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Author Topic:   Faith by Definition
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 1 of 149 (86594)
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


What is the basic definition of Faith? When I seek a definition on a concept, belief, or feeling, I rely on two basic sources. The first source is the overall source of accumulated knowledge.
Websters writes:

faith - 1 : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty 2 : belief and trust in God 3 : complete trust 4 : a system of religious beliefs — faith•ful \-f€l\ adj — faith•ful•ly adv — faith•ful•ness

Dictionaries are one source. The Bible has many examples of faith, and is a subject unto itself.

My second source, however, is human experience. What does Faith mean to you?

I mean, think about it. It is much easier to have faith in a respected opinion from people whom we know and trust rather than through a book or an article written on such an opinion. I want to throw around this concept that we call faith. Faith is different from belief. The Bible says that:

NIV writes:

Gal 3:26-28--You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.


Notice how it does not say through belief in Christ? It says through faith in Christ.

This got me thinking. What is the difference between faith and belief? Lets say, for example, that I had faith that I could fly. I climb up on the roof one day, pray as hard as I can, and flap my arms and jump! Soon, after hitting the ground, I now have a belief in gravity! Not a faith, mind you! A belief! We could say that gravity is an absolute truth in my life at that moment! Thus, in order for gravity to be a belief in my life, it had to be proven. To a "believer", Christ is proven. Why is it, then, that the good book says that we are sons of God through faith and not through belief? Well...I thought about it. I asked myself how I became a believer. I became a believer because I "got saved" through a spiritual impartation from God. Could the good book explain that? So I looked and it did:

NIV writes:

Acts 2:21- And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'


Was it because I had called on the name of Jesus rather than Allah or Buddha? Was it because I knew whom I was calling for? I was calling out to Him from my heart with faith.

This message has been edited by Phat, 10-13-2005 02:34 AM


Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 149 (86596)
02-16-2004 4:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


What does faith mean to you?

I've always held that trust is when you believe in something because of the evidence, but faith is when you believe in something in spite of the evidence.

I don't think faith and belief are antonyms, though. Belief is a part of faith. You could hardly have faith in God and not believe in God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2004 4:23 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2004 4:39 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 3 of 149 (86598)
02-16-2004 4:39 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by crashfrog
02-16-2004 4:29 AM


crashfrog writes:

but faith is when you believe in something in spite of the evidence.

Exactly, Crashfrog! If we had a transporter and we put a person from the year 1600 high in the sky in a jumbo jet, they would peer out the window horrified, because they could not see the evidence of why they were up there. Today, some people are still scared to fly!

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 149 (86599)
02-16-2004 4:43 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:39 AM


If we had a transporter and we put a person from the year 1600 high in the sky in a jumbo jet, they would peer out the window horrified, because they could not see the evidence of why they were up there.

I can demonstrate the principle of flight by blowing between two strips of paper. I don't have faith in airplanes. I have trust in airplanes, because they fly all the time and arrive safely. The odds are in your favor when you fly in an airplane.

I don't really have faith in anything, actually. I have plenty of trust, though. Like the old Arabic expresssion: "Trust in God - but tie up your camel."


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 5 of 149 (86600)
02-16-2004 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
02-16-2004 4:43 AM


crashfrog writes:

The odds are in your favor

I used to have faith in odds until God told me to shape up and stop gambling!
crashfrog writes:

"Trust in God - but tie up your camel"


And just because I trust God with all that I have, I still lock the house and the car. Do I lack faith?

[This message has been edited by Phatboy, 02-16-2004]


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 149 (86601)
02-16-2004 4:50 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:45 AM


I used to have faith in odds until God told me to shape up and stop gambling!

What sucks for you, then, is that we live in a quantum universe where there's nothing that you can express as a certainty instead of a probability. (Lucky for you we tend to ignore that at the scale we live at, where things are large enough that their positions and velocities are close enough to certain.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2004 4:45 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 7 of 149 (86602)
02-16-2004 4:55 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
02-16-2004 4:50 AM


The universe is full of unknowns, but my Belief is not one of them.
If they told me tomorrow that I could have a free ride on a space shuttle, I would decline it. I do not have enough faith in space shuttle technology. I suppose that for the sake of definition, odds=probability. Given that, what is the probability of death on a space shuttle flight vs death on the highway every day?

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1391 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 8 of 149 (87898)
02-21-2004 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation DEMANDS faith. It is the central theme of scripture without question. Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith.

Faith, what is it ?

Guess what, the one thing God demands - His (claimed) word fails to define. Nowhere does the Bible define faith !

Hebrews 11:1 DOES NOT define faith contrary to popular evangelical opinion. Hebrews 11:1 declares what faith accomplishes - period.

Why doesn't the Bible define faith ? Because that is the single purpose of the Preacher to do using the examples of faith found in scripture. God creates the office of the gift minister/preacher and assigns his reason for being to be the explanation of what faith is.

" faith is the EVIDENCE of things hoped for..." That word "evidence" in the greek is "hypostassis" it means "title deed".

Phatboy, you are so correct when you divide faith from belief.

Belief is part faith, in fact, Dr. Scott defines faith as an action based upon a belief sustained by confidence. "pistis" is the word in the greek and it is a verb and not a noun.

