a More Complete Understanding of Biblical Faith and Its Powerful
Impact on a Theory of Epistemology with Implications for the
Evangelical Philosophical Society
Ed Payne, M.D.
***Paper presented at the 2012 Meeting of
the Southeastern Region of the Evangelical Philosophical
Society, March 26, 2012
healing. What started my exploration into “belief” was
“faith healing.” In
Chapter 12 of Joni Eareckson-Tada’s book,
A Step Further, she
recounts the challenge of other Christians to be healed of her
paralysis from her neck down by “having enough faith.”
But, she and thousands of others have failed this
Jesus said, “Go; your faith has made you well” (Mark
said, “Your faith?”
If those that He healed then could be healed by their “faith,”
why not in the 21st century since Jesus “is the same
yesterday, today, and forever.”
In the same way, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, whoever
says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea” (Mark
history, this event has never happened literally.
project is to develop a detailed definition of faith,
primarily based upon these passages, but applicable to virtually
all Biblical texts.
This definition has the potential to remove the supposed
mysteries of faith, giving Christians more specific directions
in how to build their faith and how apologetic attempts to
bridge between faiths can be understood.
Because of the central place that knowledge has in
Biblical faith, this paper also has implications for the
Evangelical Philosophical Society.
Here and elsewhere, I equate “faith” and “belief.”
In the New Testament, the noun
pisits and verb
pisteuo are the only
Greek equivalents for these two words.
(2) In English we have the problem that “faith” has no
verb form, so “ believe” must be used where the action of faith
is needed. (3) I
contend that that any attempts to distinguish between these two
words in both common and academic discussions is needlessly
confusing, in spite of extensive literature that might want to
qualify differences between them.
Assensus, fiducia, notitia.
Perhaps the most common definition of faith is presented
as assensus, fiducia, and
notitia. I have
heard many sermons on this definition and read many theologies
with their explanations, but I still have been unable to grasp
the concept of faith on this basis.
I doubt that others have, as well, as evidenced by my
introductory example and many other applications.
In my exploration that follows here, these terms have
some application, but they fall woefully short of the details
needed to grasp more fully the concept of Biblical faith.
denouncing notitia, I
still want to begin with it, but explaining and expanding its
Notitia is basically
knowledge, but knowledge has many sources and degrees of
That the sun will rise tomorrow is highly certain.
Which way the stock market goes on a particular day is
not. That my car
was reliable to get me to this conference was highly certain.
That the Interstate would not have a slowdown or stop was
less certain. So,
if the knowledge required for faith is not certain, its
expectation may not be fulfilled.
sources of knowledge.
But from where does knowledge come?
In the philosophical tradition, there are four
possibilities: faith, reason, acquired, innate, and implanted.
Immediately, I want to reject faith and reason as sources
of knowledge, as they are methods of reasoning with knowledge
that one already has.
A person is born with the basic knowledge of survival,
e.g., crying to get what is needed, learning motor skills, and
acquiring empirical or experiential from basic mental skills.
This already-present knowledge thus preconditions the
person for all acquired
knowledge. It is
here that faith and reason play their roles.
Faith decides what is and is not trustworthy, and reason
evaluates this knowledge, using induction, deduction, and
abduction to advance it further.
What about innate and implanted knowledge?
Noam Chomsky, the famous linguist, has taken the strong
position in his “generative language” that the ability of humans
to learn language is far more innate than learned.
In this concept, he has vitally revived the notion of
innate knowledge which had lapsed over time.
Chomsky attributes this innate knowledge to naturalistic
causes where Christians would attribute it a supernatural
causes, i.e., the God of Scripture.
Thus, there is the (more or less) firm ground for innate
knowledge from both secular and Biblical perspectives.
What I have called “implanted” knowledge is
perhaps better known generally as mysticism—an acquired
knowledge that comes from somewhere outside the person.
But of all the sources of knowledge named, it is the most
In fact, the very nature of “inspiration,” better “expiration”
of Scripture, is the notion of God imparting knowledge to a
person for it to be written down.
And, Scripture records God giving specific information
directly to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Hannah, Samuel, the Apostles,
and many others for them to respond accordingly.
