Re: Thoughts on K's salvific view
You say you agree with me but it is not clear what you agree with or even that you understand it the way I do.
First my argument is based on my understanding of K's understanding of both ideal existence and ideal Christian-Biblical doctrine. It is not based for K on how the Denmark Church did or did not follow it except in opposition to it.
The situation that he saw in the modern rational world, an emphasis on an intellectual understanding of things, including matters of faith, as a sufficient response, was to lose the most important aspect, practice. What he saw among the religious of his time, was an understanding or assumption that all that is necessary to be a Christian is to be baptized as an infant. Salvation was understood and seen as totally accomplished at this time. This he saw as the result of a misunderstanding of the doctrine of Solo Fides. K argues against both of these non-truths, "radical rationalism" and "faith without works."
K rather argues that action must follow understanding and that salvation is the work of a lifetime, a work that is never complete, never completely present to us, but rather a work in progress and a future presence.
I'm not sure that any of this is anything new in our ongoing discussions. I just wanted to disagree with the statement that "Salvation was one's whole lifetime to K because everyone in K's Denmark considered themselves Christian " It seems clear that the distinction between "what" and "how" is always present in all times and places in the modern world and that the "how" is most often neglected.
--- In email@example.com, James Rovira <jamesrovira@...> wrote:
> I agree with this reading, Don, but I think it needs some caveats.
> Salvation was one's whole lifetime to K because everyone in K's
> Denmark considered themselves Christian...if not from birth, then from
> a very early period. This is very different from a culture in which
> salvation occurs as a result of a dramatic conversion experience in
> which you are clearly not a Christian before and clearly are
> afterwards. Also, we need to add that within Evangelical thought
> salvation tends to be spoken of as something that happens at one point
> in the past, that is ongoing in the present, and that is fulfilled in
> the future. It is a process of becoming, as are K's developmental
> stages - which are still characterized by distinct breaks or leaps.
> Jim R
- Well, I'm very glad you're so deeply into K's mind, Don, that you have
-his- understanding of the material. I appreciate that. There's
really no need for any of us to read K any longer -- please, just
tell us what it all means.
Did I say anything "for K" is "based" on the Danish church or any of
its beliefs? However, being intelligent and fair minded I can see how
you'd take this sentence of mine:
<<Salvation was one's whole lifetime to K because everyone in K's
Denmark considered themselves Christian...if not from birth, then from
a very early period.>>
in that direction.
Yes, that wasn't completely clear. I was thinking along the lines
that K is opposed to the view of being "born Christian" somehow, or
"being Christian because one is Danish," or "being Christian because
one has been baptized." I see K as responding to this mindset in a
number of ways, particularly in his discussion of baptism in CUP, I
believe it was. Salvation is not one's whole lifetime for people who
think they are born Christian, so yes, like you, I believe K's
position is oppositional to the Danish church and the cultural
Christianity it engendered in K's day.
It's very odd to me that you'd say this,
> K rather argues that action must follow understanding and that salvation iswithout recognizing that I said almost the same thing here:
> the work of a lifetime, a work that is never complete, never completely
> present to us, but rather a work in progress and a future presence.
<<Also, we need to add that within Evangelical thought salvation tends
to be spoken of as something that happens at one point in the past,
that is ongoing in the present, and that is fulfilled in the future.
>>So while I don't believe K's emphasis on this point is unique, I do
believe it was especially needed in his time and place.