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  • Kevin Garrison

IS IT JUST A MATTER OF FAITH? (PT 1)

Updated: Nov 6

Any questions or responses to these letters can send them to this email: alwaysreadyforchrist@gmail.com


The last two letters I have conveyed that God has created our minds to think about Him through the evidence that He has provided us and Jesus wants us to look at the evidence to believe in Him. The next few letters I will focus on Faith. This letter I will give an etymological history of Faith by that I mean a history of its definition. Second part, I will show how in American history in the last 250 years that concept of Faith has changed. Third part of this titled series will show the impact of how Christians and the Christian Church has allowed society to shape our view of Faith.


Faith is derived from the Latin word, Fides which meant Reliability or a sense of trust between two parties for the relationship to exist. This word came about 1200-50 AD. The Greek word for Faith from the New Testament is “pistis” which has its origin from another Greek word, “pietho”. Peitho means persuasion to a statement of truth or belief in something, induce someone to believe by words or to do something, obedience to a command, trust or confidence. Faith in the New Testament encompasses several things. Faith(pistis) involves some rhetorical techniques derived from 3 main Latin terms Logos(logic), Ethos(ethics), Pathos (emotions). I’m demonstrating this by writing these letters. This letter I’m showing some credibility(ethos) with some research of credible information from good sources and some logic(logos) or evidence by comparing how faith was viewed in the New Testament times and today’s culture. I’ll show some emotion in third part of impact of historical events.


Now I’ll show some modern definitions of “Faith”. 1) Complete confidence or trust in someone or thing, 2) Belief that isn’t based on proof or reason, 3) Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion, 4) A system of religion: Christian faith or Jewish faith, and 5) Christian Theology, trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. As you can see some of these definitions are not the same in the New Testament times and the particular one of belief that isn’t based on proof or reason. Our culture in the last several decades increasingly looks at Christians as people who believe primarily through their feelings not with evidence or reasoning. The New Testament definition of Faith involves a conviction(feelings), reasoning (information/logic), and evidence (proof within the Bible and outside of it). How did we let society perceive us,Christians, as believers by feelings only? Next letter, I will address that.


I want to finish this with a simple analogy of faith in something we know is there but we can’t see it. We can’t see the wind but we know it exists. We can feel the wind by a cool breeze in the summer and a cold chill in the winter. We know it exists by evidence of tree branches swaying around or flag furling on a pole, and we can get info about its speed or direction. Just like the wind we can Faith in God by way of Logos (evidence), Ethos (information), and Pathos (feelings/experiences).


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