Re: virus: Faith; a radical perspective on the matter.

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 17 Mar 1999 18:31:56 -0500


From: Tim Rhodes <>

One of the great things about staying in someone else's home for a couple weeks (ostensibly to care for their pets while they're away) is that you suddenly have access to a whole new library of books and resources that you would never in a million years think to own yourself. Living in another's world (quite literally) can be quite enlightening.

Agreed. I would love to spend enough time at either my mom's parents house (devout Christians all their lives, with a big bookcase), or at my Aunt's place (who owns a massive library on atheism) to read a significant portion of their books.

<< (quoting from the encylopedia now)
"Faith is not to be confused with a mere intellectual assent to the doctrinal teachings of Christianity, though that is obviously necessary. It includes a radical and total commitment to Him as the Lord of one's life."

A *radial and total commitment*. Excellent definition. Faith may denotate the same things as trust and confidence, but it is *much stronger* in connotation. I find it very strange that the enclopedia did *not* quote the only definition ever given in the Bible -- Heb 11:1.

I think that splitting the analysis into old testimate and new testimate writings is very smart -- the definition of faith changed dramatically, from basically a pragmatic action motivator (the Jew's covanent), to Jesus's formulation of belief enabling positive results (basically immediately, hence the "moving mountains" quote; it was a kind of Dynamic Optimism, for those familiar with extropianism), to John (and Paul's) very Dogmatic Belief on pain of eternal torture; Faith is the only thing that can save you kind of crap, which is rightly a virion sin. All three uses may be reflected today, in the general population, but those who you *hear* using the word are almost always of the last persuasion (interestingly, this same trend is reflected in the Biblical usage of the word, with the OT at almost none, the gospels at 30 or so, and Paul's writtings just littered with the word)

I agree considerably more with the quoted encyclopedias position than that either you or Reed have been advancing.