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Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  376 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The purpose of this new collection is two fold. First, to make Kierkegaard accessible; second, to present in as concise a way possible his "heart," his core themes, and his passion. Divided into six sections, Provocations contains a little of everything from Kierkegaard's prodigious output, including his famously cantankerous (yet wryly humorous) attacks on what he calls t ...more
Paperback, 429 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Orbis Books (first published 1999)
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Mar 27, 2016 Tim rated it really liked it
Soren Kierkegaard's radical idea: what would happen if someone were to introduce Christianity to.... Christians?

He doesn't actually state it as such but that is the essential thrust of the writings collected in this volume. His work is an antidote to a factory assembly line version of Christianity; a reminder that spirituality is not outwardly conforming to a certain manner of life (ritual) or inwardly acquiescing to a certain set of intellectual propositions (theology) but is instead a lived ou
Ken Kuhlken
Oct 16, 2012 Ken Kuhlken rated it it was amazing
Provocations. Soren Kierkegaard, Charles E. Moore editor

Of all the enlightening ideas I have encountered, a few special items never go far from my mind.

One of them is the position Soren Kierkegaard took in regard to churches. He considered them dangerous, essentially because Christ called people to live in opposition to the ways of the world, which arise out of human nature. But churches long ago became and continue to be collaborators with the world. To survive, they need to compromise with the
Nathan Schneider
I've read a few books that I return to more than others because of their content and the pleasure of reading them. This book will be one. Kierkegaard writes as one who holds nothing back, but rather writes as if everything were in his journal. Provocations is convicting and hopeful for the Christian. Read it slowly (as if you had a choice)!
Mar 10, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians.
This book is on my "currently-reading" shelf, and there it will remain for pretty much the rest of my life. I read a chapter of it here and there when the mood strikes, and when I'm done with it, I'll start over again.
I have never found much alluring about Christianity (nothing personal; just not my cup of tea) but Kierkegaard is the only person, living or dead, that has written about Christianity in a way that's appealing to me. He can come off a little strong sometimes, but if you just relax a
Apr 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
fallen in to the pile of 4star books... i wish they had decimals b/c it's more like 4.8 (i don't like to give 5).

read it slowly in small bits to prevent what he says from becoming bitter aphorisms, and more like sharp shards of truth that need time to sink in. he's like the intense, depressing friend who's hard to take in large doses, but he's that way because he has a very clear look at the world around him. we need people like him.
Jun 05, 2013 Lynley rated it it was amazing
Provocations is one of the best books I have read on the faith in a long while. It seemed that each chapter brought to light some part of my heart that I was holding in reserve from God. Kierkegaard encourages us to go forth, have faith, dare to follow God--say no to the dumbed down version of Christianity which so many embrace. This book is so full of rich truth.

Some favorite quotes:
"[Jesus did not want to form a party, an interest group, a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the trut
Steven van Hasselt
Jul 14, 2016 Steven van Hasselt rated it really liked it
"The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”

“The greatest danger to Christianity is, I contend, not heresies, heterodoxies, not atheists, not profane secularism – no, but the kind of orthodoxy which is cordial drivel, mediocrity served up sweet.”
May 27, 2013 Pishowi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Kierkegaard has to be one of the most consistently insightful authors I have ever read. To that end, Provocations is an indispensable collection of his religious writings. His comments are so profound, so searching, so sharp and biting, that it is impossible to read this book as a Christian and not feel at once challenged to admit your own hypocrisy. As you read his critique of Christendom, I guarantee you will find yourself saying, 'Yes, that is me. I am like that.' But its not all negative. He ...more
Federico Trejos
Jun 27, 2013 Federico Trejos rated it it was amazing
The fork as they called him is a very very deep and complex and extremely precise thinker, besides his spiritual aspects of Christianity that determine almost all his works, obviously this one. This holds a review and compilation of the spiritual aspects in all his work. He is a genius, meaning he is utmost unique, and doesn't think, rather lives his truths, as he said, that is why it is so vital, even on a plain philosophical side. All the aspects of human pathos, emotion, agony, despair, suffe ...more
Aug 28, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is deeply convicting... I don't how you can pick up kierkegaard and not be moved intellectually and spiritually. He is stimulating, focused, and pragmatic without being preachy. He is socratic without abstraction. He is tormented, yet moved by love. Pick this book up. You can even find a free ebook version of it online through bruderhof, I believe, the former publisher. A true treasure.
Nov 26, 2011 broken6string rated it really liked it
The crowd is the enemy of truth; to know the truth is to live the truth as an individual; the way to salvation is to stand alone before God. In standing alone before God, a person becomes aware of God and then sees himself as he really is: inadequate and helpless to change. Each person should therefore aspire to Christian individuality in "fear and trembling."

