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Dynamics of

Theology
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Background
 Faith is a universal human phenomenon
 There is a need to probe deeper into the
theology of faith
 Why? Since an understanding of the
nature of faith gives us interpretations
of the meanings of statements
(theological)that flow from faith
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Universal Human
Phenomenon
 All human existence consists in freedom
 Freedom is not merely the power to
choose; rather, it is to act in a stable
and consistent manner
 Freedom to dedicate the self and act
purposefully, among others
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Universal Human
Phenomenon
 Freedom, though, is not really freedom
unless it passes into action
 Full reality of freedom consists in action

 Freedom-in-action, in turn, carries with it
the necessity of faith
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Universal Human
Phenomenon
 Human freedom in action never seeks
nothingness
 Beneath individual actions, there is a
quest for a purposeful whole, one not
concerned merely with finite objects
(maze analogy, Harry, Frodo)
 No finite object can supply what is
demanded by the logic of human action
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Universal Human
Phenomenon
 This non-availability of finite objects
makes faith a constitutive part of human
life
 People have a “center of gravity” that
they adhere to, a balancing act of
individual choices and decisions
 This center of gravity shows that faith is
a common human phenomenon
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Universal Human
Phenomenon
 But faith raises the question, “What
supreme reality is most worthy of the
dedication of human freedom?”
 Value of human freedom may be
measured by object of faith
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 The Nature of Faith
 Faith is both subjective and objective,
passive and active
 It is an actual human response to
reality, not just intellectual assent or
emotional feeling
 Faith is both central and centering
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 The Nature of Faith
 Commitment of faith entails a
dependence on the values one
surrenders the self to (passive)
 But also, it entails a response: Fidelity
and loyalty to the object of faith in the
form of action (active)
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 The Object of Faith
 Should be transcendent, unlimited,
absolute since human beings want to
be, and be fully
 If the object of faith is not transcendent
(i.e. nation, power, wealth), it is not
genuinely religious
 Affirmations that are warranted by
empirical evidence are not theological
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Knowing
 Since object of faith is transcendent, it
cannot be known in the ordinary or
empirical sense
 Faith has a cognitive dimension, but
does not simply involve a knowledge of
things that can be mastered or
quantifiably verified
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Knowing
 What people commit themselves to in
faith is not ordinary knowing since the
object of faith is transcendent
 One is dealing with faith because one
does not fully know the answer
 Verification of the object of religious
faith can only be eschatological
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Knowing
 Because object of faith is transcendent,
it must be given and revealed to the
person
 Faith is to transcendent as knowledge is
to finite reality of the world
 However, faith interacts with knowledge
through imagination, interpretation and
ideology
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Beliefs
 Faith is more than belief; beliefs are
expressions of faith but distinct from
faith itself
 Believing suggests acceptance of
something as true on the basis of
testimony or word of another
 Faith is a surrender and loyalty of the
whole person
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Beliefs
 Beliefs about Christianity have changed
over time with a variety of thought
systems and pluralism of ideas
 However, Christian faith in God still
remains unchanged
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith and Beliefs
 Faith exists alongside imaginative
portrayals of the object of faith
 These arise from knowledge of the
world, which vary by culture or tradition
 Beliefs cannot represent a truth for
anyone apart from faith
 Affirmation of faith requires faith
Faith as a Dimension of the
Human
 Faith as Praxis
 Faith is faith in that which ultimately
guides and directs one’s actions
 Faith is constituted by one’s behavior,
not by what one merely says
 What do we live for? What directs our
actions?
 Doctrines and beliefs are principles of
action