“ – Have I Been Understood?
– Dionysos Against the Crucified…”
Exploring the thought, impact and proposed Asymmetrical Challenge of F. Nietzsche as Explored Through the Kierkegaardian ‘either/or’ and the Hegelian Dialectical ‘both’, with Reference to Historically Liberal & Conservative forms of the Christianity
Matthew B. Lipscomb, 2/14/2013,
Dr. Welsh, Existentialism & Phenomenology, UTC
An Introduction: Subject, Methods and intended Goal
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is perhaps one of the most divisive figures in philosophical history. He is either loved – or hated. Few in number are those who are not impassioned in either direction. The purpose of this essay is to make an attempt at forming two ‘lenses’ and then to ask a specific question about him – does his work present a differential or asymmetrical challenges to both Liberal and Conservative Christianity, respectively? Can it be argued that one of the traditions was more to fear from his anti-religious polemics? And does one, in fact, gain something?
The two ‘lenses’ employed in exploring the efficacy of Nietzsche’s challenge are the Kierkegaardian ‘either/or’ and then the traditionally understood Hegelian dialectical ‘synthesis.’ This paper will not be a thorough exploration of each of these – rather, an attempt will be made to argue for their viability as suitable tools, with the goal of showing both the value of the respective techniques in terms of both answering and then subsequently opening up the further dialogue of other important questions. It is a goal that they be authentic and useful so as to make an earnest and constructive foray into his thought and influences – but that they are also nonetheless non-traditional viewings of his work and its subsequent contributions. If these two ‘lenses,’ or interpretive rubrics work, then they will allow us to potentially see ‘truth between the forms’ or, in other words, they will allow us to see perhaps unconventional viewpoints that are normally obstructed by traditional/orthodox understandings and ways of viewing Nietzsche, ones that we might not see or think about everyday.
Meta-Interpretive Rubric/Lens One – A Kierkegaardian ‘Either/Or:’ Historically Liberal vs. Conservative Theology; Nietzsche’s Contextual-Historical background & Other Issues
No survey of the history of Christian theology is complete without the addition of the consideration of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768 – 1834). Schleiermacher is considered the founder of Liberal (or what is sometimes called “modern”) theology. His work represents a break from traditional, orthodox theology because of his assertion that the guiding precept of religion is something that is derived from a feeling of ‘complete dependence’. Whereas traditional theology seeks a “Christo-centric” understanding of itself, Schleiermacher differentiated his own work from this locus, starting with his famous letter to his father, wherein he confessed his disbelief in the divinity of Christ and the traditional understanding of his resurrection from the dead. He no longer believed in ‘the crucified God.’ The agenda laid down by Schleiermacher was taken up by subsequent generations of theologians and thinkers, which propagated and advanced the non-christocentric model, and then later progressively de-emphasized (and in some later degrees, renounced all together) any spiritual dimension. Liberal theology embodied history and culture as its central loci. What another German theologian Rudolf Otto (1869 – 1937) termed the ‘fearful, tremendous mystery of God’ was more and more removed, in lieu of an understanding of one’s own self in relation to a community or a culture – and the dynamics therein and thereby. By virtue of this ‘movement’ Liberal Christianity has historically radically de-emphazised or ruled out all together both the necessity or even the possibility of the role of a ‘Crucified God’ as being a part of the overall project of carrying on its theology and work. One of Schleiermacher’s students was Abrect Ritschle (1822 – 1889) who was an uncle to Friedrich Ritschle (1806 – 1876) who was Nietzsche’s foremost influence in his formative years. The idea of ‘the crucified God’ would play a significant part in Nietzsche’s polemics.
Historically speaking, “Conservative Theology” has sought to preserve the idea of Christ’s divinity, his resurrection and the concomitant understanding of a crucially attendant spiritual reality: the mysterium tremendum et fascinans as it relates to it. The metaphysics of Liberal Christianity could easily be seen as a progressive retraction of such beliefs – followed by the espousal of various other before mentioned ‘ontological replacements’ for its consequently altered teleology. Conservative theologians have worked to maintain ‘the crucified God’ as a central motif – if not critical point upon which all else feasibly rests. The teleo-ontological differences between Liberal & Conservative theological traditions is substantial enough to have persisted and resulted in a bifurcation of the Christian dogmatic tradition into two separate traditions which, since Schleiermacher, have persisted and – many would argue – have grown more and more aliened from one another. One makes, as its very center, an understanding of ‘The Crucified God” as the very substance of its own existence – and the other – makes as its center whatever it can find, at whatever time, and at whatever place to bring a degree of cohesion among its own ideological constituents.
