Kierkegaard, Poet of the Word

John G. Kuethe

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 7/1/1983

Issue: The Old Testament and the New (Vol. 3, No 3, Summer, 1983)

Søren Kierkegaard is sometimes regarded as a man obsessed by melancholy. Readers aware of his Fear and Trembling, Sickness unto Death, and Concept of Dread may not have become acquainted with his faith in the loving God revealed in the Scriptures. They may not know that he was filled with a passion to be a poet of the Word who would mediate that Word of love effectively to a “Christendom” deaf to its message. The sainted Michael Reu of Wartburg Seminary began his explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism with the words: “The Bible is a love story.” Søren Kierkegaard had also found the Scriptures to be just that—balm for his troubled soul. Then why such harping on suffering, alienation, torment, struggle, and gloom? Can he rightly be thought of as a poet singing of the love of God in Christ Jesus? Did he really believe God loved him?

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