Dialogical dimension of the religious faith
Dialogical character of religious faith is realized primarily in the relationship between God and men. It seems that a genuine dialogue with God came to be only in the Biblical religions. There is no such dialogue in pantheistic religions, or pantheism or contaminated (that is those in which gods are personifications of the forces of nature, social entities or mental states). The initiator of this dialogue is God himself. “God loved us first” (1Jn 4,19), chose us and loved us “before the world was made” (Ep 1,4). Already in the Old Testament, God’s relations with men are presented in the image of all the positive family relationships: God wants to be like father to us, like mother, like a spouse, and Goel (next of kin, required to come to help in a desperate situation). The Bible is probably the only holy book in which there is the idea of the covenant of God with men. The crowning gift of His love for us is, of course, His Son equal to Him in the divinity: God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life (cf. 1 Jn 3,16; Jn 4,10). The experience of God as Someone very close required an entirely new structure of worship. It is obvious in religion that on the part of man there must be an answer to God’s love: if God deigned to come so close to us, we should also come close to God. The regularity of prayer, worship and celebration expresses in human terms our desire to be always close to God and in His holy presence to go through our lives.
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