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Posts Tagged ‘self’

“Only the person taken on in Christ is the real human being; only the person confronted by the cross of Christ is the judged human being; only the person who participates in the resurrection of Christ is the renewed human being. Since God became a human being in Christ, all thinking about human beings without Christ is unfruitful abstraction. The counter-image to the human being taken up into the form of Christ is the human being as self-creator, self-judge, and self-renewer; these people bypass their true humanity and therefore, sooner or later, destroy themselves. Falling away from Christ is at the same time falling away from one’s own true nature.” p. 134 Ethics

Before any non-religious people get upset, I apply this passage to myself and all ‘believers’ as well. At the end Bonhoeffer reminds me of Kierkegaard in The Sickness Unto Death. I see the counter-image to the human being taken up into the form of Christ in the self-righteous, “holy” man who thumps his bible at people and condemns them, as well as the ‘free’ thinker who seeks to ‘free’ those still enslaved to religion. What were you created to be? Who you are in the eyes of God is what matters…can you see it? In the love of God, in Christ, we find ourselves as we ought to be, and as we shall be.

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“Surrounded by hordes of men, absorbed in all sorts of secular matters, more and more shrewd about the ways of the world–such a person forgets himself, forgets his name divinely understood, does not dare to believe in himself, find it too hazardous to be himself and far easier and safer to be like the others, to become a copy, a number, a mass man.” p. 34

Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death…a book that helped shape my life in a way. How true is this statement above in today’s society (perhaps in every society and every time)? I know many “mass men”, all of which are successful in life. Successful in the way society defines it, but inwardly and spiritually, I would not rate them so well. That is not to say I am some grand success spiritually, far from it…but I take note of my depravity…and pray. In my reading of this book, I’m always amazed at how true the text is, and how it seems to speak directly to me and apply to me personally. I’m sure this is a common experience, a sign of a talented philosopher and theologian.

Question: Should you try to bring the truths of this book to the “mass men” you know? If so, how? If not, why not?

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