Well done, you’ve made it. This is the third and final piece in my series of articles about Paul Tillich’s “The Courage to Be”. We’ve looked at the anxieties of death and meaninglessness, and now we’ll look at the anxiety of guilt. I’d like to think the subject matter got cheerier as I went through Tillich’s types of anxiety, but I would be kidding myself. What Tillich writes about is existential, radical, and somewhat uncomfortable to think about. Participating in God knowing that you will die one day? Believing in God whilst knowing that life is meaningless?
Do you ever look back and wish you could have a do-over? Josh reflects on his freshers' week with a tinge of regret, but ultimately realises that he wouldn't be where he is today if his first year of uni had looked any different.
"Paul Tillich’s “The Courage to Be” is arguably one of the most important theological books to be published in the 20th Century, particularly in the field of non-classical theology. It’s also quite hard to read." In this new blog series by Nathan Olsen he explains what Tillich was going on about, why it should be important to us, and how we can apply it to our current political, social and spiritual situation.
When I was a teenager, I remember walking through Birmingham city centre and passing two groups of religious evangelists. One group were shouting at passersby, talking about hellfire and brimstone. The other group were engaging people who approached them in conversation.
“Are you saved?” the street preacher asked, looking suspiciously at my glittery nails. After I said yes, we both looked at each other in awkward silence: he couldn’t believe the glitter-man was a Christian, and I couldn’t believe people still do the whole turn-or-burn on the streets. Whilst the whole encounter left me a bit uncomfortable, I think the reason evangelism is considered a taboo subject in certain circles is simply a matter of method (how) and content (what), rather than reluctance to commit to the great commission.