Friday, June 16, 2006

Mending Walls: Faith

By David @ Third World County
(syndicated here at Bloggin' Outloud and later today at The Wide Awakes)

The word "faith" is bruited about quite a bit in common talk, in the public arena, in churches, schools and the media. Every venue has a different take on what faith is, how it operates, its value to society, etc.

And mostly, even in Christian churches, the meaning ascribed to the word today, and its ascribed value to society by various groups, is so far off base that I wonder whether "mending" this wall is worth the effort. Perhaps building an entirely new wall and calling it "pfeffernoogle" would be better.

*sigh*

Let me back off a bit with a set of current denotative definitions that describe the word as it is in use today, 'K?
  • Confident belief in the truth, value,
    or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

  • Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material
    evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.

  • Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's
    supporters. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined
    as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.

  • The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.

  • A set of principles or beliefs.
I'll not fisk those definitions directly for the evidence of pejoration amounting to almost complete loss of the meaning of the word itself. Instead, in this "Mending Walls: Faith, Part 1" post (yes, there is a part 2), I want to very simply and briefly look at the formation and use of the word "faith" and its antecedents (and the words it is used to translate, in a couple of important cases) as drawn from the Graeco-Roman and Judeo-Christian roots that largely formed the basis of Western Civilization... and provided us with a concept of faith that the modern world has lost.

Part 2 will deal with what our loss of the concept means to our society today... and perhaps what is means concerning our destination as a society.

So, if you're still with me, for the rest of part 1 CLICK HERE.
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