“Faith”, according to Hebrews 11:1, “is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” The Danish theologian, Soeren Kierkegaard, wrote extensively on the topic of faith. According to Kierkegaard, you have an implicit relationship with God, one that you can nourish to growth, but won’t need to nourish in order to ensure its survival. It transcends time and space and it requires no words because it is all sense memory therefore no a priori or a posteriori truths can cover the depth of the relationship. God completely encompasses you. So while we, according to Kierkegaard, are condemned to create our own identity, our relationship with God will center us. The salvation of man is in this infinite openness of a relationship that never goes away.
While I have tried to boil his thought down to the very heart of the matter, I think it is still clear that there may be some truth to his work. Hegel, for instance, tried to systematize the existence of God. Kierkegaard criticized this, because, as he said; what would happen to mankind if the philosopher died before he could finish the system? Where would we be?
While recently reading Descartes, the same thought came to my mind. Descartes, in his 3rd Meditation, tries to prove the existence of God. The problem for Descartes is that his entire theory completely depends on the fact that he can prove God. While this ‘divine glue-job’ is somewhat nicely done, albeit with a few problems, it does not solve the questions Kierkegaard, or I, would have had for him. If the philosopher is not there to prove God for us, then what do we have? Nothing? I find it fallible, at best, to think that God’s existence depends, somehow, on mankind’s ability to prove Her/Him?! I tend to think that God would have to be so self-evident that one does not have to prove His or Her existence at all. Otherwise it would hardly be an omni-present God. All we really have to have then is faith. Faith gives us reason to leap into the delightful unreasoned reality where man can connect with God…just because S/He is, and I think there is some sense of real freedom in that.
What do you think?
– Linda Harris