The Strength of the Absurd

By JD at Fisher of Men:

The movement of faith must be continually on the strength of the absurd…
Faith…having performed the movements of infinity…makes those of finitude.

-Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

In his exegesis of the concept of faith through Abraham’s trial on Mt. Moriah, Kierkegaard states that Abraham’s theological identity as the ultimate father of faith comes from his ability to assert himself as the particular over the universal/ethical in “absolute relation to the absolute.”

To put it in Layman’s terms, Abraham, through that very act of faith, supercedes universal ethical boundaries, thereby becoming the highest manifestation of faith one can achieve as a fallen being. His faith, through a steadfast belief that God would redeem the situation and protect his lineage through Isaac, surpasses the realm of the ethical and enters a realm that few have entered.

C.S. Lewis, while taking a more simplistic view of faith in his writings, corroborates Kierkegaard’s assertions:

“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"

He’s right on. Abraham had a “Thy will be done” attitude, opting to rely on God’s covenant and, in turn, his promise to multiply his descendants, while the majority of us have an “All right, then, have it your way” attitude towards faith, as if it is our obligation, as if we have an ever-growing burden on our backs.

We, in passionate pursuit of our Savior, must adopt an Abrahamic attitude. To simply say, “Your will be done” is not enough: We must believe earnestly that God is with us and will redeem every situation to His Glory!


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