Why Do We believe in God?

# 1

We can answer this question from a couple of different perspectives, one of them being existential anxiety. 

People experience despair and terror from the self-aware knowledge of the inevitability of their own deaths. 

“If a man were a beast or an angel, he would not be able to be in dread. [That is, if he were utterly unself-conscious or totally un-animal.] Since he is a synthesis he can be in dread . . . man himself produces dread." “The spirit cannot do away with itself [i.e., self-consciousness cannot disappear]. ... Neither can man sink down into the vegetative life [i.e., be wholly an animal].... He cannot flee from dread.” - Søren Kierkegaard.1

What then do people do to find distress?  Very often we can observe a build up, in our selves and others, of practices and systems of thinking based the avoidance of "terror, perdition [and] annihilation [that] dwell next door to every man.”2 In other words we deny or repel the basic truth about our lives. The consequences of doing so can be dire. The habits we acquire are lies we tell ourselves and in the end they enslave us. 

Jesus Christ addressed such issues in his teaching. In the Gospel of John 8:31-38 he says: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practises sin is a slave to sin.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

We might agree with the possibility that the teachings of Jesus could bring some relief. A general idea of “love one another '' supports the meaning of life. This is not what Jesus is saying here. The Gospel stories present Jesus as one who has the real power to transform human life. 

Our greatest anxiety as people originated as a result from the judgment of man. This is the meaning of the story of Garden of Eden: “…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” - Genesis 2:17

Why then do we believe in God? We accept with our faith that God was active in the history of humanity and brought the solution. First of all, Jesus Christ in the incarnation, death and resurrection experienced the agony of dread in its highest form that is why he understands us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” - Gospel of John 3:16-17. Secondly, he chose to bear the consequences of the judgement of men so we may be relieved. And lastly, he conquered death by resurrection offering us life everlasting.

1.  Kierkegaad, The Concept of Dread, 1844 (Princeton: University Press ediotion, 1957, translated by Walter Lowrie), p.139.
2. Ibid., p.40.


ELCE member

Resurrection Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England a registered charity in England and Wales (number 220466) and in Scotland (number SC041204).

The British Lutheran


25 Westfield Lane, Cambridge, CB4 3QS, United Kingdom
Email Adress
Phone Number
Pastor: 079 5606 1004

After-Service Tea