Saturday, May 24, 2014

Faith as more than simple belief

Faith is more than simple belief because it involves commitment of a kind that is possible only between persons. I can believe that the ground beneath my feet is solid enough to build a house on and then construct one on the basis of that belief, but although I might say that I have "faith" in the ground, there is no relationship between us. For example, it would be unreasonable for me to pray to the ground in the hope that it might protect me from earthquakes. The ground does not have a mind or a will that would justify such behavior on my part, and no reciprocal relationship with it is possible. Faith in God, however, involves two-way communication, which means that there is something present both in us and in God that makes such dialogue meaningful. That something is what we call "personhood," and so it is with the personhood of God that our analysis of how we know and experience him must begin.1 

1.  Gerald Bray, God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology  [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012] p. 106

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