Dilemma of Contemporary Thinking About God
I can’t see my faith, but I can feel it…
I can feel it because I believe it…
Because I believe, i never give up
Because I don’t give up, miracles happen
In this dilemma, the problem is always the necessity of God in relation to the world. Our basic concepts of who God is comes from the Sacred Scriptures and philosophy. It is because of our ideas that our finite minds begin to ask, ‘Does God really exist or not? If not, we can also ask ourselves, ‘Is God a concern to us or not?’ These questions arise when we will experience sufferings, pains, chaos, miseries, and even the death of others.
In the middle ages, the Christian philosophers and theologians proved the existence of God through the human experiences, that is why we have the five ways of St. Thomas Aquinas. The common denominators were, God was the foundation of all in this world and the cause of everything because he was uncaused. Human beings and all creation depend in the mercy of God in order to exist but God does not depend on man. The classical thinkers view God outside the world. As humans who are finite beings, we must ask God to help us in our daily living in order to survive.
In the modern world and even until now, atheism rises in every part of the globe. From the time of Descartes to the twenty-first century, there are still these unconvinced people about the relationship of God with the world. The rise of poverty, famine, economic downfall, suffering everywhere, and even injustices coax human beings to think about God, whether God concerns them or just merely the product of there minds, about their dreams of someone who can solve their problems in life. As Feuerbach would say, “We are projecting God that we believe in what the best man could be.” The modern philosophers believed that the God was a threat because God was indifferent to human beings and did not pay concern to the human situations. God was not affected by the human activity and so, humans must do their best to act for themselves and for his own good, and thus excludes the idea of God- who is outside in this world. Therefore, the atheist would ask, if God really exists, ‘why are there sufferings?’ Isn’t God a pure act, uncaused, perfect and intelligent being? Therefore, God is not part of the corrupted world.
The two periods of philosophy, from the theist and atheist, there had been ideas of God and His relation in the world. We as Christians believe that ‘God-is-with-us’. In the mystery of the incarnation, God lives among us. From the medieval notion of God who is a pure act, unchanging, and different from this world, the God of Christians now lives as a human being. He became part of this world. In the atheist notion of God who is the product of man’s imaginative idea, God now becomes a reality into the human history.
Yes, we cannot deny the human sufferings and even human corruption but God lives among us in order to lift us to the eternal glory. In the person of Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, with the power of the Holy Spirit, God took the form of man in order to save us from the corporeal world. Every human experience of God is the experience of “presence.” God wills that human persons can experience by means of the Church, which continues the message and mission of Christ into the world, this “presence.” He is part of our history. Therefore, God is outside of this world yet close to us, which means he loves us even if we cannot see anymore his physical body. So the responsibility lies in each one of us because ‘God-is-with-us.’