My husband Ron and I were pondering on the nature of faith the other day and he came up with the definition
“Living with mystery”
Peter for a while lived with mystery, accepted what he did not understand and trusted completely. Then he “saw the wind” and was afraid and began to sink. His reason told him that the water could not bear him up and he sank. Jesus chided him: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Later they landed at Genneseret and “all the sick who touched him were healed”. Their faith made them whole.
Ron’s journal the following day looks at the essay on Faith in “A Handbook of Christian Theology” and he finds an echo of his definition:-
Faith is “the mystery and miracle of God’s love in Christ, confirmed in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit”. It is the mystery of God’s activity revealed to us. There are elements of emotion, reason, will and knowledge involved in the revelation, but Faith cannot be reduced to these.
Ron writes, “I see a metaphor between Faith experience and listening to music. The four aspects of our being are involved - emotion, reason, will and knowledge – but our state of awareness is none of these; rather it is a transformation of our being, which results from a composite of these elements, just as water, with all its mystery and wonder, comes from two normally gaseous elements combined. We do derive a form of knowledge from music: as a result, we are uplifted, even carried into the heights. But the gift we receive is utterly mysterious and transforming. So too is the knowledge of God that comes through faith. We are made alive by it.
25th October, 2003