Difficulties in Christian Thought

Only a world view that presents the idea of God, the acknowledgment of God, and faith in God can be called a religion.  If the views do not have it, there is no religion. This belief can be called in any way: shamanism, fetishism, astrology, magic. In such a way, this is not a religion; it is pseudo-religion, the degeneration of religion.

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The definition of God caused difficulties in Christian thought. Plato, a student of Socrates, had an idea: the first elements (simple things that do not have any difficulty) cannot be defined. They are impossible to describe. Indeed, we can identify the complex things through simple ones. There is a number of answers to the question “Who is God?”. Christianity says that God is the simplest creature that exists. He is not the reality that one can think over and understand it. On the one hand, it says that God is a Spirit, and as a simple creature, cannot be expressed by any human words and concepts, for any word is a distortion in some way. On the other hand, Christians are faced with the fact of revelation of God given to them in the Scriptures and the experience of many saints. That is, God says of Himself to man in his own language. Although these words are insufficient and not complete, they are necessary for a person as they indicate him/her that he/she has to do in order to come, at least partly, to a saving knowledge and the vision of God. The other noteworthy qustion is “What is a Kingdom of God?” Encyclopedia Britannica states, “Kingdom of God, also called Kingdom Of Heaven,  in Christianity, the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfillment on Earth of God’s will.”

The views of many contemporary Christian theologians were not similar: each of them considered the notion of God’s existence using different ideas.

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Speaking about defining God and His existence, Paul Tillich was the first theologian who fully supported the concern of “God as being itself”. Considering God as the Ground of Being, he was often mistaken for an atheist despite his beliefs in the divine will.

John Hick argued that Christian faith is based rather on religious experience than on propositional evidence. Hick defended Christian faith against the evident criticisms of dominant logical positivists. Hick also developed his “soul-making” theodicy in which he proved that God does not allow evil and suffering in the world with the aim to transform humans into virtuous creatures capable to follow His will.

According to Masson, Rahner emphasized “God is a mystery—a reality who is known and loved, but only reflexively and indirectly, as the ever-receding horizon of the human spirit. God remains a mystery in this sense even in self-communication to humanity through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. With this participation of God in an earthly history of human interconnectedness, something of God is anticipated—known reflexively and indirectly. Conversely, God is implicitly rejected in every refusal of truth, freedom, and love“.

Karl Barth believed that “God is he who He is in the act of His revelation. God seeks and creates fellowship between Himself and us. But He is this loving God without us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the freedom of the Lord who has His life from Himself.”

Dietrich Bonheoffer was one of the most prominent theologians of his time. In order to describe a new approach to understanding the relationship between the religion of Christianity and the modern people, he has created such notions as “Religionless Christianity”. Also, he was the main supporter of the movement “Death of God”.

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In conclusion, it should be said that God has many names. He exists in everyone who believes in Him. It may be also said that God is a collection of all the moral qualities of the individual as well as the absence of evil in human nature.

One cannot deny that the religion of Christianity profoundly influenced the entire world, especially the development of civilization. Many praiseworthy things were done in the name of God. However, there existed fundamental difficulties in Christian thinking and defining of God.  The main cause to it is that many people believe in materialistic but not spiritual things.

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