Monday, December 22, 2008

God-kind of Faith

Yesterday I was told that I need a God-kind of faith because then everything God says will come to pass. I do not have problem with the second part of the statement but I am puzzled with the first part. What is God-kind of faith and why do God needs me to have that kind of faith? Three questions immediately comes to my mind;
(1) Does God have faith?
(2) Can we have a God-kind of faith?
(3) Does God require my faith in order to act?

(1) Does God have faith?

Merriam-Webster online defines faith as
1 a
: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a
(1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction ; especially : a system of religious beliefs faith

So basically can God have faith in God? God is omnipotent and omniscience. He do not have faith because he is God. All the definitions of faith fit humans but not God.
Faith is to believe in someone or something. God does not have to believe because He knows! God does not have to believe in Himself.

(2) Can we have a God-kind of Faith?

No we cannot because God does not have faith. However we may have human-kind of faith in God.

(3) Does God require my faith in order to act?

If he does, then he is not God because his action is conditional to my faith.

The proof text used was Mark 11:22
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. (NIV)

It was claimed that "faith in God" was mistranslated from the Greek. It should be "faith of God." In other words, if we have the faith of God, everything we say will happen. This is based on the grammatical distinctive of the Greek text echet pistin theou. This was taken to mean that
(1) God has faith (God faith),
(2) it is possible for us to have God faith, and
(3) we can use the God faith to move mountains.

By using that translation of Mark 11:22, it implies that with God-kind of faith, we can become like God, speaking things into existence.

Somehow I am not comfortable with that kind of teaching. I have only human-kind of faith in God.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Great distinctions Alex. I often think that folks who teach us to have the "faith of God" sadly teach us to have faith in faith instead of faith in God.

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Parenting Tips said...

I believe God does have faith in goodness and in love, in selfless sacrifice and in grace. With love and through love, God created the heavens and the earth and came down as man to redeem mankind. There is much rejoicing in the supreme act of God in love. God's omniscience is embodied in His faith in the supremacy of love and even if God is not bound in time, there is room for free will and God's ultimate faith in love.

http://daddyparentingtips.blogspot.com/2008/06/tip-64-have-faith-in-love.html

8:19 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Good point, too, Bob

9:32 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Daddy Parenting Tips,

You wrote that I believe God does have faith in goodness and in love, in selfless sacrifice and in grace . If I use your definition of faith as you wrote in your blog-link: In the bible, it states that faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we can not see exists.

Basically are you saying that you believe that God have the assurance that what He hope for in goodness, love, selfless sacrifice and grace will come about, and the certainty that what He cannot see exists? Is this the description of an omniscience God?

And further, how can God's omniscience is embodied in His faith in the supremacy of love? Are you saying that God's omniscience is limited by his belief in Himself because after all, God is love.

Maybe it is in the usage of the English term 'faith.' Will you accept that the word 'faith' should be replaced by 'certainty' in your comment?

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Parenting Tips said...

We can never fathom the omniscience of God. We can only praise God for His glory and the glory of His creation that embodies love and sacrifice. The faith that very much shapes our Christian pilgrimage may well be different than the faith that God may or may not have. One thing for sure - the very essence of love requires faith and hope - a pure esteem for goodness and a selfless desire to sacrifice out of the wisdom that sacrifice yields goodness. I believe that even as the concept of time, space and matter differs with God, there is an element of free will that God has no control in - yet because God is the Creator of all, God can have certainty in all His faith that sacrifice and love thriumphs over everything, everytime at any place. Hence, God is faithful always.

http://daddyparentingtips.blogspot.com

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Parenting Tips said...

The same question can be asked if a great cook would have faith in the outcome of the dish he/she would be cooking. Though, the cook does not have to deal with free will of his/her subjects. A better example would be loving parents who put in all the right ingredients into nurturing their children, knowing that these ingredients have worked well. Now, add the dimension that these parents created their children and also every part of creation that forms the environment that this child lives in and thus know everything there is to know about their children. The parent is not bound by time, yet free will alters the future. But the parent can discipline the child or introduce elements that would lead everything according to the plan - based on faith yet a sure divine faith.

If God wants to impress on His children the importance of faith, that surely is an important element of goodness, love and sacrifice. Without the centrality of faith, goodness can only be boring. There is no point in God saying that the creation was good if there was no element of faith before that. Good takes on a new meaning with faith.

3:07 AM  

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