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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Is God Dead?



Nietzsche courageously stood up, out and against, amongst most. He not only challenged the common thoughts of Christianity but that of all mankind. Friedrich launches out an attack on the history of Western thought, in particular, the concepts of the following:
  • The concept that there is even a "Man" or "Human Nature" to begin with.
  • The concept that there is a "God", "Divine" or "Supernatural".
  • The concepts that we have about morality and/or ethics. 

First off, let us try to understand what Nietzsche means and where he is coming from when he makes such a bold claim that "God is Dead!".


It is important to note that Nietzsche didn't believe, to begin with, that there was even a God to be killed, but it was rather the concepts of a "God" in our minds and morals that has been disposed of and made non-existant.


Friedrich, throughout his life and observations of history with all it's influential thinkers and figures observes the greatest travesty of all, the denial of this life for the sake of another. He observed from the minds of Plato, Augustine, Kant and many others that there was and is an overbearing sense of denial of this reality for a "true reality". That this world is only an illusion, an end to a means, if you will. To Nietzsche, these thinkers have gravely influenced the minds of many, particularly that of Christianity, emerging what could and can be called an escapism mentality, in-turn creating, what is to him, the greatest blaspheme of all, the denial of life. What was once the greatest blaspheme, to deny God, has now become, the denial of life, the here and now.


While it is of upmost importance to live in the here and now, one cannot and necessarily must not, deny the possibility that there may, in-fact, exist a reality out side of our very own. Perhaps, however, this other reality, this "True Reality", still remains in the here and now, and is but an awakening of our senses in their purest forms (Whatever that may be?)?

Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?  -Friedrich Nietzsche

When Nietzsche says, "God is Dead." I believe he is correct in so far as what he experienced and witnessed to be "God". Nietzsche is quite right to challenge the thought of what was Christianity and what is Christianity today. Thus, I shall risk, I shall repeat in like mind and tongue... the God of Christianity, (At least in its' majority and/or its' stereotypes) is Dead!



Obviously, there will be those who disagree, as I hope that there would be, however I must continue further more. 




God is dead! and we are all the perpetrators of this murder. Most guilty, however, is that, ironically, of those who hold claim to be followers of God. The blood of God is most predominant on the hands, bibles, churches and tongues of these. Why is this so?  In their attempts to draw ever nearer to God and/or truth, they have so constructed an image of God that no longer carries, perhaps, God's greatest features, Mystery and Weakness. So, in creating God they have also murdered and dismembered God. This is not to say that God is actually dead or non-existant, but the ideas of morality and of the divine that have so been created throughout history have in-turn destroyed "God" for many. 


The God of the evangelicals, conservatives, fundamentalists, liberals, charismatics, pentecostals and/or catholics, is not my God. In fact it was due to many of these that, in their attempts to help and enable me, they actually contributed to the killing of God within my own life. God died and I was left with nothing but an inkling, a shadow of hope and a faint passing of light. This was where I met the divine and the divine met I. With nothing of hinderance to distract. No word, no sound and no feeling to draw me away from the unadulterated emptiness. I was me and it was It.



Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it is even becoming mob. - Friedrich Nietzsche


While I do not claim to know everything that Friedrich means when he states, "God is Dead", I have made an attempt to understand and share what that is to you and others. I may be incorrect in my understandings, however, I know my understandings are just that... understandings, and thus, being correct.


The question remains, within myself at least, did Nietzsche know the Christ that I do? Yes, it is very well to make claim that the God of Christians, and that there of others, is dead, but what about the divine that may very well exist in the here and now. The divine that does not desire for us to long after another life, but rather the present. The divine that did not come in order that we may have life in another reality, but came in order that we may have life and have it to the fullest in this reality!


What would Nietzsche think of the ever present "God" of today. In an American and Canadian culture where it seems that for the majority "God" is dead, but where amongst these, movements of fundamentalism are growing and strengthening in their resolve to put "God" back in "his" rightful spot, whatever it takes.


In this manner, I fear, "God" is not dead, although... I rather he was.



Cheers,



10 comments:

Kmarie said...

