My wife read me this Soren Kierkegaard quote recently from Shane Claiborne’s book, The Irresistible Revolution. It hit a little too close to home for me.
“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 it, 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 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.” (71-72)
Here is my review of The Irresistible Revolution (even now I might want to nuance some of my thoughts in that post a bit more)