The Lost Dimension In Religion
Those of us who consider ourselves religious could be in for a rude awakening. The majority of the world has faith in a power greater than our own, but are we religious beings? According to Paul Tillich, we are not. He defines religion as the state of being grasped by an infinite concern. Tillich believes that men have lost this concern and religion is nothing more than an attempt to regain what we have lost. However, his “definition” of religion is really no more than an opinion. Even if Tillich is correct in his opinion, there are thousands of people who are living their lives with an infinite concern. In fact, anyone who is investing his life in an infinite being has an infinite concern. Religion has not been lost by all men, but it can often be confused for something it is not
Tillich’s opinion of religion can easily be debated, however he has several points which cannot be denied. First of all, religion is experiencing a revival of interest in churches and campuses across the country. However, a large number of these newly religious people are just spectators. They experience no growth, and spend little or no time out of church trying to grasp an infinite concern. Spiritually they are dead, and they are living their spiritual lives in what Tillich calls the horizontal dimension. Secondly, Evangelists, such as Billy Graham, encourage the growth of people who claim to be religious, but are spiritually dead. Evangelists often recruit people who only join religious organizations to feel good about themselves during the week. The idea that religious people do not exist may or may not be true. In the end you must decide for yourself if you believe religious people can actually exist. Regardless of your opinion, Tillich’s ideas stretch the minds of religious believers, and therefore, he has written a successful piece of work.