Monday, September 15, 2014

Speaking Christian: Faith/Believing, according to Frederich Buechner

Good morning, church! As you continue to reflect on yesterday's second sermon in our "Speaking Christian" series, what are your thoughts about the word "faith" this morning?

For many, the words "faith" and "believing" are closely linked (we will talk about these words together in our Soup-Salad-Study tomorrow night). So give some thoughts to this description by Frederich Buechner of what it means to believe/have faith, and share your reactions in the Comments section:

"New Testament Greek speaks of believing "into" rather than believing "in." In English we can perhaps convey the distinction best by using either "in" or no preposition at all.

Believing in God is an intellectual position. It need have no more effect on your life than believing in Freud's method of interpreting dreams or the theory that Sir Francis Bacon wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Believing God is something else again. It is less a position than a journey, less a realization than a relationship. It doesn't leave you cold like believing the world is round. It stirs your blood like believing the world is a miracle. It affects who you are and what you do with your life like believing your house is on fire or somebody loves you.

We believe in God when for one reason or another we choose to do so. We believe God when somehow we run into God in a way that by and large leaves us no choice to do otherwise.

When Jesus says that whoever believes "into" him shall never die, he does not mean that to be willing to sign your name to the Nicene Creed guarantees eternal life. Eternal life is not the result of believing in. It is the experience of believing."

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