On April 8, 1966, Time magazine on their cover asked the question, Is God Dead?. The article inside of the magazine concluded that is a modern world like in 1966 many people thought that we have outlived our need for God. Fifty years later, Time Magazine revisited this issue and fifty years later Time magazine looked at the results of the 1966 article. They concluded that the article had a great influence on society, just as World War II and civil rights were part of the death-of-God movement, the disconnect that has always hovered at the edges of faith—how can an omnipotent God exist in a world with so much misery and injustice?—continues to press religious thinkers to grapple with how to sustain faith while living a mortal life.¨
The interesting thing about this subject is that this was not the first time this subject had been addressed. In his book, Old Errors and New Labels, back in 1931, Bishop Fulton Sheen talked about many of the same subjects but came up with a much different conclusion.
Bishop Sheen explained: No self-respecting periodical that boasts of its twentieth-century outlook is complete without an article once every few months on the subject: "Do we need a new God?" Just as there are those who believe we should change morality to suit our amorality, so there are those who believe we should change God to suit our godlessness. Attitudes concerning the new God have been divided between the camp of the Fundamental believers and that of the Modernists, both of which groups believe that there is no other religious group in the world. It is worth remarking at the outset that there really is another in the world, which numbers over three hundred million adherents, and which prides itself on being neither Fundamentalist nor Modernist—and that is the Catholic Church. It is not Fundamentalist, because more fundamental than Fundamentalism; it is not Modernist, because more modern than Modernism. Fundamentalism assumes that the Bible is fundamental. Catholicism retorts, as is pointed out elsewhere in these pages, that the Bible is not a book but a collection of books, and hence the question more fundamental than Fundamentalism is: Who gathered the books together, and declared that they would constitute a Bible, and be regarded as the revealed Word of God? To answer this question is to get to a body beyond a book, namely, a Church with a spirit; for Pentecost was not the descent of books on the heads of the Apostles but the descent of tongues. From that day on it was to be a tongue and a voice, and not a book, that would be fundamental in religion. The Church is not only more fundamental than Fundamentalism, but she is also more modern than Modernism, because she has a memory that dates back over twenty centuries; and therefore she knows that what the world calls modern is really very ancient—that is, its modernity is only a new label for an old error. Modernism has an appeal only to minds who do not know what is ancient, or perhaps antiquated. The Church is like an old schoolmaster who has been teaching generations and generations of pupils. She has seen each new generation make the same mistakes, fall into the same errors, cultivate the same poses, each believing it has hit upon something new. But she, with her memory, which is tradition, knows that they are making the same mistakes all over again, for in the wisdom born of the centuries she knows very well that what one generation calls modern the next generation will call unmodern. She knows also that Modernism is no more logical than a sect called "Three O'Clockism," which would adapt our gods and our morals to our moods at three o'clock. The Church knows too that to marry the present age and its spirit is to become a widow in the next. Having constantly refused to espouse the passing, she has never become a widow, but ever remains a mother to guide her children and to keep them not modern but ultra-modern, not behind the times but behind the scenes, in order that from that vantage-point they may see the curtain ring down on each passing modern fad and fancy. The arguments for the "new God" are generally twofold: first, the times demand it, and secondly, science requires it. Two false assumptions underlie these arguments, and the first is the confusion between a fact and an idea. There is a world of difference between "God" and "the idea of God." If I see a canary and call it a giraffe, I must revise my idea to suit the fact, the canary remaining a canary all the while. But if I am an architect, I may revise a house to suit my idea of the house or of an ideal house. In the first case, I change the idea to fit the fact; in the second, I change the fact to suit the idea. The two are not the same; in fact, the one condition that makes it possible for me to change the fact to suit my idea is that I be the creator, or cause of the fact. Applying this to God, the demand for a new God must mean either one of two things: either we must change the idea of God to suit God, or else we must change God to suit our new idea of God. In the first case, to change the idea to suit God is meaningless if God is unchanging. If He is unchanging, it is nonsense to say that God was one thing in the days of Israel and is another in the days of science. This is just like saying that two apples plus two apples made four apples in the days of Isaias, but do not in the days of Einstein.
Note the difference in tone. In 1931, Bishop Fulton Sheen recognized what the modernists were doing- were trying to take God out of the picture and substitute in man instead. When you believe that man is the superior in this situation, it only makes sense to turn everything around. In the modernist view Man created God in his own image. In a Catholic point of God created man in his image. There is a difference. We cannot have a God who is man because in conclusion it would be simply man exerting his authority over himself. The Good News Gospel that Bishop Sheen is spreading here is not that man loves God but that God loves man. He loves us unconditionally and without restraint. Man is not perfect, but God is. Man may never understand God fully on this earth but that does not mean that he should ever give up believing in God. When modern man gives up he commits that same old sin from long ago- the sin of mixing up cause and effect. God created us not it us who created God.