John W Burgeson wrote:
> Finally, as I understand Marcus Borg, I think he would challenge all
> three as being "beliefs that a statement is true" vs "beliefs (trust) in
> a person, Jesus the Christ," and so, while such beliefs reasonably follow
> a conversion to Christianity, they do not lead. In this, I tentatively
Because of the importance of the topic I will point out again that
this distinction, while containing an important element of truth, is
oversimplified. Who is the "person, Jesus Christ" in whom I'm to trust? Can
I trust in him if he never lived? Is it meaningful to talk about trusting in
Person X without some kind of factual identification of Person X and some
kind of belief that the proposition "Person X exists" is true?
The old scholastic "analysis of faith" can be applied too
mechanically but it can be helpful. According to this, faith involves 1)
knowledge of what is to be believed" (_notitia_), 2) assent to its truth
(_assensus_) and 3) trust (_fiducia_). This is misleading if the first two
parts are thought to require explicit assent to a formal list of
propositions, but it does bring out the idea that we're supposed to know who
or what we put our trust in.
I sometimes illustrate this with the following example. 1) I am told
that some person is a surgeon and understand what that means. 2) I go to
that person's office, see diplomas & board certificates &c and am convinced
that he or she really is a surgeon. But if after examination the surgeon
says, "You're going to die unless I operate on you right now", the crucial
question is not about the facts of his or her resume but 3, Can I put my life
in this person's hands?
But what sense would the following dialogue make?
GLM: "I'm going to let Dr. D perform a life or death operation on me
JB: "Who is Dr. D?"
GLM: "I don't know."
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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