Content of faith

Content of faith

Chris Hilder

It seems to me that Alan Barron's letter (May AD2000) on faith and salvation is focused on the subjective issue of faith response and that this has led to an overly narrow perspective on the objective content of faith.

While I agree that we accept salvation by our individual faith response - a subjective and free choice of the will - to believe in and trust Christ, and that this is not merited by good works or dependent on a high level of attained intellectual knowledge, nonetheless our response is to truth itself, i.e., Christ.

Thus our faith must be open to accept the whole truth and this includes all the gifts we have received from Christ in order to support and sustain our faith response.

On one level this includes acquiring intellectual knowledge of the truth to the extent that our circumstances and capabilities allow. It also includes worshipping God 'in Spirit and in truth' as God has revealed, and loving others truly through service.

To do otherwise would seem to mean that we are placing conditions on our acceptance of Christ. That is, we would not be accepting the gift in its entirety nor would we be exercising the fullest response that we are capable of.

Of course, this is the perennial challenge throughout our lives.

Emphasising subjective response at the expense of the entire content of Christ's revelation is the issue. Although truths have a hierarchy of importance this does not mean that lesser truths can be discarded.

The fact that Jesus spent three years on earth teaching his disciples would seem to indicate that he had a lot more to reveal than just his death and resurrection, as centrally important as these are.

So to me, at the pearly gates, St Peter might ask Alan why during his life he opened only the largest present and not all the other ones as well.

Queanbeyan, NSW

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