Is God relevant?

Britain, like many Western nations, has undergone dramatic changes in its attitude towards faith and religion during the last fifty years. In the middle of the twentieth century, most people still retained some connection with a church and Britain saw itself as a Christian country.

In the second decade of this millennium, there is a wide variety of views concerning the existence and identity of God. Atheists are growing in number and many of them claim that science justifies their unbelief. However, most people recognise something within them which knows that we are more than just an accidental collection of chemicals. Whilst many protest they are happy to live and then be no more, the loss of family and friends usually brings up to the surface our hope that this life is not all there is. The growth in number of “wayside shrines” at the site of road accidents and other tragic events are just one expression of this spiritual side of our natures.

Survey people in the street and you will find that the majority do have a belief in a god of some type. However, very few are able to tell you much about the god that they think is around somewhere. This vagueness appears to have multiple causes. It is not just that we now have communities in Britain which have brought different religions in with them. In fact these minorities often have clearer ideas about their god or gods than the indigenous population. It may be due in part to the growth of what has been called New Age spirituality - a pick-n-mix approach to spiritual things where people are encouraged to believe whatever makes them feel good. But again this is not the total explanation.

The Christian Church has to accept a significant amount of the responsibility, because for a long time it has failed to communicate a clear understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Different parts of the Church have emphasised different opinions about what Christianity is - and these sometimes conflict irreconcilably with one another. This confusion within the Church has undoubtedly contributed to the lack of clarity in public thinking. It has left most people to develop their own form of folk religion - even if it is still described in one way or another as Christianity.

Journey Into New Life has been written to help those who want to know if it is possible to be more sure about the existence of a God and what that God is like, if they are actually there. It is written from a Christian perspective because the authors have for many years benefited from living life in friendship with the God revealed to them by Jesus Christ.

Next: For those who are thirsty

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