Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing: Spiritual Preparation for the Office of Confession

Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing Spiritual Preparation for the Office of Confession Crossing the boundaries of philosophy theology psychology and literature the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the most significant and influential figures in contemporary thou

  • Title: Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing: Spiritual Preparation for the Office of Confession
  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard Douglas V. Steere
  • ISBN: 9780061300042
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Paperback
  • Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the most significant and influential figures in contemporary thought In Kierkegaard s view, faith is the most essential task of life Faith is not a matter of dogmatic adherence, but rather of subjective passion In Purity of Heart , KierCrossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the most significant and influential figures in contemporary thought In Kierkegaard s view, faith is the most essential task of life Faith is not a matter of dogmatic adherence, but rather of subjective passion In Purity of Heart , Kierkegaard discusses different aspects of living, particularly the responsibility of single minded spiritual seeking and ethical integrity, offering clues to the nature of the good while insisting that each reader must work this out for themselves.

    One thought on “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing: Spiritual Preparation for the Office of Confession”

    1. Feels like that needling reminder that you pay attention to only at certain times in your life and, subsequently, find yourself at the receiving end of condemnation. Kierkegaard is gentle in his condemnation, saying: 'I'm not judging you, I want you to judge yourself, stupid.' Actually, in true Kierkegaardian gentleness he would call you 'impure of heart' or maybe 'double-minded.' I like his brand of individuality. Mostly, those who stress individuality do it on such repulsive terms, but he make [...]

    2. What a great book. Kierkegaard has a way with words that make his writing difficult to read, yet absolutely worthwhile and satisfying. This book is to be taken slow, and one must be willing to read and reread and continue to reread. Purity of Heart is to will the Good in love. Kierkegaard is fighting the double-mindedness of some professing Christians. This book is not written for one to give to a neighbor. This book is for the individual to soak in and be honest with themselves. For S. K pure r [...]

    3. This is a great book for Christian self-examination, dedicated by the author and recommended by this reviewer to "that solitary individual" who desires to commit himself to One Thing and guard himself against double-mindedness, hypocrisy and mediocrity.Like Socrates, his role model, Kierkegaard excels, not so much in establishing the true religious or philosophical belief, as in distinguishing falsehood from truth, thereby prompting the reader to reflect and re-examine his own beliefs and practi [...]

    4. “As the sea, when it lies calm and deeply transparent, yearns for heaven, so may the pure heart, when it is calm and deeply transparent, yearn for the Good.”This may be the most en-courage-ing and deeply challenging book I have ever read. Purity of Heart calls itself a “stage prompt” whispered to the actor — the reader — to help him or her perform good acts before the audience who is none other than God. Framed as a talk, it exhorts the listener — that solitary individual — to co [...]

    5. From the translator's intro - "This isolation of man from the flock, from the mass, from the crowd and the heightening of his consciousness as an individual which the Eternal accomplishes is a central theme of Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. Before the quiet gaze of the Eternal, there is no hiding-place. As individuals we are what we are before God, and no mass opinion affects this in the least. Kierkegaard believed that his generation was seeking to live in mere time and to make the Etern [...]

    6. If I could give this a 3 1/2 stars, I would.Dense throughout, but if taken in small bites, Kierkegaard's labor against "double-mindedness" is very good and convicting. He is, of course, very thorough. Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death are much better works and gives a clearer sense of Kierkegaard's thought, so not a great starting point.

    7. Read NOV 2002Best quotes, "But even if the world gathered all its strength, there is on thing it is not able to do, it can no more punish an innocent one than it can put a dead person to death" (p. 97); "the lazy man always has a disproportionate power of imagination" (p. 116); and "in the eternal order, if the circumstances are difficult the obligation to speak is doubled" (p. 213).

    8. Examines the barriers preventing us from willing one thing and what it really means to will one thing. Sometimes the writing is somewhat dense or obscure, but often I find myself in complete intuitive agreement with Kierkegaard’s outlook.

    9. I had to take a break from the food/farming books, so I went back to my other favorite: Kierkegaard.I gave this one 2 stars and that is an average of 190 pages of one star "didn't like it" and about 20 pages of four star "really liked it." Chapter 13 is called "What Then Must I Do? Live as an "Individual"" and is vintage Kierkegaard. Beyond that, the book really isn't worth reading. That chapter is probably a decent first plunge into Kierkegaard though. It doesn't get to the depth of explaining [...]

    10. Christian Existentialism clean and easy. If you have never read Kierkegaard and would like to, try this one on for size. It just might turn your definition of good to Good (like changing Lego blocks into a house).

    11. If someone wanted to know something about Kierkegaard, I would recommend this to them.Nowhere in the history of philosophy or even of literature as a whole is their a writer whose insights square better experience, and have more to say. Always a humbling guy to read.

    12. Not hyperbole: this work changed my life, setting me on course for a PhD. It also changed my life subjectively, but then I shouldn't be telling you that.

