If the things we see, hear, touch, taste and smell are the sum total of reality, then we are orphans cast adrift in a meaningless world. Life has no meaning, no purpose. People may try to construct their own meaning, but that leads to conflict with the meanings imagined by other people.
We have been taught that the world came into existence purely by accident, that everything around us is the product of random chance. We are taught that out thoughts are produced by random electrical impulses in our brain.
Think about that last statement for a moment. If it is true, then it can’t possibly be true. If the things we think and speak are produced by random, meaningless electrical impulses, then everything we think and speak is only noise, signifying nothing.
How can people cope with such a contradiction? In desperation, some people try to change who they are, others try to escape through drugs and some simply choose to exit this life altogether.
Belief in a transcendent reality is ridiculed; yet there is an innate urge in every person to seek meaning for life in something beyond himself. Some youth find temporary meaning in street gangs, risking their lives in order to belong to something beyond themselves. Many people are drawn to political ideologies that promise a better world, but lead to anger, hatred and conflict.
Transcendence is a belief that there is a reality that exists outside of this physical world and is not subject to the things and events of this world. Belief in a transcendent reality takes many forms. Deism is the belief that there is a god who made this world and has established principles for our well-being, but who holds himself aloof from us and does not directly communicate with us. Theism is the belief in a God who is personally interested in us, who hears us when we call upon Him and who does intervene in the affairs of this world and in our personal lives.
Christianity is that form of theism that believes that God sent His Son into this world to reveal His love and to open a way for those who will put all their trust and hope in Him, so that when this life ends they can join Him in that reality that transcends this present world. Such a belief enables us to know who we really are. It gives us purpose and hope, ends our inner conflict and enables us to be at peace with all people.