An anonymous question has been posed in my ask.fm account which reads: “You are a scholar who is being honed by the premier university in the Philippines. Assuming you’ve read a number of authors and intellectuals already who say that God is dead, has your faith in God been watered down or has it increased?“
This is how I answered: I do not think being exposed to ideas are responsible for how much faith we have in us. If so, I think the smarter one becomes, the less committed to the faith one becomes as well.
But I’ve seen and read individuals who have been exposed to atheistic ideas; some even espoused them at a certain point and yet still managed to keep and be strong in the faith.
Ideas, however, make us reflect inwardly on how much we know about our faith. And that reflection doesn’t diminish nor increase our faith, it merely exposes our faith.
That being said, I am glad to be in the University. I have been exposed to a lot of ideas, both theistic and atheistic, and they have helped me realize just how little I know about God and my relationship with Him. There have been times when I did in fact question my faith and how strong I am in it, yet oddly enough it is in the presence of new revelations from theistic Christian intellectuals and writers, not atheistic ones.
When faced by challenging athesitic arguments, I can simply resolve them in myself by going through the replies of older and more saintly minds than me. And I’ve yet to see an argument against God which Christian scholars have yet to address. I have also yet to see an atheistic idea which would actually change the manner by which I live my life. It seems as if I could be atheist and nothing would change. Change for the better, at least.
What troubles me and my faith is whenever an idea pops out all of a sudden from a reliable Christian intellectual and it has such a huge impact on how I live my life. And whether instances like than strengthen or weaken my faith I have no idea. What I do know is that thanks to such ideas, I am able to know myself more and how much I really know about God and His nature.
(The following is an additional note added in a status update I made after further reflection.)
Our faith can only be influenced by our surroundings, but our surroundings cannot determine just how much faith we have. If so, then it would not be our faith.
We are responsible for what we believe in. However, if what we believe in is God, this means that we are not alone. For if He really exists, He would not stop reminding us of it.