A reader writes:
You quoted Einstein:
“In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God …”
The trouble is, what does Einstein mean by “personal God”? If, by this, he means the interventionist Santa Claus figure to whom we dutifully give a list of wants and demands every time we pray, then I am totally with him and think Christianity should have abandoned this God long ago. But if, by “give up the personal God” he means abandon a God who relates to each individual on a spiritually intimate level, then I can’t go that far.
I myself suffer from a somewhat crippling anxiety disorder, and there have been several times when I have called on God for help and felt something indescribable comforting me. I didn’t receive a magic- cure-all that made everything better again. I did, however, receive a spiritual companionship to help me endure the worst the illness had to offer. If atheists accuse me of being weak, I say to them “you’re exactly right, I can’t fight this illness by myself.” Fate is going to throw everyone some pretty unsavory curve balls sooner of later. Christianity is unique in that it tells us we don’t have to face those curve balls alone.