlightenment and naturalism.
He also rejected the notion of knowing God purely through reason (the mind)
Believed that a person could not come to faith solely by being convinced through reason.
Focused more on the experience of knowing and trusting God
Views on true belief
True faith in God would always be expressed in one’s life and ACTIONS (existential)
“ faith without works is dead” James chapter 2
Real faith in Christ was a passionate commitment that transformed one’s life
Kierkegaard stressed the subjective experience over objective truths
Personal experience ( subjective) of encountering the Lord in one’s life was the greater reality.
“… what good would it do me to be able to explain the meaning of Christianity if it had no deeper significance for me and my life…” Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard also believed that Christianity was so ABSURD that it had to be true .
“ And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain because it is impossible.”
Tertullian (early Church father- 2 nd century)
Kierkegaard’s Impact of the Atheistic Existentialism 19 th and 20 th Centuries
Focus on subjective reality over objective reality
Insistence on human ACTION as the way of coming to meaning (truth).
Theistic Existentialism’s Controversy
Starts with man, rather than with God
Does not view the Biblical narrative as necessarily rational or literal