Professor Eulalio R. Baltazar teaches philosophy at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.
Published by Newman Press. Paramus,, N.J.; New York, N.Y; Toronto; London, 1970. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Process theology applied to the problem of God and unbelief. Modern man can no longer go along with the idea that to have faith, one has to abandon the historical, secular and earthly — that, in effect, he has to surrender his very humanity.
The application of process philosophy accomplishes three things which the author considers necessary to make theology relevant today: (1) it reconciles theology with the scientific world, (2) it reconciles immanence and transcendence, and (3) it makes theological talk relevant.
- Chapter 1: The Possibility of Belief
Modern man can no longer go along with the idea that to have faith, one has to abandon the historical, secular and earthly — that, in effect, he has to surrender his very humanity. To bring back a sense of belief to the modern world, there is need of a reformulation and broadening of our theological understanding of belief based on an evolutionary view of reality.
- Chapter 2: Atheism and Non-Christian Religions
Belief, whether atheistic or theistic, is intrinsic to reason. The author examines the nature and character of atheistic humanism and non-Christian religions, and how such forms of religious belief are similar to and different from Christian belief.
- Chapter 3: Reasonability of Theistic Belief
One of the reasons for the denial of the reality of God by modern secularizers, by Sartre, Nietzsche, Marx, etc., was the identification of God with the other-worldly. Instead, God should be understood as the Creator-Ground of the universe in process. To attain the Ground is not a destruction of the universe or its abandonment, but its differentiation and fulfillment. God as Ground is not a threat to human growth, but rather the necessary condition for man’s fruition and maturation.
- Chapter 4: Eternity as the Fullness of Time
The author reformulates God’s eternity as the Fullness of Time and examines the implications of God as immanent in history and in human temporality.
- Chapter 5: The Absence of God and God-Language
Ordinary language and scientific language by their very nature abstract from ultimate questions. Religious language, on the other hand, deals with ultimate and eschatological questions. For the eschatological dimension, we cannot use scientific or ordinary models of language. In the present, as linguistic analysts have seen, God-talk is neither verifiable nor falsifiable. But it is false to conclude that therefore God-talk is meaningless in itself.
- Chapter 6: God and Human Freedom
Man is not merely a Cartesian thinking substance. So against Sartre, man is not merely a self-constituting free (indeterminate) consciousness, the ultimate and sufficient source of creativity. Man also derives his meaning from his pre-historical past, an important source for any adequate and valid anthropology, but which the existentialists do not consider.
The author summarizes his conclusions about the problem of God and unbelief, derived from process philosophy and Teilhard de Chardin.