This brings us to the work of Nietzsche – because the foolishness of the idea of Christ and his death on the cross is central to his argument. Is the work of Nietzsche more of a functional polemic against Liberal Christianity – being that Liberal Christianity seeks to foundationally set itself upon cultural and existential-subjective contingencies/presuppositions; the same ones that Nietzsche brings to bear against it? It could be argued that this is in fact the case. And if this is so – then Liberal Christianity has much more to fear from the pen of Nietzsche, more then the corresponding constituency of conservatives do. Indeed, Liberal Christianity can be argued to lack a truly unifying and historically persistent central motif of an intrinsically religious nature. It is arguable that whatever it has used as its ‘ontological center’ has changed repeatedly over history. For Schleiermacher it was a feeling of complete dependence on a feeling of religious essence. For Walter Rauschenbusch it was a Social Gospel for the financially oppressed and downtrodden. For many liberal theologians today, Gay rights is seen as the next Civil Rights movement and they spend much of their time in advocacy for it. 
It could be possible to argue that the liberal Schleiermacherian ‘dependence’ motif is analogous to Nietzsche’s slave – whereas the Conservative (especially the Calvinist-Reformed/Predestinationalist) narrative does seem to allude to a ‘superior’/übermensch status, ontologically, in terms of a presupposed, existent stratus of mankind (“elected” vs. the “probated” in the doctrine of Predestination). Rauschenbusch’s project of helping the poor would likely infuriate Nietzsche, who would argue that they are merely parasites guilty of dragging down the healthy.
Does the denial of a spiritual reality/dimension in many liberal quarters make it more vulnerable to a Nietzscheian critique? It would seem likely. Liberal theology – when presented would seem to acquiesce. Historically, it was the conservative Lutherans such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer who resisted Hitler. It is no small issue that Ludwig Müller, the German church’s Reichsbischof (Reich Bishop of the United German Evangelist Church) can be seen in the front row of the audience, listening to Adolf Hitler give a speech in the famous propaganda film by Leni Riefenstah.
The center point of Conservative Christianity is the Cross. It is central, because it is the functional source of Redemption in Conservative Christian thought. But based on his comments in Why I am so Clever, in Ecce Homo, does Nietzsche really even understand the concept of Redemption as it is presented in historically conservative/orthodox Christianity? He admits to having never studied it. If he does not understand Redemption – can he be expected to understand the meaning of the cross: what he calls ‘the Crucified God? This is an either/or situation. The answer would appear to be no. Furthermore, is Nietzsche drawing his understandings/polemics/characterizations from his liberal background? What does this say about Liberal Christianity? Moreover- is a Nietzscheian Weltanschauung the end-stage of a post-redemptive teleology/hermeneutic – or is Nietzsche speaking out of ignorance, or worse yet – bitterness? Early in his life, he lost his faith, and any further work that he did was based on a presuppositional bias – which once foundationally set – asserted itself in earnest. These are crucial questions – especially if Nietzsche is to be understood as being an integral part of ongoing conversations of the role of faith in the Modern word. He knew that the time was not yet for his lantern carrier. But there is a blunt difference between the lights that would be replaced – there are markedly different theologies between those of liberal and conservative theologians.
It should also be noted, that much work has been done, from the perspective of Conservative Christianity, in terms of a defense of the ‘Crucified God’/Resurrection narrative. Conservative, Anglican theologian N.T. Wright’s book The Resurrection of the Son of God – Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. Three, which clocks in at 740 pages, is only one of the many substantial and well-regarded works on the efficacy and believability of the Conservative theological narrative that has been published since Nietzsche’s time. Were it not anachronistically impossible – a structured debate between Nietzsche and Wright would be a meeting of the minds of truly epic proportions. There is little to be ‘synthesized’ here – as from these perspectives, the landscape is populated with stark differences and radically incongruent assertions.
