This is probably the craziest topic I have written on. This is based on my wildest imagination and I hope it inspires you somewhere.I am trying to compare between Nietzsche (called anti-Christ, prophet, hero and many other names) and the event of incarnation (an event in which God became man). Surely the inspiration is from my class though I make the final connection.
There are three periods into which Nietzsche divides the history. The first period is called the period of decadence. Here the reason reigns supreme. Everything is too orderly. There is no option for spontaneity, creativity. Everything is static and stagnant. Nietzsche’s symbol for this time period is God (I understand it as our images of God, which make the reality called life so stagnant. Images of God which was promoted by many were not life-giving. Some of the prominent images are police-man, judge, watchman, shopkeeper).
There is a transition period where we realize about the decadence. I won’t discuss of that. But the third period is the period of spontaneity and life. It is a time when the human person is thinking. He is trying to discuss oneself. This is a very beautiful (but tragic too) journey. The image of the period is child.
The image of the period of decadence is God (or our stifling images of God) and image of the period of new opening is child. Now some of you may guess how my crooked mind attempted a small relation between Nietzsche and incarnation.
For Christianity, God is eternal. He is the God of the old testament and the new testament. He is changeless. The innumerable laws were created by Pharisees and teachers on the basis of their interpretation of the law, which made life burdensome. The accompanying and merciful God of the patriarchs and prophets slowly became a God who is only interested in the sacrifices and rituals (or it was projected so). Although People didn’t revolt against God or the teachers, the life wouldn’t be so interesting with such an image of God. Then the interesting thing is human history occurred.
God became a child.
Jesus invites his disciples to live life to the fullest (a dynamic life, not stagnating); the new life is free from the bondage of sin. He invites us to be loving, merciful and compassionate. He extols the child-likeness. He was spontaneous in his dealings with his friends, family and strangers. He went beyond the laws to help. He proclaimed that the law (Sabbath)was for human, not otherwise. Even at the powerful moment of transfiguration, he urges his disciples to move on (not to stay there).
Now for a Christian reader of Nietzsche (i have read very very little), his thoughts could be an invitation to get into the roots of that event called incarnation. I could see Nietzsche’s thought in the crux of the message of the gospel, which is to live the life in its fullness like a child with all its spontaneity and beauty. (Surely many might see more differences than similarities, but somehow I sense it).
If the church was more Christ-like (then we would be child-like) and our images of God not so much dogmatic or conceptualized, Nietzsche might not have declared that God is dead and wouldn’t have attacked the church.