Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marcus Borg, The heart of Christianity: Ch2 Faith the way of the heart

 The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith

The heart of Christianity: Ch2 Faith the way of the heart

This chapter starts by defining how most people inside and outside the Church define 'faith' : 'believing a set of Christian beliefs to be true.' To be a Christian there is a need to affirm the 'right' beliefs to be true. This form of beliefs turns belief into a head matter instead of a heart matter.

Borg goes onto mention four meanings of faith::

Faith as Assensus: faith as belief as just mentioned. A recent phenonemon with the advent of enlightenment and beyond. What happens is questionable things are true. Doubt
I like what he writes latter on in the chapter about Assensus, 'We cannot give our heart to something that our mind rejects'

[Comment, after reading this It gave me great clarity of my own life, I had been looking for the assensus and bypassing my heart, occasionally the heart was touched but not often.]

Faith as Fiducia: Instead of believing in a set of propositions about God, it is just trust in God. Borg an illustration from Kierkegaard 'faith is like floating...If you struggle, if you tense up and thrash about, you will eventually sink. But if you relax and trust, you will float.

Faith as Fidelitas: faithfulness or even better fidelity. Not faithful to some sort of doctrine or creed but to God. A faithfulness to God and also what God loves.

Faith as Visio: A way of seeing the whole, seeing it as 'what is', nourishing, bringing us into existence and a giver of our abstinence. Filled with beauty and at times 'terrible' beauty.
The way that I look at it as 'If all things turn out for the best' and a trust in this.

[comment:: This for me Vissio is the most difficult to understand, I'm still not sure I get it.
This part of the chapter was a bit of a revelation for me. One of my constant struggles was with faith as 'assensus'. I think if people had an understanding of these broader definitions of faith then the amount of 'doubt' would be reduced.]

Borg dosn't  write that we need to eliminate altogether the idea of assensus; it is still a very important part of what it means and defines Christianity to be. Borg gives his own broad 'Assensus' of what it is to be a Christian these are::

Being a Christian means affirming the reality of God
Christian faith means affirming the utter centrality of Jesus
Christian faith means affirming the centrality of the Bible

[Comment: I like the broadness of this, it is what I can affirm]

 -Borg goes onto discuss the word 'Credo' the giving of ones 'deeper self' not just intellect.
-premodern understanding of faith is a relational understanding of Christian life.

I like the last paragraph it sums up what it means to be a Christian
...the central meaning of faith. Given the premodern meaning of "believe," to believe in God is to belove God. Faith is about beloving God and all that God beloves....'


Rebecca said...

I think I need to read this book. A bit of this is on Borg's blog too. He doesn't post very often though!

Scott said...

This book was helpful in regards to doubts which I had. Another good book was 'two visions of Jesus' where both Borg and NT Wright's where contrasted.