In addition to this primary religious question of traditions – there are other ‘either/or’ factors that stand as bold elements in the consideration of Nietzsche. What should we make of his use of Hashish, or his apparent arrogance? Again, from an ‘either/or’ perspective, Nietzsche positions himself against any presumed syntheses – as he sees himself as a “destroyer par excellence,” contra a Descartian ‘working upward’ from a central thesis. Nietzsche willingly went to war, ‘from the top down’ and did not integrate, but rather separated and isolated what he saw as the true ideology from that which he felt had polluted it. He saw those who thought differently than him as being intellectual inferior and useless to his work, and he saw Christian thought as “one great curse” and wanted to isolate and remove its influence. But the ‘either/or’ lens is only one way to look at him, there is another – that of the integrative Hegelian Dialectical Synthesis.
Meta-Interpretive Rubric/Lens Two – A Hegelian ‘Both’: ‘Nietzsche as Antithesis’ – exploring Nietzsche through Hegelian Dialectics, a present and proposed synthesis/historical future.
Another lens that can potentially be used to understand Nietzsche, in a non-traditional way, is by way of a Hegelian Dialectic. G.F.W. Hegel (1770- 1831) was a German philosopher, who is known for his theory of Dialectical Synthesis. Dialectic, as a term, has evolved over the time frame of history & philosophy. For Hegel, the dialectic was a process whereby traditionally opposite forces (represented by a conflict between a ‘thesis’ and its corresponding ‘antithesis’) were brought together to form something new. For Hegel, this new creation was referred to as a ‘synthesis’. Various philosophers since the advent of Hegel, have attempted to make use of his ‘system’ for their own means & purposes, guided less by any thesis in history, at times, and more so by their own presuppositions. Hegel himself argued that no one could ever really see in advance what synthesis might arise. The owl of Minerva – he argued – only flew at dusk.  No one could truly know or predict how history would coalesce around a dialectical synthesis. The truth, revealed in history, might be shown clearly, only after those involved were long dead.
One of the central precepts of Nietzsche’s work is the importance of mythology. Myth tends to be displaced in both Liberal and Conservative Christianity. Liberal theology sees all biblical narrative as merely ‘story’ and the only truth is in the largest metanarratives; Social Justice, Liberty, Self-Respect, etc. Any supernatural portent is to be ignored or at least only understood as the mindset/understanding of pre-modern man. The liberal theologian Rudolf Bultman actually popularized this process of ‘Demythologization’ – and argued that its removal/existential recontextualization was key to understanding the true essences of the Gospel, as they are now – vs. how they were understood by the biblical writers. Contra this – is the conservative view – which sees many the events of the scripture as generally actual, factual events. Even the poetry is understood to speak with an authority towards spiritual truths. Great effort is made to show the possibility – and great energy is exerted to stoke the fires of the theological imaginations of its adherents to the height and intensity whereby there is room therein for supernatural events; generally an anathema to the ‘modern’/liberal way of seeing things. But if modern conservatives, themselves, are in fact also so modern that they also have no room for the mythological – then they have lost an entire mode of communicating truth, if not only through the imagination –then through many other ways as well. Perhaps this is where a collision with Nietzsche is fruitful for both. Does the demythologization project of Bultman go too far for liberals? For Conservatives, does ignoring all the extra-canonical books, such as books of the Apocrypha create a cause for concern? Many of these were always understood to be ‘narratives’ of truths – much like modern stories of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, and the evangelically beloved Lord of the Rings, written by Lewis’ friend J.R.R. Tolkien. Many Christians are surprised to learn that it was Tolkien who achieved a late-in-life conversion experience for Lewis. His ‘method’ was merely to convince Lewis that Christianity was a myth – but also a myth – that was true. For Nietzsche, mythology was tantamount to understanding history, culture and art. Though he may have never intended it to be so, his influence could be seen as creating a greater emphasis upon it, perhaps indirectly, but arguably – down through continued history – dialectically.