Loved the cartoons. Hey, I think your wife is pretty fabulous to find all your songs:) Love Lennon.
This post was wonderful ( as always) Obviously since we discuss these things you know I generally have come to similar conclusions as you. I enjoy our conversations. I love that you have become someone who stretches outside the box. I love that we grew into other stances of faith together...and I love that your perceptions of Nietzsche line up with mine. Great thinker. I owe you for making me read some of his stuff...I was worried it would be another chauvinistic philosopher but for his time he is not as bad as some of the rest ( cough cough- Augustine.)

Philip A. said...

Thanks babe! I am very appreciative that you help me to find appropriate songs to portray the post. You are very talented in doing so.

Nietzsche is a great thinker. I find a lot of relation between him and I. Not just in his thinking but also in his spirit. I will not be surprised to find Nietzsche amongst Christ in my passing.

Anonymous said...

Great challenges to accepted "facts" about our version of "Christianity". It's always refreshing to read what someone views it as from the outside (really, not outside, just different side of the same mirror). I appreciate honest thinking and sharing from one's own individualism, not spouting from accepted "wisdom" which is mostly accumulated from the small box of so-called knowledge from the so-called best thinkers of the last fifty to seventy-five years (eg. Piper, Driscoll, Piper, Driscoll, Dobson...are there others?) ;) Miriam

Glynis said...

I loved this post. I first saw Nietzche's quote written on the outer walls of a cathedral in Freiburg in Germany when I was sixteen. At the time I thought whoever had done it was saying the church and its belief systems and dogmatic ways had killed God. I'm leaning that way again almost 30 years later. Very interesting post.

Philip A. said...

Oh Piper and Driscoll. If ever there was a church circus, those two are the ring leaders.

Someone once said in a Called To Question gathering, "What can we learn from these atheists? They do not love God, God is not in them. They can teach us nothing. " . "They can teach us more then we can ever imagine", I responded.
It is likened to when the jews asked Jesus, "Tell us good teacher, what does a good Jew looks like?" and he responds, "I don't know any good jews, but let me tell you about a samaritan I know."
Today christians ask the same sort of question "Jesus, what does good christian look like?", and again Jesus responds, "I don't know any good christians, but let me tell you about a hindu man I once knew."

Philip A. said...

Thanks Glynis I really do think that the church, theology etc. has had a very large influence on the death of God. The more we try to understand and comprehend the divine, the more we tend to lose the divine.
Enlightenment does not come to those of whom are consumed by it, but to those who live it. It is difficult to understand and harder to live out, but we continue on in hope.

Job communicated with God and said all the wrong and borderline blasphemous things, but God was happy with him. Job's three friends said all the theologically correct things but never once communicated with God and God was unhappy with them.

Kmarie said...

You're smart. I think I love you:)

Philip A. said...

I learned from the best. You were my master and i your student. Now, the student... the master. (:

Kmarie said...

Husband: Yup. I take it back. You will pay:) Ha ha. I still think that perhaps the initial master has the upper hand then again I would put aside all of that knowledge for the love of you. How about you?:) I love you.
xox

Gregg said...

Hi Philip,

I think this is one of the most important aspects of Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity (and idealist philosophers): that we have sacrificed the tangible for the intangible, the ‘here and now’ for the sake of ‘the beyond’.

For Christians, I wonder if this disparagement of life is partly due to poor theology: an distorted relationship between creation and salvation? So, many Evangelicals and most fundamentalists set salvation above creation, in a hierarchy. In this manner, we read the world in terms of the Bible (and so creationism trumps science) and the success of churches amounts to evangelism (as the saving of souls). On this model, truth—properly stated and duly accepted—is what counts, and Christians are foremost servants to a sovereign God.

Yet the very layout of the canon (and the dictates of reason) show the impossibility of such a hierarchy. Instead, I think that creation frames salvation, while salvation refigures creation. As such, one is to read the world in light of the Bible and the Bible in light of the world (and so science is a valid and valuable informer, alongside of the Bible). We measure the successes of churches by the cultivation of personhood (as the knowing and becoming of selves). On this model, truth stands co-centrally with love, and Christians are jointly servants and daughters/sons.

To my mind, in place of a God who can be encountered Evangelicals / fundamentalists have substituted propositions and data that must be assented to. They have turned the relational into the logical, the experiential into the doctrinal. And there is clearly no place here for mystery or weakness. Or perhaps more sadly, for love.