Monday, May 28, 2018. It is part of human life to try to understand who we are, where we come from, where we go. We search for insight and orientation, we search for temporal and spatial perspective for our life. And we want to know what we can expect, we act based on will, emotions, instinct, reason and a basic understanding of our world.
But what is part of this world? What is our idea of all that is? Human history always had various components of our understanding of this world. Let us look into this, and also try to understand the role of faith for human life.
The world as it is
Humans have always understood that the world follows laws. We use natural laws from morning to evening. We breath air, we use our eyes and ears, we work with gravity and motion, with the succession of day and night, summer and winter, spring and harvest.
At the same time, humans have always taken the spiritual world serious. This can be traced back to the earliest human history. The belief in God, in the spiritual world, has been strong for all human history. But do we understand the religions? There is a science of religion, which tries to describe the laws and logic of religious belief. Can it tell the truth from what is wrong? Does it have this type of category at all? Or is it an atheistic science which can observe phenomena, but is basically blind for the validity of content and for its reality? Keep the question in mind for later discussion …
First of all, let us look into the beginning of the bible. The Jewish and Christian world view sees God in the beginning. He is the creator of the whole universe, of heaven and earth. Look into Genesis 1, the first book of Moses:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1)
My Faith …
Christian faith is the invitation to discover God as a personal vis-a-vis. God is the origin and source of all what is. He is personal, he wants to talk to you, to relate to you, to be your partner and your “father in heaven”. Many terms, images and phrases are used to describe this relationsip.
For humans today it is possible to live their life without God. That has always been the case. We see life without God back in the earliest human manuscripts. We also find the struggle of faith in these manuscripts. It is highly exciting! Why? Since this God described in the bible is holy. We find an insight in these books, which from the very beginning - as long as you can trace anything back in history - communicates the image of a holy God, who started it all.
Justice and the ability to judge ideas and actions is one of the characteristic human features. The idea of a holy God is strongly linked to this ability. We know what truth is. We know justice. We know love. We know what reliability and care are. We also know hatred, ignorance and violence. We know it all from human experience. The biblical books have a very clear idea of the role of God in this.
You can start with a completely agnostic or even atheistic world view. No problem for me - I myself started my spiritual journey with basic questions and without much assumptions. But then, let us discover what is said about God in the bible. Let us discover what faith is about - not a twisted strange image of faith, but the biblical idea of faith, trust, true humility and true mercy. And then let us ask what is real, what realitiy has to give us. We might well discover that this creation is more than just a bunch of natural laws, that there is this God which is proclaimed in the biblical books. And we might discover something unbelievable and fantastic, … come and start this journey of discovery! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts