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Landon Mitchell
Landon Mitchell

Faith


Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid,[1] is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept.[1][2] In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion".[3]According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, faith has multiple definitions, including "something that is believed especially with strong conviction," "complete trust," "belief and trust in and loyalty to God," as well as "a firm belief in something for which there is no proof".[4]




Faith



Religious people often think of faith as confidence based on a perceived degree of warrant, or evidence,[5][6]while others who are more skeptical of religion tend to think of faith as simply belief without evidence.[7][8]


The English word faith is thought to date from 1200 to 1250, from the Middle English feith, via Anglo-French fed, Old French feid, feit from Latin fidem, accusative of fidēs (trust), akin to fīdere (to trust).[9]


In the Baháʼí Faith, faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds,[13] ultimately the acceptance of the divine authority of the Manifestations of God.[14] In the religion's view, faith and knowledge are both required for spiritual growth.[14] Faith involves more than outward obedience to this authority, but also must be based on a deep personal understanding of religious teachings.[14]


Faith in Buddhism (Pali: saddhā, Sanskrit: śraddhā) refers to a serene commitment in the practice of the Buddha's teaching and trust in enlightened or highly developed beings, such as Buddhas or bodhisattvas (those aiming to become a Buddha).[15][16] Buddhists usually recognize multiple objects of faith, but many are especially devoted to one particular object of faith, such as one particular Buddha.[15][17][18]


In early Buddhism, faith was focused on the Triple Gem, that is, Gautama Buddha, his teaching (the Dhamma), and the community of spiritually developed followers, or the monastic community seeking enlightenment (the Sangha). Although offerings to the monastic community were valued highest, early Buddhism did not morally condemn peaceful offerings to deities.[19] A faithful devotee was called upāsaka or upāsika, for which no formal declaration was required.[20] In early Buddhism, personal verification was valued highest in attaining the truth, and sacred scriptures, reason or faith in a teacher were considered less valuable sources of authority.[21] As important as faith was, it was a mere initial step to the path to wisdom and enlightenment, and was obsolete or redefined at the final stage of that path.[22][23]


While faith in Buddhism does not imply "blind faith", Buddhist practice nevertheless requires a degree of trust, primarily in the spiritual attainment of Gautama Buddha. Faith in Buddhism centers on the understanding that the Buddha is an Awakened being, on his superior role as teacher, in the truth of his Dharma (spiritual teachings), and in his Sangha (community of spiritually developed followers). Faith in Buddhism can be summarized as faith in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It is intended to lead to the goal of enlightenment, or bodhi, and Nirvana. Volitionally, faith implies a resolute and courageous act of will. It combines the steadfast resolution that one will do a thing with the self-confidence that one can do it.[24]


In the later stratum of Buddhist history, especially Mahāyāna Buddhism, faith was given a much more important role.[25][26] The concept of the Buddha Nature was developed, as devotion to Buddhas and bodhisattvas residing in Pure Lands became commonplace.[27][28] With the arising of the cult of the Lotus Sūtra, faith gained a central role in Buddhist practice,[29] which was further amplified with the development of devotion to the Amitabha Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism.[30][31] In the Japanese form of Pure Land Buddhism, under the teachers Hōnen and Shinran, only entrusting faith toward the Amitabha Buddha was believed to be a fruitful form of practice, as the practice of celibacy, morality and other Buddhist disciplines were dismissed as no longer effective in this day and age, or contradicting the virtue of faith.[32][33][34] Faith was defined as a state similar to enlightenment, with a sense of self-negation and humility.[35][36]


Thus, the role of faith increased throughout Buddhist history. However, from the nineteenth century onward, Buddhist modernism in countries like Sri Lanka and Japan, and also in the West, has downplayed and criticized the role of faith in Buddhism. Faith in Buddhism still has a role in modern Asia or the West but is understood and defined differently from traditional interpretations.[37][38][39] Within the Dalit Buddhist Movement communities, taking refuge is defined not only as a religious, but also a political choice.[40]


According to Teresa Morgan, faith was understood by early Christians within the cultural milieu of the period as a relationship that created community based on trust, instead of a set of mental beliefs or feelings of the heart.[45]


Numerous commentators discuss the results of faith. Some believe that true faith results in good works, while others believe that while faith in Jesus brings eternal life, it does not necessarily result in good works.[46]


Regardless of the approach taken to faith, all Christians agree that the Christian faith (in the sense of Christian practice) is aligned with the ideals and the example of the life of Jesus. The Christian contemplates the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God. To a Christian, the faith is not static, but causes one to learn more of God and to grow in faith; Christian faith has its origin in God.[47]


The classification of different degrees of faith allows that faith and its expression may wax and wane in fervor - during the lifetime of a faithful individual and/or over the various historical centuries of a society with an embedded religious system. Thus, one can speak of an "Age of Faith"[55][56]or of the "decay" of a society's religiosity into corruption,[57]secularism,[58]or atheism,[59] - interpretable as the ultimate loss of faith.[60]


American biblical scholar Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863-1934) stated that the Greek word pistis used for "faith" in the New Testament (over two hundred forty times), and rendered "assurance" in Acts 17:31 (KJV), is "an old verb meaning "to furnish", used regularly by Demosthenes for bringing forward evidence."[63] Tom Price (Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics) affirms that when the New Testament talks about faith positively it only uses words derived from the Greek root [pistis] which means "to be persuaded".[64]


British Christian apologist John Lennox argues that "faith conceived as belief that lacks warrant is very different from faith conceived as belief that has warrant". He states that "the use of the adjective 'blind' to describe 'faith' indicates that faith is not necessarily, or always, or indeed normally, blind". "The validity, or warrant, of faith or belief depends on the strength of the evidence on which the belief is based." "We all know how to distinguish between blind faith and evidence-based faith. We are well aware that faith is only justified if there is evidence to back it up." "Evidence-based faith is the normal concept on which we base our everyday lives."[65]


Peter S Williams[66] holds that "the classic Christian tradition has always valued rationality and does not hold that faith involves the complete abandonment of reason while believing in the teeth of evidence".[page needed] Quoting Moreland, faith is defined as "a trust in and commitment to what we have reason to believe is true".[citation needed]


Concerning doubting Thomas, Michael R. Allen wrote: "Thomas's definition of faith implies adherence to conceptual propositions for the sake of personal knowledge, knowledge of and about a person qua person".[68]


Kenneth Boa and Robert M. Bowman Jr. describe a classic understanding of faith that is referred to[by whom?] as evidentialism, and which is part of a larger epistemological tradition called classical foundationalism, which is accompanied by deontologism, which holds that humans have an obligation to regulate their beliefs in accordance with evidentialist structures.


They show how this can go too far,[69] and Alvin Plantinga deals with it. While Plantinga upholds that faith may be the result of evidence testifying to the reliability of the source (of the truth claims), yet he sees having faith as being the result of hearing the truth of the gospel with the internal persuasion by the Holy Spirit moving and enabling him to believe. "Christian belief is produced in the believer by the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit, endorsing the teachings of Scripture, which is itself divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. The result of the work of the Holy Spirit is faith."[70]


The four-part Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) gives Part One to "The Profession of Faith". This section describes the content of faith. It elaborates and expands particularly upon the Apostles' Creed. CCC 144 initiates a section on the "Obedience of Faith".


In the theology of Pope John Paul II, faith is understood in personal terms as a trusting commitment of person to person and thus involves Christian commitment to the divine person of Jesus Christ.[71]


In Methodism, faith plays an important role in justification, which occurs during the New Birth.[72] The Emmanuel Association, a Methodist denomination in the conservative holiness movement, teaches:[73]


Some alternative, yet impactful, ideas regarding the nature of faith were presented by church founder Joseph Smith[74] in a collection of sermons, which are now published as the Lectures on Faith.[75]


Bhakti (Sanskrit: भक्त) literally means "attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity".[77] It was originally used in Hinduism, referring to devotion and love for a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.[78][79] In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and love for any endeavor, while in the Bhagavad Gita, it connotes one of the possible paths of spirituality and towards moksha, as in bhakti marga.[80] 041b061a72


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