From this source of implanted knowledge comes
what I consider to be a major key to understanding faith.
When Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole,” He
means that the very notion of certain healing was given to the
person. If I am
correct, one can readily see the problem of trying to “stir up
one’s faith” in order to be healed.
One cannot “stir up” knowledge that must come from God
Himself. ---- But,
let us move on to other particulars.
Perhaps one of the most important contributions to modern
epistemology from the postmoderns is the “hermeneutical circle.”
As one studies Scripture, theology, and experiences God
in his life, the knowledge of God and the certainty of faith
grows. This empirical
knowledge then influences one’s interpretation of Scripture, and
the circle continues throughout one’s lifetime.
This “circle” is the
central mechanism of faith—knowledge of Scripture and experience
both increasing one’s faith!
Expectation: general and specific.
Lacking from almost all discussion of faith is a
The person with the implanted knowledge expected to be
healed by Jesus.
When we have faith that “God works all things together for the
good” (Romans 8:28), we interpret “all things” that happen to us
in that way. When
we pray for anything in faith, we have an expectation of how God
should act. We
don’t have faith for just any kind of afterlife, but heaven
But there is both a general and particular
aspect of faith that is still a problem for the believer.
We have faith in Romans 8:28, but when a loved one dies
unnaturally and unexpectedly, our faith may be challenged and
even abandoned. We
have faith that “God will provide” for his own, but for some
that may be a meager income and others a considerable fortune.
We have faith that we will go to heaven, but we do not
Let us note these two particulars of faith:
the implanted knowledge and the specific expectation.
Both have caused serious problems for Christians over the
centuries. God has
given us His Special Revelation as the primary, if not,
exclusive source of
notitia or knowledge for faith.
But all these promises are general in nature—we put our
own particular expectations on these promises and when they are
not met, we may be severely challenged.
Should we not teach the general nature of these
expectations of faith so that God’s Providence is more readily
Definition: After this discussion, I now introduce a
definition of faith or belief, as “a necessarily pragmatic gift
in which the will to act is based upon knowledge with an
expected result, always with some uncertainty of outcome, as
determined by Reality or Providence.” -----
content of knowledge for a Christian is primarily, and
dependently, that of Biblical truth.
and notitia do not explain these particulars which become
important for the exercise and experience of faith, as we have
Faith is not the action itself, but the “will
to act.” If the
action does not occur, then faith was not present—only the
simple knowledge of what ought to be done.
This idea corresponds to the person who says, “I
believe that I ought
to … pray more, help others more, read my Bible more, etc., but
I do not.” Well, by
my definition that person does not truly believe these things,
else he would act.
We should understand that when we act in
faith, we have a particular expectation, when God has made a
more general promise.
We pray for healing, but God’s Providence or Reality may
be that we are not to be healed.
We pray for financial resources, but they may not be as
plentiful as we had hoped.
We pray for our children’s welfare, but they may have
more trials in life than we would have desired.
This disjunction between faith in general expectations
and Reality brings in some uncertainty, even for Biblical faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have
been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may
boast.” Gift is
another dimension of faith.
Here, Paul is speaking of saving faith, but all faith is
a gift because of the uncertainty of knowledge that we have been
Faith is the only means
by which to act without certain knowledge.
It has a necessarily pragmatic and heuristic dimension.
Divided line and JTB: The attempt to “justify true belief”
(JTB) derailed epistemology and has never righted itself again.
JTB can be traced back to several of Plato’s dialogues.
He recognized the problem of knowledge, as illustrated in
his Republic by The
Divided Line—how do opinion (doxa)
and belief (pistis)
become understanding (dianoia)
and knowledge (episteme)?
Thus, his attempt to “justify true belief.”
We have already looked
at this same issue in the varieties of uncertainty in knowledge.
Plato wanted to get beyond this uncertainty to
Plato’s and others
great mistake was trying to get beyond belief to some
epistemological absolute certainty.
All knowledge is based upon belief: beliefs about the
self, about the world, about others, etc.
And, as we have seen, faith is the methodological gift
for taking action without truth or certainty.
