Tillichâ€™s thesis in Dynamics of Faith is that faith is the act of giving oneself to something larger than oneselfâ€”something external to oneself and greater than oneselfâ€”and in doing so, one discovers oneâ€™s true self. It is rooted in the concept of becoming, the idea that one is always in a state of becoming; faith is the expression or medium by which this act of becoming is generated. It is also linked to the idea expressed by St. Paul that in placing oneâ€™s faith in Christ, one is able to put on the new man. The point of faith is to be connected to the ultimate concern, which for the Jews of the Old Testament was God: God was the end pointâ€”the end all be all. Tillich makes this apparent early on in the book, and the concept that is being expressed is certainly valid. The trouble that Tillich aims to address is how the faith of the Jews of the Old Testamentâ€”their focus on the ultimate concerneâ€”i.e., union with Godâ€”can be translated into the language of today so that a modern person can appreciate it and apply it to his own life.[footnoteRef:2] [2: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith (NY: Harper, 2001), 3.]
One of the problems with Tillichâ€™s approach, however, is that he longsâ€”as he clearly states in the introductory remarks to the bookâ€”to see the word â€œfaithâ€ dropped from the lexicon of the English language. He does not like it, does not want to use it, but is compelled to because of the â€œpowerful tradition [that] protects it.â€[footnoteRef:3] This is troubling primarily because faith is a stumbling block only for those who do not believe. 1 Corinthians 1:23 states, â€œwe preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.â€ In other words, Christ and faith in Christ is an obstacle when one has no belief. Faith is an act, as Tillich correctly proposes, but it is one that has to be rooted in the mind and expressed in the will. There has to be good reason to have faith. Tillich also indicates this: the problem he holds is that faith is a word that triggers too many emotions in people today: it has too much bad blood associated with itâ€”too many wars, too many horrors, too much suffering, too much hope, too much emotionalism, too little reason and rationality. [3: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, xxiii.]
It is a point that Walker Percy makes in some his works: faith is a dead word and should be replaced, but of course Percy like Tillich arrives at the conclusion that it cannot be replaced. The reason that Percy gives, however, is different from that given by Tillich. Percy holds that the term faith cannot be replaced because it is the realityâ€”the word used by God Himself: faith is what He wants from us, and as such, there is to be no thought of trying to get around it. As embarrassing and frustrating and hard as it may be to talk about faith, it has to be done, and the more confident and securely one can talk about it, the more likely one is to generate the act of faithâ€”the act of becoming as Tillich describes itâ€”that is needed to become truly united with God and the Trinity.
Tillichâ€™s thesis is proved by referring to the Scriptures as well as to philosophy. He combines theology and philosophy in order to show what faith is and how it works, invoking a new kind of idea or concept of how faith can be imagined for the reader of the modern world. Tillich describes faith as the ultimate concern and provides the example of the person concerned with success. Faith is an expression of concernâ€”and religious faith is an expression of the ultimate concern, which is successful union with God.[footnoteRef:4] Tillich explains this fully and convincingly and the example of the businessman who is concerned with success in business helps to show exactly what he means by concern and faith as the state of ultimate concern. The ultimate concern, of course, is the question of what is the point of lifeâ€”why are we here; where are we going? Why do we do the things we do? Tillich aims to show that faith is there to help us answer these questions by showing us how to find the answers in Christ. [4: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 4.]
As the aim of Tillich is to explain the necessity of faith to the modern reader, though he does not believe that faith is a good word, as it has been corrupted over time by inappropriate sentiments and ideas connected with it, Tillich attempts to situate the explanation in a theoretical field that tends to complicate the concept more than it needs to be. Faith should be approached simply and humbly. These should be the conditions for discussing faithâ€”intellectual theories and philosophical notions can be used of course, but the modern mind is just as much out of sorts with these ideas as it is with the notion of faith. In order for the modern to be able to approach faith correctly, there has to be a submission of the will. The will must be willing, in other words, to stop asserting Self and let God begin to assert some of His own messages.
