If we approach religion from a merely historical point of view we are—I am quoting Hegel—like clerks in a bank registering other people’s wealth. We cannot study the history of religion in the hope of becoming religious ourselves. What we become is not religious, but learned in the history of some religions.
There is a tale that a man inspired by God once went out from the creaturely realms into the vast waste. There he wandered till he came to the gates of the mystery. He knocked. From within came the cry: ‘’What do you want here?” He said, ‘I have proclaimed your praise in the ears of mortals, but they were deaf to me. So I come to you that you yourself may hear me and reply.” “Turn back,” came the cry from within. “Here is no ear for you. I have sunk my hearing in the deafness of mortals.”
Soren wasn’t so afraid of sin as he was of the consequences for any individual, like his own father, who at 82 years old couldn’t forget what he had done 70 years earlier, and couldn’t believe he could be forgiven. As far as Regine goes he had good reasons to break off his engagement and explained them in his book Prefaces.
Now the whole spiritual meditation of the Scriptures is given to us as salt which stings in order to benefit, and which disinfects, without which it is impossible for a soul, by means of reason, to be brought to the Almighty; 300AD
all courage must needs perish, so soon as we are forced to the conviction that everything which we today revere as true, good, beautiful, is subject to change and may tomorrow become unstable, that what is today acclaimed “modern” may tomorrow be cast aside as obsolete. Rudolf Eucken 1912
Then in the darkness I find a Power most stupendous, not to be approached by any power imaginable, and this is the principle, which giveth being to all generative, and other power. Nicholas of Cusa 1453
“The invisible Church is not a historical phenomenon; as such it cannot be observed objectively at all, because it is only in subjectivity.” Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript p. 54 (1846) Subjectivity is truth.
For if we will think of it, no Time need have gone to ruin, could it have found a man great enough, a man wise and good enough: wisdom to discern truly what the Time wanted, valor to lead it on the right road thither; these are the salvation of any Time.
The mischievous sectism of Protestantism will also cease, and with it alienation between father and son, brother and sister. For as soon as the pure teaching and love of Christ, as they really are, are comprehended and consistently practised, we shall realise our humanity as great and free, and cease to attach undue importance to mere outward form.