If we define knowledge, as simply the activity of the
mind, then we can begin to assess its various degrees of
certainty or reliability.
If we want to strive for the highest level of knowledge,
then the term should be “truth.”
The problem with justification is that classical
foundationalism is dead, that is, there is no universal standard
by which to “justify” knowledge.
Then, there are all the vagaries of “tests of
truth”—correspondence, coherence, pragmatism, etc.— that is even
less agreed upon.
Relative to Plato’s Divided Line,
the “belief” of
Scripture moves over
dianoia directly to
is, belief in the propositions of Scripture are knowledge or
Michael Polanyi was a world famous physical chemist, a
contemporary and colleague of Albert Einstein, who in mid-career
was given a chair in philosophy to develop an epistemology of
science. While his
“personal knowledge” was developed within and directed towards
the natural sciences, it has considerable application to basic
cannot detail his method here, but merely note his writings for
the following reasons.
(1) He may have the most detailed, practical, and
understandable paradigm for epistemology to be found anywhere.
(2) He has destroyed any claim to truth for the natural
sciences, especially the “soft” sciences of sociology and
psychology. (3) He grounds knowledge in personal and community
agreement as faith, tradition, and authority—bringing religious
knowledge onto a level, if not elevated, playing field—an
essential step since the Enlightenment Project attempted to
destroy these sources of knowledge and values.
The Polanyi Society, periodicals, and books continue his
I have encountered a number of theologians and philosophers who
have grasped this broader application of faith.
Abraham Kuyper called it “generic” faith, and so shall I,
as that name is as good as any and has a universal “feel” to it.
On my website, I have quotes by Kuyper, Augustine, Anselm
of Canterbury, Jacques Ellul, Edward Carnell, John Warwick
Montgomery, Alvin Plantinga, Merold Westphal, Christian Smith,
and many others who understood and wrote about this “generic”
who have written about his subject include Paul Davies, Thomas
Kuhn, Terry Eagleton, Karl Popper, Percy Bridgman, and Charles
What is this generic faith?
As I mentioned earlier, I had faith in my car, in my
knowledge of maps, in predictable events, and probably dozens of
other uncertainties to get to Wake Forest.
Was it certain?
There is likely not a person in this room who has not had
“faith” to travel somewhere, and something challenged, hindered,
or prevented the “expected” outcome—that is, Reality or
Providence. I go to
bed with the faith that my alarm clock will wake me.
However, the electricity may go off; I may have set the
clock incorrectly; I may have forgotten to turn it on.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of application of
faith daily. If we
had to be certain, that is, to know the truth of the situation,
we could never get even get out of bed!
With these examples, I hope to remove the
mysterious nature of faith.
Its method of action is no mystery at all, unless one
wonders at how we came to trust the process and to act upon it.
And, here I posit that it is the gift of God
because of the Fall
so that we may operate in this fallen world with its
as truth…what is truth?
One challenge to my idea that all knowledge is based upon
belief would be the truth-claim of the Bible.
But everyone on earth does not recognize the Bible as
truth, so it is not a universal truth for everyone.
Further, the Bible is accepted on faith, so its
applicable truth is dependent upon my personal belief and the
community that believes it.
The whole worldview is one that rests upon faith.
How can we then know, if it is true?
My answer may surprise you—because
the Bible makes claims on the basis of the law of
noncontradiction and the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
shatters the myth of more than one way to be saved with “I am
the way, the truth, and the life.
No man comes to the Father but by me.”
That statement leads to
an examination of who He is, and of course, that leads to the
whole study of the Bible which in turn leads to its being
inerrant and infallible.
The two most fundamental beliefs then are Jesus Christ as
Lord, God, and Savior, and the Bible as the record and
instruction of his truth.
There is also the hermeneutical circle in which beliefs
are validated with increasing knowledge, as I have already
Synonyms of belief.
Let me clarify the concept of belief with synonyms of
belief to demonstrate how prevalent and necessary it is to all
our thinking and actions.
