Sunday, July 30, 2006

Further Thoughts on Faith Seeking Understanding

I have spent some time reflecting on the idea of dialectical poles of theology. First of all, since it is described as a pole, that means the two ideas are opposite of each other, and the two shall never meet. I have come to the conclusion that these two ideas are directly related to each other. Instead of being at two opposite ends, I think they describe our journey of faith.

First of all, look at the idea of understanding in order to believe. When we talk about our salvation, isn’t it true that we must come to some sort of understanding in order that we will believe the Gospel message? As a person is exposed to the idea of Christ dying on the cross for their sins, the Holy Spirit gives them the understanding of what this really means. And that understanding leads to faith.

Now, let’s look at the next idea, belief in order to understand. As a new believer realizes his faith, he seeks more understanding through prayer, Scriptures, and other Christians. His faith is what is guiding him and drawing him to know more. His faith is leading him to greater understanding. And that understanding leads to stronger faith in what he believes.

My point is that these two ideas are not opposite ideas, but ideas that build on each other. I see these two ideas as two opposites on a spiraling circle. As one understands, his faith grows; and as his faith grows, he seeks more understanding which in turn develops a stronger faith. This pattern continues our whole life. Every revolution around the circle creates a wider circle, a greater understanding and a greater faith; in essence creating a spiral that continues further and further away from the center. It could be said that as we spiral from the center we are moving away from our selves and closer and closer to God.

And those are my words…

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