Religion Prof: The Blog of James F. McGrath
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
The quote comes from p.11 of Michael J. Langford's book The Tradition of Liberal Theology, which I just reviewed here on the blog.
Exactly right. Doubt means there’s some faith; it’s a little deficient. And, as I point out to my students, often it comes from the Holy Spirit, who uses our doubts to keep us from falling for any clever-sounding but false teaching we hear.
What exactly does faith mean? I’ve often heard it praised, and sometimes heard it condemned.
If your question is about the range of meaning of the English word “faith,” then it covers a range of things, from believing certain things are true, to trusting in a person, to conviction, to ultimate concern.
I strongly disagree and I’ll tell you why. I believe the best way to describe faith would be with a feeling that effects the spirit/soul. Faith is basically a leap, metaphorically and spiritually it is an all or nothing situation. to have faith is to move forward with out ever thinking the possibility of looking back (or at least what it requires.) you must be whole heartily in the idea of faith or god to have this sensation. so the opposite might not be doubt, but it’s certainly not having little faith, see faith like god, truth, hope, and love will never be proven ‘wrong’ because the glimmer of light(god, faith, truth, hope and love) will always remain. so the only opposite would be complete rejection, or ‘giving up’ of god, faith, truth, hope, and love. because if one has lost faith, he has most certainly lost all those things as well. since the leap of faith is a point of no return, so is its opposite which would be just never having faith again. I suppose the word is hard to come by but there really is no such thing, since nobody can completely give up on faith, hope, love, truth, or god. I think of no other thing than the traits of satan when I think of the opposite of faith, which are, bitterness, pessimism, and the pride of never looking back. since they are opposites it’s only appropriate that the deadly sin Pride is the step in leaving faith, and courage is the heavenly virtue that is required for having faith.
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