From a thesaurus, we find: acceptance, acquiescence,
article of faith, assent, assurance, assuredness, axiom, canon,
certainty, certitude, concept, confidence, conviction, courage,
credence, credibility, credit, credo, creed, dependence,
doctrine, dogma, mind’s eye, faith, feeling, fundamental,
hubris, idea, intuition, judgment, knowledge, law, maxim, mind,
opinion, orthodoxy, persuasion,
precept, presupposition, principle, reliance, religion,
religious belief, security, self-assurance, self-confidence,
self-importance, self-reliance, sentiment, sureness, surety,
system of beliefs, teaching, tenet, theology, tradition, trust,
trustworthiness, and viewpoint.
Some that I have personally added are:
faith, religion, way of life, chosen path, “ground
motive” (Dooyeweerd), meaning, purpose, explanation of
ultimates, metaphysics, metanarrative, cosmology, “what is,”
reality, worldview, state of affairs, systematic ethics,
philosophy of religion, meta-anyting, individualism, ultimate
concern, ultimate reality, ideology, all “-isms” (such as,
idealism, materialism, naturalism, communism, scientism,
atheism, fascism, spiritualism, physicalism, and capitalism
to name only a few!),
purpose of life, meaning of life, the whole list of “-ologies”
and “-osophies” (such as, theology, philosophy, cosmology,
ideology, to name only a
few!), reason, Reason (Hegel’s
philosophical outlook, first causes, God or god, fundamental
reality (Durant), ontology (Titus), origins,
a priorism, truth
(correspondence, coherence, pragmatic), all formed religions
(Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism, etc.), and pluralism.
concept of belief is inherent in language and discussion of any
matters of fact or relation of ideas (Hume), or extension of
space or ideas (Descartes).
Further, inherent in our discussion this point, there is
a wide range of beliefs from virtually irrational conjecture to
willingness to place one’s life on the line or even one’s
While classical foundationalism has failed,
foundationalism as basic belief to one’s person and community of
faith is necessary and inescapable.
Everyone operates by both generic and religious faith—and
they overlap in a necessary and profound way.
They are an authority.
When one is converted to Christianity, one spends the
rest of his or her life trying to transfer that authority to the
Scriptures and dies without having been completely successful.
Personal belief is
inescapably the methodology of every person’s
General implications of this definition.
(1) The nature of
The false separation of faith and reason continues to haunt us.
If there are “peoples of faith,” there are “peoples of
reason.” Now, in
the marketplace of ideas and the public square, which opinions
are the more likely to be persuasive?
Obviously, peoples of reason—so any argument by peoples
of faith is lost from the beginning.
Politically, “progressives” are the peoples of reason,
and they have been getting their way since the Enlightenment.
because of the misunderstanding that all knowledge is based upon
belief—reason is only a method by which to evaluate and extend
The only hope of atheists and agnostics to
compete in epistemology is through knowledge from
But the philosophers of science, especially Polanyi, have
destroyed in no uncertain propositions that natural science is
based as much upon belief, as any other knowledge.
Christopher Hitchins, Richard Dawkins, and all the other
popular anti-Christians could be profoundly silenced, if their
opinions are shown to be “beliefs” not truth.
The same can be said for all other sources of ethics and
There is no more
important agenda for the modern hope of freedom.
Christians can readily see that they have nothing to fear
from science. (3)
mystery. They can understand that the method of faith is not
mysterious and develop the challenge of studying the concrete
realities of their faith in Scripture and its application to
Belief is not some mysterious element within, but an action with
identifiable and concrete parts.
For the Christian, faith becomes centered on Scripture in
what God teaches about who we are and what we are to do.
The nature of proof.
All peoples can come to understand that the nature of
“proof” is relevant to personal belief systems, and one cannot
convince another of his argument without “conversion” from one
system of faith to another.
(1) Our statement of belief is in the inerrancy of the
Scriptures, yet in a review of the last five issues of
there is an extreme paucity of Biblical references, terms, or
there is an announcement to make a form of natural theology
the theme of an entire future issue—a theme based upon
the ideas of a Catholic theologian, Richard Swinburne.
In Colossians 2:3, Paul said, “In (Christ) are hidden all
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
In I Corinthians, Chapters 1 and 2, in a lengthy
discussion, he called the wisdom of the world “foolishness.”