Because we are helpless to change, we need God. "To need God is nothing to be ashamed of, but is perfection itself.... A human being is gr
J. Ewbank
May 23, 2015 J. Ewbank rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-good-read, religion
I have read a few books by Kierkegaard, but this book was ble to sum up his thinking in a marvelous way. I totally enjoyed reading this book because the full scoope of Kierkegaard was on display. Anyone wating to become familiar with his thinking will find this book useful. It is a solid book, chock full of interesting passages.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Joy Matteson
Easy digestible pieces of Kierkegaard's thoughts on life, God, and human relationships. I really appreciated the short chapters that allowed the reader time to take in the chewier pieces of "meat" that often defines Kierkegaard's lines of thought. I've been quoting him so much lately, especially this section:
"When a believer sins, he or she is still loved by God. God longs for them to know this, and is thus concerned to make them equal to himself. If equality cannot be established, love becomes
Jordan Magnuson
May 09, 2011 Jordan Magnuson rated it really liked it
Kierkegaard is like fire, burning, cleansing... making life harder, and better. Someone to go back to again and again and again. This anthology is not bad as an introductory text, though I much prefer reading deep thinkers like K in their full original context... still, the selections are not so small as to be useless.
Sep 08, 2014 Emi rated it really liked it
Profound, deep but it's like having appetisers, I'm going after the main meal now.
Feb 25, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it
As nice an introduction to Kierkegaard's spiritual writings as I could want. I am not a theologian; I don't have the patience or time to delve deeply into Kierkegaard's writings, but through a series of selections on various topics, I feel I am not able to speak intelligently about his work. The book closes with a series of short quotes on various topics. Not really for reading through, I would think, but to have handy just in case: "Now what would Soren say about that?"

The book provides another
Oct 15, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing
This guy is crazy! So funny.

Can't wait tor ead it!
Julius McCarter
Sep 16, 2015 Julius McCarter rated it it was amazing
Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard is one of those edited collections of spiritual classics that is, itself, destined to become a classic. Here, Kierkegaard speaks at his finest, his clearest, his most accessible, in a way that is meant not only to inform -- but to transform.

This book is one that readers will find themselves transformed by the Jesus Kierkegaard knows and of which Kierkegaard writes. This isn't a book that contains simply more information about the spiritual life. No
Aug 13, 2014 Nelson rated it it was amazing
Kierkegaard had anxiety and depression and it's apparent when reading this book. He seems ticked off at the world and begrudging people who are happy, basically saying that if you're not suffering, something is wrong with you. He is the father of fideism (faith > reason), and embodies the belief that we should believe in Jesus just because it's crazy, a caricature of faith that modern atheists like Richard Dawkins like to exploit.

So why do I like this mentally unstable mofaux so much? Because
Benjamin Johnson
Oct 14, 2016 Benjamin Johnson rated it it was amazing
This book!! It is a book I return to time and time again for, well, provocation: to live the life of a Christ-follower authentically. Kierkegaard doesn't allow you to settle into apathy and mediocrity.
Samuel Fletcher
Oct 24, 2015 Samuel Fletcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't necessarily agree with everything in the book, but he makes a lot of excellent points and gives a lot to think about. Plus it's relatively easy reading compared to a lot of his contemporaries.
Dec 24, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
A great collection of his writings. I read this with a small group of young men. I would highly recommend it!
Oliver Bateman
Apr 22, 2014 Oliver Bateman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Kierkegaard's intense inward-looking religiosity seems to arise out of self-loathing, which makes it relatable for most of us navel-gazers, religious or not. There's some brilliant stuff in here about the problems of the herd, the failures of modernity, the falseness and hypocrisy of "Christendom," and the need to seek absolute subjective truth (for serious, bro--absolute subjective truth!). It's also a fantastic Kierkegaardian vade mecum; combine this with the beautifully illustrated Parables ( ...more
Eli Suddarth
Sep 28, 2007 Eli Suddarth rated it really liked it
a difficult read but one worth reading. some of the most difficult and hard-hitting commentary on the state of christendom, but he has some things to say that christians should pay attention to. i would recommend, however, reading this in tandem with something a bit cheerier as these several hundred pages can get quite daunting.
Mike Hyatt
He is definitely quotable. Some of the criticism of Christianity in his day (19th century) is applicable to our day (21st century). He was also a pomo before it became fashionable...and that provokes me.
Matt O'Connor
May 23, 2007 Matt O'Connor rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of my favorite non-fiction books. It's also probably one of my hardest reads. Kierkegaard says a lot with just a few words making this very intellectually challenging and stimulating.
May 10, 2009 Kendra added it
Wanting to find a great quote (which I often do), I picked this book up for about $7 at was worth the money. Excellent sampling of the writings of Kierkegaard.
Courtney Demone
Aug 18, 2014 Courtney Demone rated it it was amazing
Hark a Vagrant has explained it best:
Feb 28, 2014 sqrt2 rated it really liked it
a heavy dose of introspection for the suffering soul
Kierkegaard needs to be read this only gives a basic idea of what he is. useful for those who can't manage the full volumes
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Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark. Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individua ...more
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“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” 720 likes
“The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.” 121 likes
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