    13. Kierkegaard knows how to hit you hard , honestly , in your deep consciousness without asking you if you're ready for this . Chapeau! Kierkegaard

    14. Read this for my class on Kierkegaard. This book is meant to help you examine the motivations in your own heart for why you do the things you do. Are you doing good because you sincerely want to, or is it out of some other motivation, like to get wealthy, to feel good about yourself, to avoid looking bad to others, etc. As the title says, this is to help you better confess before God, and to make it easier to consider how to act in the future. His overall suggestion is: can you imagine acting th [...]

    15. This set of speeches can be seen as one of Kierkegaard's simpler works, although it still is quite the read. Interesting material for the reader that gets past Kierkegaard's sentence structure and elaborate style.

    16. Soren Kierkegaard has created a masterful penetration into the wiles of the human heart. His premise is that our highest calling as human beings is to attain a “purity of heart” which is to “will one thing”. He bases his meditation on James 4:8: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.Can any of us claim to have pure intention, unspoiled by the tainting of impure motivation or “double-mindedness” [...]

    17. Some great examples of logic in poetry, or poetic logic, but most memorable to me are the beautiful similes, allegories and portraits. I just remember this as being a beautiful read, and becoming really impressed by his narrative skills and deep creative thought. Great inspiration to ignite that little spark inside of me that also wants to be a writer, actually writing about actual stuff that matters to people. But mostly, it was just beautiful. Some really gorgeous passages in this book. I read [...]

    18. I absolutely loved this book. In fact, I think I need to switch my favorite philosopher from Socrates back to Kierkegaard. It's rare that I find something I so fully agree with. He had me on the first page with: "This little work is dedicated to that single, solitary individual." Probably his most individualistic work, since that's basically the main point he makes. That Eternity, or God, requires of us one thing. A pure heart. And to have a pure heart is to will one thing. And that one thing ca [...]

    19. A book to read during Lent. I used to read Kierkegaard while I was contemplating a spiritual vocation and his works immediately took to me. In this book he points out the essence of knowing oneself, of living and acting as one is and not as others would expect or as if actions blur one's vision of the one simple way - to will and to serve the Good. He "doesn't question about what results I have produced, or whether I may have produced no results at all". He points out the importance of clarity o [...]

    20. "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt VonnegutAlthough I love that quote on some days,this Kierkegaard book also reached out to me and I can identify with it very much. Of this work,someone said:"Kierkegaard slices through the masks and facades we construct that delude us into thinking that all is well with our soul. With the skill and precision of a surgeon's hand, Kierkegaard opens up the true condition of our motivations in life an [...]

    21. Unsettling but stimulating and ultimately inspiring book.Though at times very densely argued there are others when Kierkegaard is extremely lucid. The text makes one want to become more devout so in that sense it is very challenging. Puts one in the spotlight alone before God in which there is no place to hide. The emphasis throughout is that you are an individual and that therefore you will be held accountable for your deeds because in eternity there is no place to hide. There are no crowds in [...]

    22. I feel like I would have to read this at least once more to really do it justice's pretty dense. That said, I'll give you my overall impression of it anyway. I appreciate his main point of a pure heart being one that has a fixed and driving desire to do "the Good" / holiness / God's will. Many of his examples of what it looked like to "will one thing" (or neglect to do so) were helpful and challenging. However, I felt the majority of his argumentation to be convoluted and forced. I just wasn't c [...]

    23. Incredible read! This was not only my first Kierkegaard book, it was also my first full on "philosophy" book. This was a very thought provoking and convicting read into the concept of the pure heart and how the pure heart wills only one thing, and that one thing is the good. Through guilt, remorse, repentance, confession, fear, suffering, and reward are we being double minded or are we truly pursuing the will of God for our benefit? Great starting book to get into philosophy. Kierkegaard truly h [...]

    24. Absolutely the most beautiful philosophical work I have ever read. I cannot believe it was originally given as a talk. It took me months to get through it because I had to stop every few pages for days at a time to think about what I had just read. Took this book to Holy Hour with me more than once to pray with it. It is heartrendingly convicting, and opened my eyes to all sorts of hidden double-mindedness. If you could live up to the thesis of this book, you would be a saint.

    25. While this book is quite difficult to follow at times, it is a brilliant piece of work and many would benefit from slowly working through it. I am used to being to speed through books. That was not the case with this one. Read, and reread, was the method. I set it down many times to ponder what he was saying. The work and patience was worth it. This is a rewarding read for those who stay the course.

    26. Although it was very good, I was bored probably because it was Spiritually philosophical and I am not much of an intellect, but more simplistic. This seemed so repetitive throughout it speaking of double-mindedness. This book helped encourage and help my brother who in turn told me to read it - but he is an intellect. I like reading more of experiences of how God transformed lives.

    27. If you're earnestly trying to read this, try taking notes on each section. His thoughts taught me a lot myself and human nature. When describing all the things that distract us from willing to the Good, it made a lot of sense. I've been noticing people make the same excuses in their lives that he warned against. Great read.

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