A brief history of your universe, Hamlets Moderne:
Modern man, what a piece of work. Wired framed with thick strands of Epicureanism, a 3rd century BC philosophy that sees God as remote, man now considers himself the centerpiece of the universe and without need for a Potter’s hands. So what if the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old and you are an of late attendee!
The Roman poet Lucretius, a disciple of Epicurus’s teachings and someone who lived about 70 years before Jesus, promoted the “god is angry” meme along with Epicurean atomism, the original theory of evolution. And so today, even when a person finally comes to believe in God, they do so through Epicurus’ eyes and ears. What then do we mean when we say God is silent? Perhaps, “Why, God must be angry.” “God must be off somewhere.” “God is just like us and not easy to get along with.”
Plastered onto modern man’s Epicurean wire frame is chewed-paper papier-mâché reason. The paper, formed into the shape of the Thinker, became The Enlightenment. And, with man in a newly acquired coat of shellac – solipsistic authority – God was no longer deemed incommunicado but rather God was deemed dead. As such modern man would soon decide that truth-seeking should be divided up into natural science and natural science. Faith was sent to purgatory to wait its turn.
“Indeed, the Enlightenment was, as a whole, one long determination to get rid of the big, bad boss upstairs. That is why one of the main drivers was the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Had there been a god who was running the show, he certainly wouldn’t have allowed such a thing, on All saint’s Day in particular, when everyone was inside the collapsing churches. So, with Voltaire and others, Europe pushed God upstairs out of sight, and many in America followed suit.” N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture.
Then came German psychology: “God must be like your father and you hated your father ergo you will likely trend lesbian.”
And French intellectuals: Michel Foucault (1926-84) “was driven by an intense desire to find a substitute for communion with God.” Foucalt saw truth as a “regime” of beliefs and values linked to systems of political and economic power, a scientific, non-universal apparatus feeding into majority opinions.” For Foucalt truth was never objective and eternal but rather truth was seen as subjective and based on regimes of power (what my friends let me get away with saying) and changeable over time.
Democracy and your mind on self: “Freedom of thought and freedom of speech were proposed in theory, and in the practice of serious political reformers, in order encourage the still small voice of reason in a world that had always been dominated by fanaticism and special interests. How freedom of thought and speech came to mean the special encouragement and protection of fanaticism and interests is another of those miracles connected with the decay of the rational political order. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
Then, there’s Deconstructionism in all its chewed-paper on-the-floor glory: Interpreted truth with its suppression of reason through ‘creative means’ has replaced objective truth – more papier-mâché thinking. Subjectivity has become prominent, removing true context or history – and redefines knowing as “I thought it therefore it must be true.”
Speaking of subjectivity: Moral relativism deconstructs truth to form a synthesis of good and evil. Subjectivism now rules. The only thing allowed to be absolute are no absolutes, except as science dictates absolutes.
In bed with the American Dream: Academia has morphed from being a generator of intellectual pursuit into an assembly line for vocation. Student loans have been taken out with the expectation that a job will be handed out (for any area of study) along with a diploma at graduation. But, with no job forthcoming one is ‘left’ with no recourse other than to make others pay for my education. “I was promised one thing and didn’t get it. And, God, if there was a God, would be just like the system.”
Take me to the American Dream on time: Evangelical churches have pushed the gospel of the American dream (education, marriage, children, house, family, success in life, freedom, etc.) and not the Kingdom of God. “Didn’t God promise me success if I played by the rules I voted for?”
That, my friends is a very brief (and not all-inclusive) history of your universe. Hopefully you have begun to see why your modern thoughts might be projected onto God as doubts. Your brain’s debit card has been preloaded with many debits.
“They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.” Emily Dickinson
Is God silent? I do not think so. I believe that man has tuned out God on his every channel. Mankind has stopped looking for bread crumbs under the table. The bombarded hints are there. Or, as Oswald Chamber posited:
“Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly—God meets our life “…when it pleased God….”’
“Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Leave Room for God
Is this true? I wonder: the only time, the only time that God has been utterly silent towards a member of the human race was in reply to Jesus when he cried, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.”
Upcoming post: Quantum Theology and The Dispensation of Synchronicity