How is it that we have spent the large majority of our
scholarship in our journal in “foolishness” rather than
“treasures of wisdom and knowledge?”
This challenge is not to make the “encyclopedic fallacy”
that Scripture gives us knowledge about everything, but the
great error of the past few decades of Christians in philosophy
has been to work in Athens rather than Jerusalem.
God has given us His Special Revelation—the most concrete
form of knowledge known to man, and we relegate it to a minor
role in our philosophic discussion?
The EPS needs to stop its flirtation with truth in other
religions, as it did in
Philosophia Christi, Volume 11, Number 2, entitled
“Religious Diversity: A Dialogue.”
Nowhere in the Scriptures does God call us to “dialogue”
with other religions—He calls for us to proclaim.
The explicit statement of belief by EPS precludes all
other claims to truth.
One wonders what is happening when our journal espouses
“dialogue” on the one hand and J. P. Moreland, one of the most
prominent Christian philosophers today, makes accusations of
“bibliolatry” and “over-commitment” to Scripture.
I will take my stand that the far greater problem in both
the EPS and larger evangelical community is an
“under-commitment” to Scripture.
I trust that my paper today is one small example to move
beyond that lack of commitment.
Why are we content to “grope” along with pagans, to work
in darkness, when we have the “mind of Christ?”
Without doubt, Alvin Plantinga started a
revolution in Christian philosophy, but he made a major mistake,
as many pioneers do.
He failed to
ground “Christian” scholarship in the Scriptures.
That is, anyone who calls himself a Christian is
considered to be doing “Christian” philosophy.
However, the large majority of Christians in the West
does not believe in Biblical inerrancy, and therefore are not
orthodox by historical standards.
Philosophical scholarship that is not directly coherent
with Biblical propositions is not “Christian” in the sense just
stated. Lest anyone
accuse me of insight by hindsight, I started my work in medical
ethics about the same time that Plantinga wrote his famous
paper, but I took a Biblical route, not a “Christian” one.
Last year, at this same meeting I presented a
paper that examined five areas where Christians have distanced
themselves from Scripture: classical theism, blurring of Roman
Catholic-Protestant distinctions, the necessity of regeneration
in epistemology and ethics, philosophy of religion as philosophy
of Christianity, and “Christian” vs. Biblical scholarship.
Other areas that I did not have time to develop include
the relationship of theology to philosophy, the scientific
method as a fallacy of induction (especially in psychology and
the other “soft” sciences), the false disjunction of faith and
reason, the Bible as the basic for ethics, the overemphasis on
apologetics, and the nature of belief which I have discussed
here. I challenge
us to live and work coherently with our statement of belief.
I have expanded the definition of faith to
reveal its particularities.
This definition explains many of the frustrations and
heartaches that Christians experience by not understanding faith
in this detail. The
central importance of the operation of faith is Biblical
apologetics, all arguments are based upon faith, as are ethics
and politics in the public square—all persons are peoples of
faith. Finally, it
behooves the EPS to move to more Biblically explicit scholarship
wherein are “all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
following are notes that could have been included in this paper,
or are pertinent to the ideas presented above.
They are “notes,” not
mean to be detailed or complete in thought.
of Christian philosophers, “light and darkness”:
to bring all the questions of 2500 years of philosophy
and find their correlations and answers in the Scriptures, as
Paul did on Mars Hill (Acts 17).
my 2011 paper: “If
I am right, what are we to do?
The Evangelical Philosophical Society needs to limit its
focus to a truly Biblical approach—one based upon Kuyper’s
two-fold starting point with more definition, as defined by
Moroney and others.
Our doctrinal affirmation
already declares an epistemology that is fully adequate to
accomplish that goal.
If philosophy is to serve theology, then the latter
provides the presuppositions for the former.
Currently, the evidence is that this situation is not the
case, as I have presented.
Personally, I believe that the only truth that we will
ever know this side of heaven is that which God has revealed in
God has promised fruit from the diligent application of
Scripture; He has not made any promises concerning
I am not saying that the Bible is the encyclopedia of
everything technical, or even academic, but we must be certain
that its depth and breadth are fully explored and that it is the
controlling ethical concern in every endeavor.”
