A “Bonus” Chapter Summary from Books At a Glance
By Benjamin J. Montoya
The use of the word “faith” is common, but what does it mean? First, faith is a state of mind. It involves an apprehension of certain reasons and truths about reality. We believe that something has happened in history and we put our trust in that. We put a high level of trustworthiness in the respect of the character of the one we trust. This understanding, however, must be contrasted with other conceptions of faith.
Faith cannot be forced. Having faith does not mean we will be without misunderstandings. Faith is also not somewhere between opinion and actual knowledge, like John Locke explained. “Our beliefs are among our firmest convictions.” We ought not to think of our faith as anything less than a firm knowledge of its object. Faith is also not resting on “grounds that are subjectively sufficient but objectively insufficient,” as Immanuel Kant claimed.” There is no questioning that our mind knows nothing of objectively and subjectively sufficient grounds in forming its convictions. But, when we perceive the adequacy of the object at hand, then our subjective sufficiency ends. We experience true faith which is nothing less than conviction and is much more than opinion or mere intuition. There are also definitions of faith that focus on the element of desire, perhaps as determined by our feelings or emotional attitudes. These definitions, however, are problematic. Sometimes our feelings have problems with our theological convictions; we should follow the latter instead of the former. There are all kinds of ways we can define faith. But, the more important question is this: what does the Bible teach us?[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN MURRAY, 2: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, by John Murray