How I Killed Nietzsche . . .


I recently began work on my first book which is tentatively entitled:  How I Killed Nietzsche and Became the New Übermensch.  I will post a diary which chronicles my journey through the creation of this book at my blog Truth is a Man.  Check it out!

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Nietzsche and a Pastor


In the forward to his attack on Christianity, The Anti-Christ, Fredrick Nietzsche wrote the following:

“This book belongs to the very few.  Perhaps none of them is even living yet.  Possibly they are the readers who understand my Zarathustra: how could I confound myself with those for whom there are ears listening today? — Only the day after tomorrow belongs to me.  Some are born posthumously.

The conditions under which one understands me and then necessarily understands — I know them all too well.  One must be honest in intellectual matters to the point of harshness to so much as endure my seriousness, my passion.  One must be accustomed to living on mountains — to seeing the wretched ephemeral chatter of politics and national egoism beneath one.  One must have become indifferent, one must never ask whether truth is useful or fatality . . . . Strength which prefers questions for which no one today is sufficiently daring; courage for the forbidden; predestination for the labyrinth.  An experience out of seven solitudes.  New ears for new music.  New eyes for the most distant things.  A new conscience for truths which have hitherto remained dumb.  And the will to economy in the grand style:  to keeping one’s energy, one’s enthusiasm in bounds . . . . Reverence for oneself; love for oneself; unconditional freedom with respect to oneself . . .

Very well!  These alone are my readers, my rightful readers, my predestined readers:  what do the rest matter? — The rest are merely mankind. — One must be superior to mankind in force, in loftiness of soul — in contempt . . .”

In the coming months, I, a lowly pastor, will attempt to scale the lofty mountaintops of Nietzsche’s thought; to brave the questions, “for which no one today is sufficiently daring,” to find the courage to ponder that which is forbidden.  I invite you to walk with me as I wrestle with the philosophical ravings of the “Anti-Christ” — perhaps, we will discover that we, indeed, are his “rightful” readers; or, perhaps, we will discover something altogether unexpected: a way out of the labyrinth . . .

Click here to read part two.

Paradoxy Blog Tour: Reviewing Chapter 6


As I indicated on my Facebook page, I’m participating in Ken Howard’s blog tour for his book “Paradoxy: Creating a Christian Community Beyond Us and Them.” There are other blogs that have covered this and I encourage you to read their reviews in addition to my own.

My review is going to be split into two parts. Because I wanted to be as fair as I could in doing this review (since the author was kind enough to ask me to do this review after he and I disagreed on some things), I have split my review into two parts. The first part is a bare-boned review that covers the chapter as it is. No commentary is given, no evaluations, no judgments. This is done to encourage the reader to go read the book themselves. The second part is a critical review, giving commentary, praise, and critiques. Even there I seek to be as fair as possible, for those looking for a ‘hit piece’ against what will undoubtedly be labeled an “Emergent Book” are in for a disappointment. While I certainly do disagree with portions of the chapter (and the book), it is still a worthy read and there is a lot to gain from reading it. I fully intend to do an entire book review after the blog tour is over. But for now, the chapter will suffice.

REVIEW OF CHAPTER SIX: “THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME”

Sometimes there is simply no getting around it – the Church, as a whole, feels like it’s failing or has failed. After all, we’ve moved from what was once considered a “Christian society” to what is now being called a “post-Christian era.” What is the Church to do in the shifting sands of modern culture? That is the question Ken Howard attempts to answer in his book Paradoxy: Creating a Christian Culture Beyond Us and Them.

In the chapters leading up to Chapter Six, Howard proposes that we are enduring a paradigm shift in the Church and that the Church is in a culture that is moving away (and becoming hostile to) Christendom and absolutism, the two staples of Church theology for the past 2,000 years. In light of this, we must look to Christianities that could have been and extrapolate what made them successful in their time and place, and then make the move toward applying such principles to the modern church. Chapter Six is Howard’s attempt at giving a brief overview of how a modern church would function.

The thesis of the chapter is quite simple – all churches need to live in the love of Christ (the Incarnational Christ from the Trinitarian God) as the center of their community. Everything else is peripheral. Anticipating that both conservatives and liberals would find difficulty in such a way of thinking, he implores Liberals to see that such a shift in thinking is a progressive paradigm while explaining to Conservatives that what they see as “God’s Truth” that needs to be defended doesn’t in fact need to be defended. That is, if they fear putting Christ as the center of their church community because it would abdicate progressive ideas or conservative apologetics, neither side should be afraid; Christ is progressive and capable of defending His doctrines without our help.

The most challenging aspect of the chapter is attempting to imagine a church where disagreement is not only acknowledged, but is also welcomed and encouraged. He uses his own congregation as an example of a church attempting to live with Christ’s love as the centerpiece. He shares multiple examples of how this has worked (and sometimes failed), such as pointing out that a former CIA member who’s political view is self-described as, “To the right of Genghis Khan” has befriended and works with a disabled homosexual man. He points to a husband and wife, one conservative and the other liberal, who haven’t been able to worship together for quite some time until they discovered Howard’s’ church. Such examples serve to aid in silencing the critics who say that such an idea could never work; of course it can work because it’s working right now. Continue reading