Dr. Scott goes on to define faith to be 90% courage, 9% endurance, and 1% feeling (at best). The only faith God recognizes as genuine, is faith that has as its object His word of promise.

Once again Phatboy, you are so correct to recognize the inadequacy of belief to somehow fulfill the requirements of faith.


This message is a reply to:
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DazedNConfuzed
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 149 (87928)
02-21-2004 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
02-16-2004 4:50 AM


Hi all...new here, been lurking some. Quite an interesting group.

Crash, I had seen your statement before, "in spite of the evidence", and thought it might be more accurate to say "regardless of the evidence".

Regarding faith and belief, they build upon each other. Faith spawns a system of beliefs. However, if you believe in something with no supporting evidence, then that is faith.


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Angeldust
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 149 (87995)
02-22-2004 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


Those are really good questions, and I think that Willowtree is going the right direction.

Willowtree writes:

Dr. Scott goes on to define faith to be 90% courage, 9% endurance, and 1% feeling (at best). The only faith God recognizes as genuine, is faith that has as its object His word of promise.

I think that Hebrews 11:1 has to be taken in context with the rest of the chapter, not left hanging out there like most people use it. If you read anything from Vs 7 down it's all about the actions of the Patriarchs. Abraham obeyed and went, Noah built the ark, the walls of Jericho fell after the people marched around them. I don't think that Faith without action is really faith.

That 1% feeling is probably the belief part and the courage and endurance come with the actions. I think that's what James is talking about. Faith without works is dead. Why? It's basically saying to put your money where you mouth is. A perfect example to use is with tithing. If you say you have Faith that God will provide and yet fail to give him the 10% he asks for, then do you really have faith that he will or are you putting your trust in money?

It's also true though that faith is only as trustworthy as the trustworthyness of the object of faith. I think this is where some people can get very hurt by the church. People put there faith in the people within the walls instead of in the one who is building the church. Your Faith has to be in something true and consistant, and God's the only thing that is.

I think also Hebrews 11:6 gives us some indications of what Faith is. "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." 1. you must believe he exists, and 2. that he rewards those who seek him. If you don't seek him then you miss out, but if you don't seek him do you really believe that statement? Actions are a necessary part of Faith.

I'm not sure if that's what your looking for, but I hope I've been somewhat helpful.


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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1391 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 11 of 149 (88014)
02-22-2004 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Angeldust
02-22-2004 3:24 PM


Angeldust :

Greetings,

I like what you wrote except for the part about James.

The epistle of James was written to directly contradict Pauline theology. James cannot be reconciled with Paul despite the continuous attempts by the Church, its Pastors, and theologians.

The reason why God ended up including the book of James into the canon was to demonstrate the crooked stick of James when compared next to the straight sticks of Paul (Romans, Galatians, Hebrews).


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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2402 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 12 of 149 (88080)
02-23-2004 5:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:23 AM


Notice how it does not say through belief in Christ?

I don't see that having faith in something and believing in something are different. There's certainly no difference in the original Greek in the verse you're quoting. Faith or belief is totally up to the translator. In the KJV, the noun pistis is translated faith and the verb pisteo is translated believe. No difference.

If you want to differentiate the terms, you can specify what you mean by each of them, and I'll use your definitions in understanding what you are saying to me. When you tell me that a verse in the Bible differentiates the terms, it's just not true. The Greeks have pistis only. When it's a verb, then there's peitho, which is sometimes tranlated obey and sometimes believe, and pisteo, always believe, but as a noun, there's just pistis. Only English speakers can differentiate faith and belief, you can't put that in the Bible.


This message is a reply to:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2402 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 13 of 149 (88085)
02-23-2004 5:41 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Cold Foreign Object
02-22-2004 5:18 PM


The epistle of James was written to directly contradict Pauline theology. James cannot be reconciled with Paul despite the continuous attempts by the Church, its Pastors, and theologians.

If you'd care to discuss this, I started a new thread on it called Do Paul and James Really Contradict on Faith and Works.


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Angeldust
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 149 (93763)
03-21-2004 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by DazedNConfuzed
02-21-2004 8:45 PM


I originally agreed with your statement,
Crash,I had seen your statement before, "in spite of the evidence", and thought it might be more accurate to say "regardless of the evidence".

I was thinking one day and I still think your right for the most part, but Crash has something there. Sometimes you can't simply disregard the facts, there staring you in the face. Regardless being defined as "without due thought of consideration of." But faith can sometimes be the thing that interupts a line of "facts."

Example:

Fact 1: My friend Dawn had ankle surgery about 3 years ago.

Fact 2: She has a very large ugly scar that ran down her foot and part way up her calf.

Fact 3: She was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in that ankle after the surgery and was told that she should not walk for distances over a mile.

Fact 4: She walked constantly in pain and could not run because of it.

Faith: About six months ago, She believed and we prayed, not disregarding the above mentioned facts, but simply knowing that God could change things. We prayed in spite of the facts.

Fact 5: The next day she was running up and down stairs without pain. The scar was faded to less than half of it's former size and she can now run.

Maybe it's all just semantics. But it's just a thought.


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13387
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 15 of 149 (251346)
10-13-2005 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2004 4:55 AM


Old Thread....unfinished topic. Lets continue.

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 Message 7 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2004 4:55 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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