HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 20 no. 2 (2019)

THE CHALLENGE OF SECULARIZATION TO THE CHRISTIAN BELIEF IN GOD

Jove Jim S. Aguas

 

Abstract:

The secular ideals have impacted on the many aspects of our modern human life but the challenge of secularization is very much felt in the realm of religion especially in Christianity. We can observe that the more society modernizes the level of its religiosity lessens. With the dominance of science, politics and economics in rational discourses and the relevance of technology, the ideology of globalization and the attitude of consumerism and materialism, religious beliefs, practices, values and institutions are losing their relevance to human life and society. Societies whose religious values are historically embedded in their social institutions are continuously moving away from their religious roots towards a nonreligious orientation. In this paper I focus on the challenge of secularization and secularism to religion specifically to the Christian belief in God. First, I show that although secularization is a recent phenomenon its philosophical roots can be traced back to the modern times where some Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers challenged the theocentric discourse of medieval thinkers. This set the stage for secularism as a counter discourse to the medieval belief in God. Second, that out of this modern thinking about God emerged two distinct attitudes towards the question of God – the attitude of the philosophers who although did not totally dismiss the notion of God reduce God to a mere idea or a product of human imagination, and on the other hand the attitude of the believers who continue to believe in the living God. Third, that although one can argue against the position of the non-believing philosophers and counter the position of secularism one appropriate response is self-criticism, that is, for the believers to take a hard look on themselves and see if God and religion are still relevant in their personal and social affairs.