Kierkegaard’s treatise The Changelessness of God. Published in 1855, just a few months before his death, it is an exposition of one of Kierkegaard’s most cherished biblical passages: “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). Kierkegaard begins by noting that the text contains an implicit contrast between God, the “Father of lights,” and the world. To observe the latter is to observe constant change: one moment gives way to the next; the sunrise comes and goes; each human being will one day die. “How depressing,” notes Kierkegaard, “how exhausting, that all is corruptibility, that human beings are changefulness, you, my listener, and I!” But there is good news. Above and beyond all of this change is God, whose good and perfect nature never varies. It is this truth that the Apostle James has disclosed, and, for Kierkegaard, it is “simply and solely sheer consolation, peace, joy, blessedness.”The reason for this happiness has to do with God himself, who, as Kierkegaard explains, is changeless, omnipotent, omnipresent, pure, and luminous. He moves earthly affairs, but is not moved by them.
“From Despair to Faith: The Spirituality of Søren Kierkegaard
Christopher B. Barnett