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.

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