Thursday, March 25, 2010

thoughts on faith

The Following is an excerpt from my EfM reading this week:
"Faith" in the Biblical and Pauline sense, has very little to do with feelings and a great deal to do with being reliable and standing by commitments. In the Biblical sense, "to believe" or "to have faith" in God is to live and act on the basis of the supposition that God is trustworthy, whether we happen at any particular moment to feel that God is trustworthy or not.

In this sense, the church invites us in the creeds to confess that we "believe" in God. For sectarians, the opposite of faith is doubt. For scripture the opposite of faith is unfaithfulness in the plain sense in which we speak of unfaithfulness in a marriage or any other relationship .

The English theologian Austin Farrar wrote:
"If you want to have faith, decide what you would do if you did have faith, and do it.
That is faith."

From My own Life:
I heard someone say recently,
"I may not feel loving, but through grace I will myself to act loving and thereby experience love and bring love ANYWAY."

What are your thoughts on FAITH?


  1. My favorite faith quote came from a little girl who wrote: "Never give up or lose faith even if you don't really believe."

  2. What are my thoughts on faith? Oh - I have SO many! - but here's one inspired by God, in whom I trust....

    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

  3. This was really thought-provoking, Courtney....Especially the dichotomy you propose here between faith and unfaithfulness...Looking at that opposite sheds a new, more intimate light on faith for me....making it more of an interaction with intimate knowing of God...intimate enough to hear what he's authored (He being the author of our faith), intimate enough and familiar enough with His character to trust that what He's authored, He will Finish. Knowing Him well enough to know it's a done deal.

    So it would seem that faith is not something you can have apart from intimacy with God, without knowing Him, experientally, being still enough to hear and learn His voice...It seems it's something that's based on a long term, commited relationship to Christ, something that is baseless without such a relationship.

    The only departure I feel from what's written here in this post is where Austin Farrar's words are concerned, which sound spiritual but are profoundly unbiblical. The bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that God, and God alone, is the author of our faith...not we ourselves. That is cleverly disguised idolatry. Faith is an intimate interaction...He tells us what He's authored, we who are His sheep hear and know AND OBEY His voice and believe what He's authored, then He "finishes" it, or brings it to pass.

    We are not the author...That is putting ourselves in the place of God. If what Farrar said were true, then anyone could just say (and many Christians have fallen into this trap, misunderstanding "Faith", wielding it as a magic wand for their own personal ambitions) "well! I have faith that I'll have a million dollars!" Did God author that for your life or did you? If God did, then fantastic! But if not, then they are applying faith to something that God has not authored, and we all know that "unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain"...

    ....well, there're my thoughts I guess, Courtney....haha, aren't ya glad you asked? ; )

    Thanks again for sharing this, Courtney...really got my wheels turnin' this are such a light : )

    (Hope the move is going well!) : )

  4. Hindsfeet,

    I LOVE YOUR RESPONSE!!! And, YES, I AM glad I asked! I knew I'd get something wonderful from you. I find your Biblical foundations so sound and refreshing.

    I love how you brought out the HUMANISM in Farrar's words. I, too, felt hints of that there. There certainly seems to be some idolatry and self-will hidden in that message. It's a statment that risks sending the message that WE are in control. I also love the springboard of your thoughts: intimacy with the Lord. SO TRUE.

    Husband and I have been discussing a lot lately, "What comes first: the chicken or the egg?"

    It seems SOME people first develop the desire for intimacy with the Lord-- those personalities which are more intuitive than others and those who are more spiritually sensitive.

    Then there are others who first develop an intellectual desire for God. And it seems they must find their spiritual sensitivity through more of an intellectual search or the development of a self-discipline directly related to consciously obeying Biblical statutes, a rigorous study of SCripture... and the more appropriate interpretation of what Farrar says in his statement. THEN comes the spritual life.


  5. I suppose we're all wired differently...And God certainly doesn't take a cookie cutter approach with us...Psalm 139 comes to mind...He knows how each of us think, He knows what will speak to us...My mom use to say this..."there are many ways to Christ, but only one way to God (Christ being the one way to God)...

    ...but my succinct response to your thoughts here would be this:

    At the end of the day, our affection follows our attention.

    If we're giving attention to God's word, even if it's something we don't *feel* like doing at first, our "affection" for His word will ultimately kick in...

    ...maybe kinda like how, well, the two of you seem to have a really healthy lifestyle, but maybe it wasn't always that way for one or both of you? (I'm just guessing here)...Maybe there were certain things that you knew would be a benefit to your health, but you didn't necessarily have a taste for them at first...But after consistently making these healthy choices, you actually get a taste for them....whether it's certain healthy foods, or running, or what have you...

    ...It's the same in our walk with God, I think...The unregenerated part of us (that's what they call "the flesh") doesn't have a natural bent toward God...But, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 9:27, it can be brought into subjection to the spirit, by consistently training it, as you would for a race.

    Most days I really enjoy going out for my run now....sometimes I have to drag myself kicking and screaming....but the kicking and screaming days are the exception, and not the rule...

    I think our pursuit of the Lord works very much the same way... least, that's the metaphor that speaks to me...

    : )
    (sorry for the novella! ; ) )

  6. Faith for me as like jumping in the darkness and being sure God will hold us before we touch the ground ... I always put my life on His hands ...

    Have a blessed week, dear friend ;)


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