The Presence of God

“In a world in which God is believed to exist, the primary fact is relationship. There is God, there is me, and there is the relationship between us, for God is closer to me than I am to myself. In a world without God, the primary reality is ‘I’, the atomic self. There are other people, but they are not as real to me as I am to myself. Hence all the insoluble problems that philosophers have wrestled with unsuccessfully for two and a half thousand years. How do I know other minds exist? Why should I be moral? Why should I be concerned about the welfare of others to whom I am not related? Why should I limit the exercise of my freedom so that others can enjoy theirs? Without God, there is a danger that we will stay trapped within the prison of the self.”

“…But ‘I’, like Adam long ago, is lonely. ‘I’ is bad at relationships. In a world of ‘I’s, marriages do not last. Communities erode. Loyalty is devalued. Trust grows thin. God is ruled out completely. In a world of clamorous egos, there is no room for God.”

“So the presence or absence of God makes an immense difference to our lives. We cannot lose faith without losing much else besides, but this happens slowly, and by the time we discover the cost it is usually too late to put things back again.”

The Great Partnership, Introduction, p. 9