From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat May 24 2003 - 08:55:38 EDT
>From: John W Burgeson <email@example.com>
> I had said my books were packed away for the move, but I was mistaken;
> Tillich's DYNAMICS OF FAITH was still on my night table. Here are a few
> passages from this book -- a primary source on Tillich:
> "Reason is the precondition of faith; faith is the act in which reason
> reaches ecstatically beyond itself. ... Reason is not bound to its own
> finitude. It is aware of it and, in so doing, rises above it." (Pg. 87)
> "Reason can be fulfilled only if it is driven beyond the limits of its
> finitude, and experiences the presence of the ultimate, the holy." (Pg.
Some discussion re the character of faith has followed from this.
A couple of years ago Marcus Borg preached a sermon in our church titled:
"The Meaning of Faith: Relationship, Not Belief."
In this sermon he distinguished among several ways in which the word 'faith'
is employed. These could be helpful in clarifying some of this discussion.
As I recall, his distinctions were:
1) faith as assensus -- to give mental assent to the truth of some
2) faith as fidelitas -- to be faithful to a relationship.
3) faith as fiducia -- to trust in God -- not in mere statements about God,
but in God.
4) faith as visio -- a way of seeing the whole of reality
I believe -- "credo" -- means, "I give my heart to .... "
"Believing" could mean "beloving" -- assuring fidelity, practicing trust,
seeing life positively.
Howard Van Till
PS: Anyone wishing to see the full text of this sermon can find it at:
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