Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3 NRSV)
Previously, faith in God meant that I believed in a supernatural deity, and the consequence was to cast a shadow on anything that would seek to question such an ideal. Science and evolution then were closed books, for they depicted a world solely natural in origin and force. What I’ve since discovered is so much more wonderful, majestic and awe-inspiring than any faith-filled experience of the past.
Opening to the world of science and its constant discoveries has created a wow-factor like no other. In this day and age, the “things not seen” and the “things that are not visible” are brought within our reach. The unseen world of cells, molecules, atoms, and other structures are the building blocks of life. Does this then do away with faith? Certainly, faith in a God ‘out there’ really serves no purpose, and this Being is largely the projection of cultures, which the New Atheists rightly dismiss. There is, however, a place for a natural, this-worldly faith that can ground one in meaning and purpose.
This is the faith that currently consumes me. I can now speak of God as being at the very heart of all of life. I do not need to consider God to be some form of super-human entity, with a personality, in the way ‘he’ was related to in the Bible. And yet, I can take solace in human qualities such as love, hope, and faith, which are larger than any one person. Prayer is to take in the depth of life with deep awe and respect rather than to make a request for intervention; or it is to connect in with the global heart of the planet.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to break free from the ‘thought viruses’ of the past, and through our own questions, come to a way of seeing, thinking, and being that resonates with life in all its glory. Then, rather than view ideas as true or false, we can see them more as story, or poetry, or metaphor. What is heresy in one generation is orthodoxy in other. And on it goes.