Our Christian Beliefs About God

Our Sunday morning study group,  which makes a habit of studying Christian beliefs, has been discussing a chapter from the book ‘Philosophers and Philosophies’ titled ‘Christianity Without Belief in God’. The book is by Frederick Copleston.

 The essence of the chapter is this… For an increasing number of people, our christian beliefs in the existence of a God is becoming impossible in a sense analogous to that in which it has become impossible for most people to believe that there are elves in the forest.

It is not a case of one’s being able to demonstrate the non-existence of elves. Rather it is a case of one’s seeing no good reason for accepting the hypothesis that they do exist. The events, which might be said to be the activities of the elves, can be explained in other ways.

Analogously, in view of what seems to be the massive silence and the conspicuous inactivity of the alleged divine being, and in view of the fact that events that were once explained in terms of divine activity are now explained in other ways, belief in such a God has become a superfluous hypothesis.”

In addition to those who do not believe, there are vast numbers of Christians who would describe God in some way other than the description found in the Bible.

This, of course, is not a new discovery. Humanity has been trending in this direction for (at least) the past two hundred years. Bishop John A. T. Robertson said as much in his book, ‘Honest to God’ written in 1963. This trend is beginning to grow exponentially as the intelligence level of the nation and the world increases.

In my opinion, the Church must embrace a new understanding of God and begin to gently infuse it into the its liturgy and teachings, before the critical mass of non-belief in the traditional description of God causes the Church to fail completely. Copleston suggests the possibility of an understanding that moves “from God to god”.

It would seem to me… a new approach to religion and/or spirituality must become an urgent priority of the Church if it intends to survive the 21st century as anything more than a fringe organization among the uninformed and uneducated…

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Date: Friday, 23. March 2012 0:16
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