Faith, Reason, and Imaginationi

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The New Oxford American Dictionary" (2001) defines faith as "confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing" (p. 558). The openness that is faith is maintained and nourished by hope, a human virtue difficult to understand and explain.


Religious faith can be defined as an assent because of the authority of a revealing God. This definition turns faith into an intellectual act and it places the emphasis, at least implicitly, on what is believed, though, again implicitly, what is believed is considered to be not evident or immediately present-that is, to be beyond reasonable evidence. Hence the introduction of a motive for believing, God's authority, who would not deceive us in presenting something for our belief which was not true. Obviously, God's authority is preferred to reason's because we are dealing with religious faith, not scientific belief. Faith, thus, is faith hi God and in whatever God says must be believed. The ultimate reason for believing religiously is not evidence, but God. Proponents of this view of faith acknowledge that this assent of faith takes place in a certain penumbra because the content is not sufficiently supported by reason or other evidence worthy of trust. By the second definition, what is believed is beyond reason; hence the need to introduce the authority of God as the motive for belief; that is, as the only force capable of bending the will to believe. At all events, if things are evident, it is not faith. ...
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