Another synthesis that is possible, from the influence of Nietzsche, is that of a greater talent and role for Apologetics. Apologetics –the catch phrase for the art of the ‘defense of the faith’ takes many forms –and also many corresponding intensities. No one who knows philosophy well, readily dismisses Nietzsche as a crank. More often then not – his arguments are merely ignored, or worse yet, an effort is made to shield young minds from their potential influence and subsequent corresponding questions. But is this wise? It is arguably not so. There is effort in the process – but a thoroughgoing analysis and rebuttal is possible – if not advantageous for both the Nietzscheian student and the Evangelical Christian. If those speaking to one another were in fact swords –then a great deal of sharpening would be possible on the account of either.
Perhaps another synthesis that is possible could be greater emphasis on creativity. Much of the so-called “Emergent” and “Progressive” branches of Christianity are, themselves, arguably sometimes direct and other times tangential variants of liberal Christianity, but like liberals they emphasis the role of art in both Worship and the communication of the Gospel. Traditionally, Conservative Christianity has served as a bastion of resistance against resistance and denigration of art and myth by sometimes secular enemies. Even from a conservative standpoint, the Orthodox Church has sustained a strong tradition of art in its theology of ‘icons’ and their role in the church. If the idea that art can be seen as a way of sublimating one’s own existential energy and directing it into various vocations and elements of one’s own life, then it can also be seen to be a central element in Christian thought and cultural interaction – perhaps also culminated through the understanding of a Soteriological Redemption that incorporates all aspects of man’s own existential-cultural state. Where this is acknowledged and advocated – it often becomes a game-changer in many ways, for Christian communities and their corresponding, surrounding communities. Few might even know that this is a prime Nietzscheian ideal.
Lastly, the Apollinarian and the Dionysian could be seen as spiritual-thesis and material-antithesis metanarrational archetypes. Christianity has theologically struggled through a long history of misplaced piety though Gnostic Dualism, which radically separates the physical from the spiritual. In traditional Gnostic Dualism, physical reality is seen as sinful and inferior to the superior and naturally purified spiritual dimension. Also important is the over-reaching of sometimes inappropriately conflated tendencies of radical non-dualism that sees neither spiritual nor physical dimensions as separately extant at all. Nietzsche could prove to be very instructive here as well.
Perhaps the greatest synthesis-contribution that Nietzsche could make to the Christian theological tradition is his thesis of the animal-man; the power of his spirit – and how industrialization, modernity, and structure have crushed it and conformed it. It does not take a vivid imagination to recontextualize the overt power of modernity and what Jacque Ellul termed “the new demons” into Adamic Sin; the alienation of man from both himself and God through overt and pervasive technology and its accompanying obsession with ‘technique’ and ‘efficiency.’ It has been argued that even though we are pervasively connected – we are still alienated; even though we have massive amounts of information at our very fingertips – we may be getting more and more dumb. It should also be noted that the how and the why this reconnection can and should be made takes on radical implications and powerful ideas when understood though the lens of an understanding of Christian Redemption.
It can be argued that many of the agenda-driven, pseudo-syntheses of ideologue-philosophers have not lived up their own expectations. The ideology and theories of Marxism could be argued to have been carried off in the claws of Minerva’s own itself; especially with the fall of Russia – which tried to devoutly base its economy and social structure on his ideas. So catastrophic were these failures, that to gain respectability –many Marxist theorists tried to ‘re-synthesize’ or reconstruct their obviously broken, and incorrectly presumed dialectic syntheses – hence the advent of so-called “Reconstructed Marxism’. Can the same be said of the dialectical influences of Nietzsche? Will they evolve – or continue to be revealed in different ways, different from ways we can even see them today?
