Monday, February 8, 2016

WMTRBW 26: Making It Real

Again, this week we will have to read two chapters to complete section 2, "Alive in the Adventure of Jesus," in order to begin section 3, "Alive in a Global Uprising" with the start of the season of Lent this coming week. So, read chapters 25 and 26; this blog will focus on chapter 26 since chapter 25 was focused on in worship yesterday!

As Brian McLaren was writing this chapter, he says in his additional commentary on the book,

"I wondered if we might need a fresh definition of faith. As it stands, faith often means conviction that some things happened in the past. I wonder if faith is even more truly a conviction that something can, must, and will happen in the future, and by its very existence, it helps those things come to be."

This chapter also offers a new perspective not just on faith, but on another loaded word: "belief." In the chapter, imagined as a dialogue between Mary Magdalene and two inquirers about Jesus, Mary says,

“What about you? Are you beginning to believe in him? Do you trust him?” That question has a peculiar power, doesn’t it? “Do you trust him?” is not the same as “Do you believe he existed?” or “Do you believe certain doctrines about him?” It’s a question about commitment, about confidence.

If you had to define "faith" and "believe," how would you define them? Are your definitions closer to the "traditional" ones (faith as conviction about past events, belief about concrete existence or doctrines) or to the ones put forth in this chapter (faith as about the future and action, belief as about trust, commitment, and relationship)? How could expanding or refreshing your definition of these words change the way you think about and follow Jesus?

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