Another way to describe the dilemma for religious faith is that pluralism creates social conditions in which God is no longer an inevitability. While it is possible to believe in God, one has to work much harder at it because the framework of belief is no longer present to sustain it. The presumption of God and of his active presence in the world cannot be easily sustained because the most important symbols of social, economic, political, and aesthetic life no longer point to him. God is simply less obvious than he once was, and for most no longer obvious at all – quite the opposite.
– James Davison Hunter, To Change the World, 203.
I posted this quote yesterday when I wrote about To Change the World. The notion that God is “less obvious than he once was” is a big statement and, while it may not be theologically nuanced, is an interesting observation about the diminishing pursuit of and awareness of God in today’s culture.
- Is Hunter right that “the most important symbols” of our time no longer point to God, making God “less obvious”?
- For society and for the church, what is gained and lost if Hunter’s observation is true?