The Challenge: Exploring Nietzsche as being an Asymmetrical/disproportionate challenge to Liberal/Conservative Christianity
The primary philosophical legacy of Nietzsche is his challenge to Christianity. He makes no apology for it nor does he pull any punches. Of all that he has written, perhaps the most famous of his pieces is that of his lantern man who comes announcing the death of God.  Nietzsche concludes this short narrative with the Lantern man’s conclusion that his time has not yet come. In terms of his argumentation, central to his thesis is not only the slave and master dichotomy (which for him is the ‘structure’ of the religious oppression) but also an extended polemic against the “crucified” God. If this is accepted as true – then much of Liberal Christianity (by virtue of it’s theological abdication to the precept Christ’s death, burial and resurrection) is at best unnecessary or purely spiritual – or at worst absurd and contrived. It is potentially deeply challenged by Nietzsche. For Nietzsche – he argues that the choice is clear: it is either the Dionysos or the reality of a Crucified God. A liberal Christian, in facing Nietzsche’s challenge, would seem to have already surrendered the fight – at least from the perspective of Nietzsche’s contestations. But is this wholly true?
A mere weeks before his decent into madness, Nietzsche finished the last essay of his last book, Ecce Homo. In its last essay, Why I Am A Destiny, Nietzsche pens 9 chapters, the last of which is only one sentence: “ – Have I been understood? – Dionysos against the Crucified.” There can be no doubt that in his last written thoughts, he is doing nothing else but recasting his railings against Christianity. Is there a hint of doubt in his words? Is his questioning about understanding, external – or potentially internal? As a master of history, culture, mythology, and philosophy – Nietzsche had set himself at the quixotic endeavor of destroying Christianity. But has it fallen ‘neath his swagger? Or has it, ironically, been strengthened by his decidedly non-irenic intentions? What is his legacy?
It is arguable that one of his legacies is the Nazi party and the horror of World War II. Nietzschian thought runs all through Nazi ideology – especially with their program of Eugenics. Nietzsche expresses great concern in his own work for the racial mixing of blood, an idea that found firmament in the fascist imagination. Nietzsche never apologizes for what he prophesies will be the tremendous sacrifice of larges numbers of people who will be reduced to slaves for the benefits of the masters. It is certainly arguable that it was a certain kind of Social Darwinism and Nietzschian ideology that fueled the very fires of Auschwitz.
Conclusions: Seeking the Discursive Truths in the Impact of the Challenge of Nietzsche; His Success, His Failure and is His ‘Challenge’ Indeed Asymmetrical? – Liberal Theological Abdications vs. the re-invigoration of Conservative Charisma
As has been hopefully shown, both the Kierkegaardian ‘either/or’ dialectical contrast and the Hegelian dialectical synthesis of ‘both,’ both yield tools for understanding both Nietzsche and his past & future impact. Nietzsche cannot be ignored, nor can he be underestimated.
Secondly, it has also hopefully been demonstrated that beneath the pen of Nietzsche, any pretentions for a slumbering passivity and social-ecumenical proclivity are crushed. As previously noted, it was Conservative Christians who formed the Confessing church to resist the nazification of religion under Hitler. Christianity must assert the Truth of the Crucified God – or it must humbly acquiesce to the dominance of Nietzsche’s Dionysus. What has played out in history previously can be understood to still be ongoing. Arguing that Nietzsche was merely a fanatic, a lunatic, or that he grossly misunderstood mythology, human nature, and a host of other issues, is at best a poor argument, and at its worst – a brutally pathetic form of self-deception. Otherwise, those who would commit to both a thorough understanding of these worlds and their ideas, as well as Nietzsche’s assertions – however sarcastic and bombastic as they often are – must come to grips with his challenges. Arguably, the tradition of Liberal Christianity, which long ago abandoned the centrality of an assertion upon the ‘Crucified God,’ falls first and swiftest to his literary sword. Perhaps the news of its defeat, has not yet reached their ears – or the time for Nietzsche’s own lantern carrier has not yet come to show them the full scope of their own folly.
Lastly, in what may be a great irony, it may in fact be Conservative Christianity that brings a redeeming synthesis to Nietzsche. Understanding both him and his ideas has given it a stronger strength, and creates what may even be a ‘creative tension’ that overcomes what religious theorist and sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) termed ‘the Routinization of Charisma’, a term used by Sociologists of religion for the slow death of religious zeal, as it is absorbed by the monotony of monolithic institutional structures and their required administration. Without something to ‘keep the fires lit’ the fervor of even the most faithful will grow bored, listless and otherwise impotent. Perhaps Nietzsche is a lantern man himself. Perhaps he keeps ‘bringing’ the ‘fire’ back to the faith – thereby invigorating and stoking the fires of emotion, conviction and the Charisma that comes with them. Had he, and others like him, not committed themselves to full-frontal attacks on Christianity – might there even be a Conservative Christianity extant? Or would it have all de-evolved into culturally wind-blown & ever changing distractions? Would we think about ‘the Crucified God’ if no one ever challenged it? He might have never thought that his light would serve to further illuminate and clear the way for future religious faith on behalf of Christians – but arguably either in a Kierkegaardian or a Hegelian way – he may well have done just that.
