On this program, the hosts interact with a number of man-on-the-street interviews concerning the nature and meaning of faith. As they have discussed throughout this series, faith is often seen as a kind of leap in the dark. According to the surveys we’ll air on this program, this belief seems to be held by Christian and non-Christian alike.
The Christian misunderstanding of faith appears to be rooted in an often-misinterpreted passage from Hebrews chapter 11, so the hosts also spend some time explaining in what sense “faith is the essence of things unseen.” Join us as we continue our series, What is Faith?, on the White Horse Inn.
“So, the assumption for most people is that when religious people go to church, mosque, synagogue, whatever, they are switching their furniture from the intellect to the emotions. Basically, they’re switching it from knowledge to opinion. They’re otherwise using their commonsense and their reason and appealing to evidence and relying on their senses and so forth in their everyday lives and evaluating other claims. But when it comes to religion, they switch off their minds and go to autopilot, just sort of flying by the seat of their heart as it were.”
Term to Learn
Q. 21 What is true faith? A. True faith is not only a certain knowledge whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word; but also a hearty trust, which the Holy Spirit works in me by the Gospel, that not only to others, but to me also, forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.
(The Heidelberg Catechism)
The Reformers were unanimous and explicit in teaching that justifying faith does not justify by any meritorious or inherent efficacy of its own, but only as the instrument for receiving or laying hold on what God has provided in the merits of Christ. They regarded this faith primarily as a gift of God and only secondarily as an activity of man in dependence on God.
(Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 497)