Wednesday, June 21

Book Update #2

Mid-year break is underway and accordingly I have started a draft of the book. I have around 15 pages (most of Chapter 3) completed at time of writing. The book will be around 130-140 pages all up, but most likely longer unless I make extra effort to be succint. The basic content outline of the book looks something like this, it is likely to change many many times before the books completion:

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Existentialism, Kierkegaard, and Jesus

Chapter 2 - The inadequacy of reason and the nature of religious truth
- The predominance of indifferent truth in religion and society
- The limits of reason
- Subjectivity and inwardness
- Religious truth is subjectivity

Chapter 3 - The Existential Essence of Christianity
- Christianity as an existential communication
- The existential character of Jesus Christ
- Christianity is expressed to others existentially
- Christianity is expressed to God existentially

Chapter 4 - The Spiritual sickness of sin
- The purpose of Christianity is to heal a sickness
- The self and its despair
- Sin is created and heightened when before God
- Sin's relation to morality

Chapter 5 - The Cure of the Sickness
- Secular responses to despair: Hedonism, Materialism, and philosophy
- An existentialist reponse to the modern church's idea of "salvation"
- Forgiveness of sin and the need to affirm the self existentially
- Jesus' response to despair: "Venture a decisive act, and then we can begin"

Chapter 6 - Existential Discipleship
Following Christ and venturing the desicive act
- Recourse from despair in Jesus
- The existential foundations of Christianity: Love, forgiveness, and tolerance

Chapter 7 - Church History: fleeing from the existential?
- The Existential in Paul and the Disciples
- Neo-Platonism's effect on Christianity
- The Existential in the Roman Catholic Church
- The Existential in Martin Luther and the Protestant Movement
- The Existential in the modern Church

Chapter 8 - The Afterlife in an Existential Christianity
How the Afterlife has bred egoism in the church
- Physical ressurection over dualism
- The absent hell
- Personal responsibility and life eternal

Chapter 9 - Epilogue and Misc topics
Against Christian Scholarship, Standard, and objectivity
- Does Christianity transcend our beliefs?
- Why the church is stagnant and how to evangelize an Existential Christianity
- Emotional Suffering in Christianity

If anyone has any suggestions on topics to add, or wondering where I am going with a certain "sub-chapter", feel free to comment.


Blogger Jay said...

How about "Existentialism and the Kingdom of God", "Existentialism, Human Nature, and Creation", and/or "Existentialism and Ecclesiology"?

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about an explanation of why existentialism is important to you, and how it helps you personally in the introduction

5:30 PM  
Blogger Angus said...


Just a quick question, is your understanding and employment of 'existentialism' based primarily upon the works of Kiekergaard? If not, who are the other existentialists that you have read?

Also, I find it interesting that chapter 2 deals with the issue of Reason, however, it would seem that it is from a negative or limiting point view towards "reason." It strikes me as possibly being contradictory, as existentialism demands the use of "reason." In fact, I would argue that rather than the need for a negation of reason in the Christian faith, what is needed is a challenge to those who claim faith to begin to 'reason'.

I look forward to following what you have to write in the future. I am in agreement that existentialism has a lot to offer. Just what exactly, is a question that I myself, am trying to answer.



8:35 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

jay: The kingdom of God is something that will be worked into a chapter. Human Nature will be dealt with in the sin chapter, and I don't think i have much to say about Creation. Ecclesiology in the church history chapter.

anonymous: That's a good point, i'll put that into the introduction.

angus: I draw heavily from Kierkegaard, but I am also influenced by men such as Tillich, dostoyevsky, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre. Also, my relation to reason is complicated. I am not against reason or negative towards it, but I think it has alot of limits and is incapable of answering the fundamental human questions. I dont think Christianity needs more reason, I just think the reason it has is gravely misappropiated.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Thom said...

it'd be great if u could share your personal experience on ur initial discovery of existential christianity and how it has affected u. as part of the intro.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous forgiveness said...

Thanks for your contribution to the blog world. There are some free subliminal mind training tools that helped me with fear and forgiving--the whole letting go process, and you can get them with no hitches attached at

9:09 AM  
Blogger the_burning_bush said...

Thom's point cannont be emphasized enough. As far as making it personal for the reader goes ... this may prove to be a more difficult task.

I'm not sure how you can associate "tolerance" with SK or Jesus. I trust you are avoiding the sloppy lukewarmness of Hegel which the modern world and "social" religion dictate. Perhaps you are saying that changing others is not as important as changing oneself?

10:28 AM  

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