While musing on the story of Lazarus, Kierkegaard is faced with the realization that for Christians there is something far worst to be fear than death: the sickness unto death. In the first half of the book, Kierkegaard, the ‘father of existentialism,’ delves into the mire of human existence to discover that all are in despair. With absolutely no hesitation, Kierkegaard dreadfully sculpts the desperate situation every individual experiences. After successfully sculpting what looks and feels like shattered pieces (mentally and emotionally), Kierkegaard presents in the second half “the possibility of offense in Christianity” as the one genuine hope for individuals: the fact you can be offended by God proves that God is the remedy for your despair–your position of sin. The expansive gulf between man and God can only be crossed with “the leap of faith,” only to truly discover that God has already crossed the great divide in Christ. Blessed are those who take no offense at him.
Absolutely one of the most frustrating and difficult reads. This is one of Kierkegaard’s most dense works and it is my first of his works. Tread carefully–you might not want to finish, but, oh, you very much should.