Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nietzsche's Epigram and Ramm's Rebuke

A word for apologists:

“The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.” --Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 191.

Another word from Bernard Ramm's neglected classic:

"What is the devil’s due Evangelicals can glean from Nietzsche? It is the willingness to be driven like Nietzsche. It is the willingness to spare no pains in the search for truth. It is the willingness. . . .to work into the late hours of the night or to start in the earliest hours of the day; to pick up a new project as soon as we have finished an older one; to grow weary and exhausted in our quest for truth; to have...our eyes watery from too much reading, and our bodies bent over from long, weary hours at the study desk.

No Evangelical whose reading habits are a disgrace to the seriousness of the Christian ministry, or who spends more time before a television set than he does in serious reading in his study has the right to damn Nietzsche from the pulpit to some gruesome place in the Inferno."

--Bernard Ramm, The Devil, Seven Wormwoods, and God (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1977), 61-62.


Timo_the_Osprey said...

Excellent, excellent. Never heard of Ramm but will check him out.

Jeremy said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear. I have a lecture to finish for Monday, an oral report to write for class on Tuesday, and an essay to complete for Tuesday as well. Despite the work I put in over this past week (Spring Break), my son became ill, and I lost about four days worth of work time. Now I'm playing beat the clock to finish all of this stuff. Such a rebuke is encouarging. (However, it is more than a little odd to be encouraged by anything Nietzschean.)

Jeff Burton said...

What serendipity. My pastor condemned Nietzsche from the pulpit this very morning! No kidding!

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


I prayed for you. Fight the good fight in the Spirit.


cymrudyffed said...

Thanks for those poignant thoughts on Nietzsche. I have always had a strange admiration for him, despite the various points of divergence I have with his thought.
The terribly unfortunate thing is that many Christians fear names like Nietzsche. One experience of this I had was as an undergraduate in a Philosophy of Nietzsche course. Another Christian student in the course decided to drop it after the second lecture because he was told by people at his church that Nietzsche would cause him to question his faith. I think it is a sad, and dangerous, state when Christians willingly surrender without so much as an attempt to address and/or contend with ideas/concepts that do not sustain our beliefs.
As for jeremy's comment about how odd it is to be encouraged by Nietzsche, I wonder why it is so odd. Nietzsche was certainly one of the most perceptive philosophical minds of the 19th century and had an incredible gift with linguistics. Even his malicious words against organized religion, if understood within the totality of his thought and the historical context, show a Nietzsche much more insightful and acute than many Christians seem willing to admit. Though often hyperbolic, Nietzsche's words as well as his work ethic should inspire Christians not only to a more disciplined lifestyle but also toward a stronger thought life.

Yossman said...

This was an encouragement for me. I'm writing an introductory course targeted at both the recently converted Christian and the non-christian. I'm working with a group that meets every week and so every week I need to have the next episode ready. It's been a strain on my family since I have a regular job. But both my wife and I know that this is what we have to do. Thanks.