Atheism in contemporary Theology
the Meaning of the Death of God:|
Protestant, Jewish and Catholic scholars explore atheistic theology
Bernard Murchland, editor (Vintage: NY 1967)
I think there is something fallacious in the inference that God is dead. Even as
a metaphor it is lacking. But it does alert us to the indisputable fact that
many men no longer detect anything of the Divine in their experience. As such
the death-of-God movement is related to the phenomenon of contemporary
atheism. Will Herberg ("The Death of God theology," National Review, 9
august 1966, p 771) rightly points out that the death of God theologians are
really saying that God has no meaning or relevance for modern
-Bernard Murchland, introduction, ix-x
Consequently, the radical problem concerns those human actions that both
believers and nonbelievers alike perform: plain, ordinary, nonecclesiastical--in
a word, secular-actions. In such actions how does a man of faith in Jesus Christ
differ from a man without such faith? ...
One common solution is to point to their different motivations. The Christian
acts in imitation of Jesus Christ, but the atheist acts because he believes in
justice and equality, and because he has compassion upon those who suffer.
However, this solution breaks down. For the Christian may also share the
motivations of the atheist; and the atheist may frankly admit that he sees in
Christ a model, without accepting "all the other things" about
- Michael Novak, "The Christian and the atheist"