By focusing on Freud at times, Tillich shows that his own approach is somewhat outdated. While Freud certainly brought new ideas and expressions to the field of psychology and psychiatry, it is hardly necessary to include Freud in a discussion of faith, as any investigation into the id, ego and superego is enough to make one feel disjointed and not in control of what should otherwise be a very simple, controlled process. To have faith, one makes an act of faith. Just like to have a home, one makes an act of building the home. Tillich gives too much room to a discussion of the psychology of having faith, which distracts from the aim of faith, which is God. In order to strengthen the concept of faith, one simply needs to strengthen the concept of God. The stronger that God and Christ are in the imagination, the more easily faith can be generated and the more likely one is to want to unite oneself to God. Tillichâ€™s problem is that he fails to generate this strong sense of God for the reader. Instead, he grounds his theoretical approach to faith in statements like this: â€œAlso important for the understanding of faith is the polarity between what Freud and his school call ego and superego. The concept of the superego is quite ambiguous. On the one hand, it is the basis of all cultural life because it restricts the uninhibited actualization of the always-driving libido; on the other hand, it cuts off manâ€™s vital forces, and produces disgust about the whole system of cultural restrictions, and brings about a neurotic state of mind.â€[footnoteRef:5] If neurosis is the end result of the Freudian model, why bring it up at all? The modern mind is already awash in neurosisâ€”getting away from it by bringing simple, clear concepts to the table would help to show the shallowness of the Freudian conceit. However, Tillich does a sufficient job of discounting the Freudian model so that if any of his readers are enamored of it, his description will at least help to give them something more to think about, and a reason for considering that the Freudian model is at best too narrow in terms of how it addresses the human being. [5: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 6.]
What is especially interesting about Tillichâ€™s approach is that he gives focus to â€œdistinguishing true and false ultimacy,â€[footnoteRef:6] which allows him to present the idea that the ultimate ecstasy is union with Godâ€”not nationalism or sex or any other object. God is alone the most ultimate thing in the world, and thus faith should be about God and should orient man towards God. [6: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 13.]
Tillichâ€™s main points are presented in a methodical way, and are explained with logical sequences of thought and supported by argumentation. The assumptions that lie behind his points include conceptions of where the modern mind currently isâ€”what it has taken to heart, where it needs to be redirected, and how it should be addressed. Tillichâ€™s goal, after all, is to convince the modern mind that faith (in spite of its dead word syndrome) is a much needed state of being that should be pursued. Thus, Tillich address concepts such as myth to try to get the modern mind around the obstacle of Christ and God just being stories that are not true or real, and if not true or real then therefore not needed as something that has to be believed in or pursued with all of oneâ€™s heart and mind.[footnoteRef:7] [7: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 53.]
Tillich, for instance, does not deny myth or its power of suggestion but rather argues that one should not be discouraged by them. Christianity he seems to imply, as Tolkein did, is a true mythâ€”a real myth whose story is true. For that reason, Tillich asserts that â€œmyths are always present in every act of faith, because the language of faith is the symbol.â€[footnoteRef:8] What one must remember is that Creation is not a â€œmagic act which happened once upon a time,â€[footnoteRef:9] but rather a reality that actually happened with real people coming as a resultâ€”from Adam to the virgin birth of the Messiah. This is the reality and if it feels untrue, one is not looking through the eyes of objectivity but rather allowing oneself to be cornered by the attack of the mythologists. Tillich does a reasonably good job of addressing these issues and problems throughout the book. [8: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 56.] [9: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 59.]
My overall opinion of the book is that it is good and worth reading if only to have a new perspective on the matter of faith and how a serious thinker of the 20th century found it necessary to approach it to help modern minds understand it and be more open to it. This perspective can always help to add more ideas to oneâ€™s own understanding, not only of faith, but of ways in which it can be practiced and supported.
However, some of Tillichâ€™s methods seem counter-productive and time consuming, especially for a modern mind. Many moderns are full of Self rather than of convictions or ideological principles that need to be dismantled in so theoretical or methodical way. Most beliefs can easily be destroyed in a matter of moments by simply rooting out the basis of those beliefsâ€”which for moderns tends to be the Self. By pointing out the emptiness and hollowness of Self, a more reasonable, easy and quick approach to faith can be provided. This is the basic idea that forms the basis of my opinion about the book.
What I expected to learn when I picked up the book was something about how faith needs to be redefined in the modern era so that it makes sense for a people who are entering into a post-modern world, where skepticism reigns supreme. I was somewhat surprised in parts where Tillichâ€™s arguments and examples were clear and lucid and convincing, and bothered in other parts where it seemed that the focus lingered over minutiae and details that did not matter to me in any significant way. These moments were rare, however, and what I appreciated most was the way in which the topic of faith and reason were joined: for example, when Tillich states that the â€œestrangement of faith and of reason in themselves and in their mutual relationship must be overcome and their true nature and relation must be established within actual life,â€[footnoteRef:10] I am surprised and impressed and pleased that the topic is approached. Overall, my expectations were met and I was satisfied with the experience of reading this book. I obtained some new ideas and directions for approaching the subject of faith that I could ruminate upon and consider over time, while deciding how they applied to my own life and whether I could derive meaning and substance from them. [10: Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, 90.]
Tillich, Paul. Dynamics of Faith. NY: Harper, 2001.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY!!!
We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.
Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.
Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.
Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.
Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.
Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.
We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.
Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.
You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.
Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.
Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.
You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.
You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.
Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.
We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.
We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.
We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.
Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!
Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality
Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.
We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.
We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.
We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.
We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.