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 “The incarnation is not simply God’s response to human sin, but it is the very goal of creation, the very reason for human existence.” A History of Christian Thought, Volume III, pg. 465.
 “Faith is the regalia of the Godhead, you say. Alas! dearest father, if you believe that without this faith no one can attain to salvation in the next world, nor to tranquility in this — and such, I know, is your belief — oh! then pray to God to grant it to me, for to me it is now lost. I cannot believe that he who called himself the Son of Man was the true, eternal God; I cannot believe that his death was a vicarious atonement.” A Prince of the Church: Schleiermacher and the Beginnings of Modern Theology, p. 25.
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 “God on the cross – are the horrible secret thoughts behind this symbol not understood yet? All that suffers, all that is nailed to the cross, is divine. All of us are nailed to the cross, consequently we are divine. We alone are divine. Christianity was a victory, a nobler outlook perished of it – Christianity has been the greatest misfortune of mankind so far.” The Antichrist, Fredrich Nietzsche, from The Portable Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufman, pg. 634.
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 “The theological system of John Calvin and his followers marked by strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination.” From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calvinism
 “…it is the peculiar right of masters to create values…”Beyond Good and Evil, pg. 129.
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 “- ‘God’, ‘immortality of the soul’, ‘redemption’, ‘the beyond’, all of them concepts to which I have given no attention and no time, not even as a child…” Why I am So Clever, by Nietzsche from Ecce Homo, pg. 21.
 “In knowing and understanding, too, I feel only my will’s delight in begetting and becoming; and if there be innocence in my knowledge it is because will to begetting is in it. This will lured me away from God and gods; for what would there be to create of gods – existed!” Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, from Ecce Homo, pg. 81.
 “Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, and into the marketplace, and cried incessantly, ‘I seek God!’ “ From The Gay Science, from The Portable Nietzsche, pg. 95.
 “If one wants to be free from an unendurable pressure one needs hashish.” Why I am so Clever, from Ecce Homo, pg. 31.
 “When Doctor Heinrich von Stein once honestly complained that he understood not one word of my Zarathustra, I told him that was quite in order: to have understood, that is to say experienced, six sentences of that book would raise one to a higher level of mortals then ‘modern’ man could attain to. How could I with this feeling of distance, even want the ‘modern men’ I know – to read me!” Why I Write Such Good Books, from Ecce Homo, pg 39.
 “Not so as to get rid of pity and terror, not so as to purify oneself of a dangerous emotion through its vehement discharge – it was thus Aristotle misunderstood it – : but, beyond pity and terror, to realize in oneself the eternal joy of becoming – the joy which also encompasses joy in destruction…” The Birth of Tragedy, from Ecce Homo, pgomoh 51.
 “195. The Jews – a people ‘born for slavery,’ as Tacitus and the whole ancient world say of them: ‘the chosen people among the nations,’ as they themselves say and believe – the Jews performed the miracle of the inversion of valuations, by means of which life on earth obtained a new and dangerous charm for a couple of millenniums.” From The Natural History of Morals, from Beyond Good and Evil. pg. 63.
 “They are glad in their inmost heart that there is a standard according to which those who are over-endowed with intellectual goods and privileges, are equal to them; they conted for the ‘equality of all before God,” Our Virtues, from Beyond Good and Evil, pg 89.
 “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great innermost corruption, the one great instinct for revenge, for which no means is poisonous, stealthy, subterranean, small enough – I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.” The Antichrist, from The Portable Nietzsche, pg 656.
