The offensiveness of the Gospel

And now Christianity! Christianity teaches that this single human being, and so every single human being, whether husband, wife, servant girl, cabinet minister, merchant, barber, student, etc., this single human being is before God — this single human being, who might be proud to have spoken once in his life with the king, this human being who hasn’t the least illusion of being on an intimate footing with this or that person, this human being is before God, can talk with God any time he wants, certain of being heard; in short this human being has an invitation to live on the most intimate footing with God! Furthermore, for this person’s sake, for the sake of this very person too, God comes into the world, lets himself be born, suffers, dies; and this suffering God, he well-night begs and implores this human being to accept the help offered to him! Truly, if there is anything one should lose one’s mind over, this is it! Every person who does not have the humble courage to dare to believe it is offended. But why is he offended? Because it is too exalted for him, because he cannot make sense of it, because he cannot be open and frank in the face of it, and therefore must have it removed, made into nothing, into madness and nonsense, for it is as if it were about to choke him.

Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death, Part 2, Chapter 1, Addendum

Primary Source: The Nicene Creed (Introduction to Western Civilization 5.12)

The bishops at the Council of Nicaea wrote a short statement of Christian beliefs. This statement, called the Nicene Creed, is still recited by most Christians throughout the world at their worship services on Sunday morning. The words that are underlined below were not part of the original Creed written by the bishops at Nicaea. They were added later and became very popular among Christians in most of Europe. Today, most Christians include these words when they say the Creed, but members of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches as well as a few other churches outside of Europe do not.


I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.