In dealing with so vast a subject as faith in so narrow a space, one’s first need is to limit the area of discussion without thereby distorting or falsifying the true nature of the subject. Our analytical age is all too prone to divide to conquer, only to find that the sum of the parts divulges no deep truth about the original reality. We must avoid this danger in speaking of faith, for faith is more than the sum of those of its elements which can most readily be detected and analyzed—knowledge, reason, will, love, emotion, and others. “You may think that it is very easy to explain faith,” wrote C. H. Spurgeon many years ago, “and so it is; but it is easier still to confound people with your explanation (What Is Faith?, Chicago, 1897, p. 13).

Definition. Faith is a channel of living trust and communion between morally conscious free beings. The dimension of moral consciousness must exist if there is to be communion (“and man became a living soul,” Gen. 2:7), and freedom must exist if the unity of the society produced by faith (faulty on earth; perfect in heaven) is to be that of dynamic life, not of soulless machines. Because living faith permits each soul to extend its dimensions of existence into the souls of others, and into the Infinite Dimension of God, there is irretrievable commitment and consequent hazard in faith. True faith, in the words of T. S. Eliot, costs not less than everything. It also gains everything—if the object of faith is faithful.

The life, the power, which flows through the channels of faith is the ultimate energy of the universe: God’s love—the love which God is. Where love is perfect, faith is perfect, as in the ineffable beatitude of the Trinity.

Every dimension of reality, whether material or spiritual, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: