From Fear and Trembling:
From Fear and Trembling:
I have been thinking a little about “faith” – what is it? Too often we create two poles – faith and reason – and simply ask where a person stands. Is faith simply a choice to sidestep reason and accept something on authority? I wonder if it is not a little more fundamental – faith is the movement from being a human being to becoming a person, a single individual.
So I did a quick google and found this article from a psychologist, The Nature of Faith. The article has a nice start but I think the author misses something:
Finally, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition, there is another important element to faith. Faith is not mere belief in the claim that God exists. Just believing a statement has little to do with one’s life, in many respects. The New Testament takes faith to include belief, but it goes beyond this as well. Faith also includes trust, in this case trust in God. So perhaps the best definition of faith is something like this: Faith is trusting in God, based on sound reasons.
Yes, faith in a statement about something is not faith in the Christian sense. Yet there is something more fundamental that the article misses: for the Christian tradition “faith” is not in a something but in a someone. Faith is primarily relational – it is mutual and reciprocal. It is a choice! But a choice to receive.
Episode 0 to start the feed.
Of what use would it be to me to discover a so-called objective truth, to work through the philosophical systems so that I could, if asked, make critical judgments about them, could point out the fallacies in each system; of what use would it be to me to be able to develop a theory of the state, getting details from various sources and combining them into a whole, and constructing a world I did not live in but merely held up for others to see; of what use would it be to me to be able to formulate the meaning of Christianity, to be able to explain many specific points — if it had no deeper meaning for me and for my life? And the better I was at it, the more I saw others appropriate the creations of my mind, the more tragic my situation would be, not unlike that of parents who in their poverty are forced to send their children out into the world and turn them over to the care of others. Of what use would it be to me for truth to stand before me, cold and naked, not caring whether or not I acknowledged it, making me uneasy rather than trustingly receptive. I certainly do not deny that I still accept an imperative of knowledge and that through it men may be influenced, but then it must come alive in me, and this is what I now recognize as the most important of all.
If I was pope, this would be me all the time!
Sorry, that photo just really made me laugh.
One major insight I have had is that we cannot assume that other people experience the world in the same or similar ways. (And, as an aside for future discussion, we cannot assume that people experience language in the same way!)
So here is a little article that illustrates that point, shared by one who is anxious most of the time:
God who created you without you, will not save you without you. – Sermo 169, 13 (PL 38,923)
I have upgraded the blog to one of the WordPress paid plans. I am hoping to use it to have a very small podcast and to keep blogging like I have.