 “But to demythologize the New Testament does not mean that one strips away the myth. Rather, it means that the New Testament message must be interpreted existentially. This is so because the writers of the New Testament were intending to describe not the architecture of the universe but the facts of their own existence.” Morris Ashcraft, from Makers of the Modern Theological Mind – Rudolf Bultman, pg 14.
 “It’s important to recall that the rise of Enlightenment scientism put not only religion on the defensive, but also the arts and the humanities. Traditionally, the arts had been regarded as an expression of Truth. Even though they make use of myth and metaphor, the arts conveyed deep truths about the human condition. In the Enlightenment, however, rationalist critics began to denounce the arts. They argued that poetry and fairy tales – with their unicorns and dragons, monsters, and fairies – were nothing but harmful illusions. The ‘true world revealed by science was contrasted to the ‘false world invented by poets and painters. ‘Science had persuaded the intelligent that the universe was nothing but the mechanical interaction of purposeless bits of matter,’ writes historian Jacques Barzun. As a result, ‘Thoughtful people in the nineties [1890s] told themselves that they should no longer admire a sunset. It was nothing but the refraction of white light through dust particles in layers of air of variable density.’ “ Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth – Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, pg. 114.
 “The visitor to an Orthodox Church is usually impressed by the unique features and the external differences between this place of worship and those of the various traditions of Western Christianity. The rich color, distinctive iconography and beauty of the interior of an Orthodox Church generally are in sharp contrast to the simplicity which one finds in many Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. When one enters the interior of the Orthodox church it is like stepping into a whole new world of color and light. The art and design of the church not only create a distinctive atmosphere of worship, but they also reflect and embody many of the fundamental insights of Orthodoxy.” Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald, from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s website, (http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7100).
 “This utter pessimism bemoaning the existence of the whole universe as a corruption and a calamity, with a feverish craving to be freed from the body of this death and a mad hope that, if we only knew, we could by some mystic words undo the cursed spell of this existence — this is the foundation of all Gnostic thought. It has the same parent-soil as Buddhism; but Buddhism is ethical it endeavors to obtain its end by the extinction of all desire; Gnosticism is pseudo-intellectual, and trusts exclusively to magical knowledge.” From the Catholic Encyclopedia Online, (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06592a.htm).
 “According to the non-dual view, the phenomena, boundaries, and formations that constitute our world are fleeting, and empty of separate existence.” Jay Michaelson, Everything Is God: The Radial Path of Nondual Judaism, pg. 1.
 The French Theologian, Philosopher and Theologian Jacques Ellul warns of the dehumanization and potential bondage of technology/’technique’ in his books The New Demons and The Meaning of the City.
 For more on this idea the book Bowling Alone – The Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert D. Putaman provides as excellent exploration of the self-alienation of modern life, contrasted with prior generations (http://bowlingalone.com/).
 “ …despite the unfortunate fact that Marxists have too often taken up untenable positions in some generally ill-conceived methodological controversies.” From Reconstructing Marxism: Essays on Explanation and the Theory of History, pg x.
 “With this I am at the end and I pronounce my judgment. I condemn Christianity. I raise against Christianity the most terrible of all accusations that any accuser ever uttered.” The Antichrist, from The Portable Nietzsche, pg. 655.
 “At last he threw his lantern down on the ground, and it broke and went out. ‘I come too early,’ he said to then; ‘I come my time has not come yet, this tremendous event is still on its way…” The Gay Science, from The Portable Nietzsche, pg. 95.
 Ecce Homo, Introduction by Michael Tanner, pg. xvii.
 “…and its cause, the blending of masters and slaves…” What is Noble? From Beyond Good and Evil, pg. 130.
 …that it should therefore accept with a good conscience the sacrifice of a legion of individuals, who, for its sake, must be suppressed and reduced to imperfect men, to slaves and instruments.” What is Noble? From Beyond Good and Evil, pg. 125.
 “The Confessing Church, or the German Bekennende Kirche, a movement for revival within the German Protestant churches that developed during the 1930s from their resistance to Adolf Hitler’s attempt to make the churches an instrument of National Socialist (Nazi) propaganda and politics.” From The Encyclopedia Brittanica Online, (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/131892/Confessing-Church).
 Daniel L. Pals, Introducing Religion, Readings from the Classic Theorists, pg. 266.