Hmm...combing Nietzsche ideas with Judeo-Christian ideals, I guess pigs can fly, maybe there is hope for unification among religious theology with philosophy, next unifying science. I won’t convert to a Christian because of this but I am amazed you were opened minded enough to take other ideals to thought, I suggest you finish reading some of Nietzsche books as well as Plato which would be more to your suiting. Im a very spiritual person, taking the positive ideals from Christianly, wiccan, pagans, neopagan, goetia, Taoism, existentialist, metaphorical and literal versions of Satanism and a few ideas from shaman and Buddhism they appear to contradict at first but that is only if you dont read and search for yourself, to me they are all one in the same. I'm not trying to offend you by saying i think of demons as both metaphors and rarely literal neither do i want to often you by showing that i study religion like another philosophy class, I merely want to congratulate you for showing that a faithful Christian can be opened minded enough to add philosophy into their religious beliefs because like most ppl, the stereotype is that they are one sided but as i see from this, you are not. :)
People often accuse Christians of not being "reasonable", of not engaging "reason", of just following "blind faith". Perhaps that is true of some Christians, but it is NOT true of our religion and our beliefs. Quite frankly, this is why Pope John Paul II published an Encyclical letter called Fides et ratio: Faith AND Reason (not "Faith INSTEAD OF Reason)!
Before I began my graduate studies in Theology, I remember wondering why seminarians had to study philosophy for four years before entering the major seminary. By the time I completed my degree, it became very very clear. In fact, I struggle most with Christology because I was lacking the philosophical background that would have enabled me to better grasp the terms used, their definitions and their development over the centuries. I have come to learn that without a solid grounding in philosophy, one cannot fully enter into a study of Theology. So it was that throughout our three years, our professors brought in different points of philosophy in order to give us that basis. As it is, I now understand the importance of philosophy and of course, the development of theology which was understood through the powers of the human intellect, combing both what we can know of God and our world through natural reason with the supernatural gift of Faith.
This great myth that Christianity as a whole, and Catholicism more specifically, does not engage reason tends to reveal the great intellectual dishonesty of those making such an accusation.
The Church has always used philosophy in the development of theology, whether to properly define terms, to explore the deepest meanings of them and how they apply in light of Divine Revelation.
For anyone who has ears to hear, let them hear:
I offer you this evidence:
St. Justin Martyr's Apologia:
From Chapter 2, Justice Demanded:
Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honour and love only what is true, declining to follow traditional opinions, if these be worthless. For not only does sound reason direct us to refuse the guidance of those who did or taught anything wrong, but it is incumbent on the lover of truth, by all means, and if death be threatened, even before his own life, to choose to do and say what is right.
Aristides the Philosopher, The Apology :This entire work is reason and faith; it's impossible to take small excerpt without removing it from its proper context.
St. Augustine, Confessions
As Augustine was firmly philosophical and wrote many works, I offer from his Book 10, Chapter 6 title heading from Confessions: Chapter 6. The Love of God, in His Nature Superior to All Creatures, is Acquired by the Knowledge of the Senses and the Exercise of Reason.
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Summa Theologica: This work is a masterpiece of Faith and Reasons, utilizing a particular format which sets forth a question, begins with the objections to the question, supports the objections, and then one by one, replies to them. It is so intensely logical and philosophical that many people struggle with the content. I confess to doing so myself. St. Thomas utilized the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and Augustine, among many others. This document is STILL used today in the serious study of Theology, and although some of it was speculative, we can thank St. Thomas for this work in the aid it became in the development of doctrine over the centuries.
I could go on and on, but as I only have one lifetime, one can find far more at New Advent: Fathers.
As our Church is a living Church, we have philosophers and theologians from our own age. John Paul II and Benedict XVI are both serious philosophers; George Weigel in Witness to Hope has a very large section in his book describing the philosophy of John Paul II, who himself gave us the great Papal Encyclical, "Fides et Ratio".
"On her part, the Church cannot but set great value upon reason's drive to attain goals which render people's lives ever more worthy. She sees in philosophy the way to come to know fundamental truths about human life. At the same time, the Church considers philosophy an indispensable help for a deeper understanding of faith and for communicating the truth of the Gospel to those who do not yet know it." (FR, 5)
It should be clear by now that the Catholic Church has always used philosophy as a handmaid to the higher science of Theology. It is through the use of philosophy, and thus, human reason, that the Church has been able to engage the human mind and heart in order to better open them to the higher powers of the soul through the light of Grace in the supernatural gift of Faith.
St. Paul himself spoke, in his letters, to the fact that children do childish things, but when they grow they must put away those things of childhood. So it is with Faith. A child may not be able to reason to the degree as an adult and will accept certain things on "blind faith", and so they must. But as the child grows, so does his intellect and he finds that he has questions about not just the natural world, but about the Creator; these questions are written upon his very heart!
My own "reversion" if that is what one wants to call it, was one of reason. I did not know my faith, I did not know my religion and did not understand it. I found I needed to seek the Truth, and in so doing, I had to study.
I am not Catholic through "blind faith" but through faith seeking understanding. Through the use of reason in light of Divine Revelation.
I am Catholic because it is Truth, and it is the fullness of Truth, it is the fullness of Christ. That is not to say that I know everything there is to know, but rather, I believe what I know, submit willfully to those things I do not understand, and will continue to use my intellect to seek understanding for those questions that may yet remain.
Faith without reason isn't faith; it's a sham.
And that's all I have to say about that.