August 19, 2019 - The Madman

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

One of the most famous sections in modern literature came from the pen of German author Frederick Nietzsche. He had a madman running through a market place with a lantern in his hand, shouting:

“How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we no feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder?”

What is he saying? Who unchained the earth from the sun? Whither is it moving? This is just a brilliant expression of the modern world’s rejection of God and of the moral absolutes that came with God. Though an atheist who hated Christianity, Nietzsche could nevertheless see the moral consequences of rejecting that God and the morality that came with Him. Because, without Him, “Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing?”

Until about century and a half ago, mankind mostly understood himself as coming, in one way or another, from God; now he understands himself as slowly clawing his way out of the skin and torturously breaking free from the bones of untutored primates. This revised reflection, and all that does to the human ego and sense of self-worth, contains (Nietzsche saw) predicates of colossal consequences.

As Christians, however, we are not plunging backward, sideward, in all directions but, ideally, by faith, we have built our house on the immovable Rock of our creation and redemption:

“The LORD lives!

Blessed be my Rock!

Let God be exalted,

The Rock of my salvation!” 2 Samuel 22:47.

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