This is a chilling book to read because it is written by a man with a religious background who rejected his father’s faith seemingly because of its insincerity. It seems clear that Nietzsche didn’t particularly like the philosophical paths he trod before formulating his “superman” ideas. I wonder if he wouldn’t have been forced to travel them if he’d seen an authentic relationship with God? Both his father and grandfather were Lutheran ministers, but he lost his faith early in life. Here is a quote from the intro:
As a boy he was, as befitted a pastor’s son, intensely pious, but he lost his faith during his late teens and abandoned the study of theology. He replace belief with freelance philosophizing, upon which he brought to bear the intensity of involvement he had withdrawn from religion.”
Later he talks of “pitiable priests” in this way:
I pity these priests. They go against my taste, too; but that means little to me since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: they seem to me prisoners and marked men. He whom they call Redeemer has cast them into bondage –
Into the bondage of alse values and false scriptures! Ah, that someone would redeem them from their Redeemer!”
This is our vital role after all isn’t it? To show men their own imprisonment and bondage to fruitless desires and in so doing display the inexpressible joy and fulfillment that comes form bondage to Christ? This is freedom. Nietzsche himself seems to understand that we were not meant to be our own gods and goddesses in The madman when he declares we have killed God,
Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must not we ourselves become gods simply to seem worthy of it?”
Truly, we were made for another, and in communion with Him is the fulness of joy.
And he who lives in their (the priests) neighborhood lives in the neighborhood of black pools, from out of which the toad that prophet of evil, sings its song with sweet melancholy.
They would have to sing better songs to make me believe in their Redeemer: his disciples would have to look more redeemed!
This is a staggering statement of truth from Nietzsche…