What is faith?

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Faith is a belief in supernatural power of a person or thing which cannot be explained or tested. There are different definitions and interpretations of faith based on different contexts and spheres of influence.


In many cases, faith becomes the equivalent of what we call a "world view," a context or framework within which life can be lived. The world view need not be optimistic, as it is above. Faith now includes trust and reliance on an authority, even though all the experience of the speaker suggests that the authority is wrong. The extent of the trust has now been enlarged. The evidence that a compass offers has a high degree of assurance behind it; compasses do not lie, cheat, change their minds, or get fooled very often. There is greater risk involved in this kind of faith, for it is trust in a person. Trust (and risk) has now been further enlarged (Cimino, Latin 2001).

The same thing happens when a person (a) undergoes anesthesia and surgery, (b) sits in the back seat of a moving vehicle, (c) eats a meal someone else has prepared, (d) marries, (e) shares a secret. These random examples cumulatively begin to tell us something about the meaning of faith as we ordinarily use the word, and what they tell us will be useful when we develop a working definition. Faith clearly has some sort of content, drawn out of our own experience or out of the common experience of the past, and our engagement with it involves us in varying degrees of commitment to that content, involving both trust and risk. ...
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