(From my 2011 paper, “Quo
Discussions of properly basic beliefs at least imply that there
are only a few beliefs, but I contend that they are almost
person has beliefs about electricity, human nature, medicine,
education, cars, books, philosophers, child raising, the golf
swing, running, etc., etc.
These beliefs are
not all related or necessarily controlled by one central
properly basic belief nor controlling belief.
My belief about the golf swing has nothing to do with my
Christian beliefs, or my beliefs about cars, running, etc.
Sure, there are overlaps and interrelated concepts, but
one basic or controlling belief—not really!
Mini-beliefs are predestined.
There is no other basis on which to explain why all
individuals are made up of a unique combination of beliefs.
is shaped by belief, as much as “basic beliefs”:
how one shapes his basic or mini-beliefs is as much a
product of belief, as the former.
Coherence can only be built within this system.
Perhaps, one could say that every person has his own
system—indeed, you have already said that!
Mentalism (Ed: personalism): Stanford—the 2nd
form of internalism.
“Mentalism is the thesis that what ultimately justifies
any belief is some mental state of the epistemic agent holding
Group-think: beliefs are communal.
Groups form around common beliefs: cultures, clubs,
guilds, professional organizations, denominations, natural
sciences, etc. …
modern science (Polanyi).
Belief is always personal, “I believe that ___ “or “I believe in
get beyond this fact.
While we accept other authorities to varying degrees,
especially the Scriptures after regeneration, the self still
controls beliefs that lead to actions.
No two people on planet earth agree on all their beliefs.
know more than we can say.”
We cannot even get to our most basic beliefs or know all
Certainty and certitude are one and the same.
Certainty is always held by a person, and this
subjectivity makes it certitude.
Bible also uses faith as the total system of propositions
presented in the Bible, as “the faith”
(Ephesians 4:5, Jude 3).
he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does
not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith
is sin.” This verse
is a clarion call to have as much certainty as possible about
any faith (ethical) issue.
The only way to have this certainty is by sound exegesis
and reason. The
strength of “basic beliefs” is such that one can reason a whole
worldview from them.
The Azande Indians are quite capable of reasoning all
possible events and outcomes concerning their poison oracle.
2:19 Even the demons believe––and tremble!
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even
the demons believe––and tremble!” James 2:19
This verse is puzzling and fraught with
But, like many verses in Scripture, paying attention to what the
verse actually says is a way to avoid confusion.
There is only one belief in the context: monotheism.
Anything beyond that explicit proposition is speculation
However, it may be helpful to explore the reasons for so much
misunderstanding of this simple text.
Belief always leads to action (where the belief affects
one’s person). We
see evidence of this connection in v. 17, “Thus also faith by
itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
The action of saving faith in the Christian sense (about
which this context is clear) is the “good work” of clothing and
feeding “brothers and sisters” with these needs (v. 15).
(Faith and belief are synonyms.
There is only one Greek stem,
pist-, for the noun
and verb in the New Testament which may be translated according
to grammatical and narrative rules, as “faith,” belief,” or
the specific action of faith here are those two charitable
mechanism of faith is the same whether in saving faith or
generic faith (below).
Does the faith of the demon have a “good work?”
Yes, he has a work, but not a good one—he trembles for
fear of this God of whom he has understanding.
Faith that has a
personal involvement always leads to action.
This passage has demonstrated the actions of
Christian believers and of demons.
However, for one to believe that Paris is a great city in
France does not affect one
personally (unless one am going there).
So, there is no resulting “action” or work.
(Perhaps, one might postulate that giving the correct
answer to a question in school about the geographic location of
Paris might be considered an action or “work.”)
But perhaps there is a little more to the
demons’ knowledge of God than simple monotheism which alone
could be vague and remote, like Paris to a person in America.
Trembling means fear, and fear is a belief that harm
might come in some form.
We know a little of what Satan and other demons might
know of God and his plan that might cause this reaction.
Apparently Satan really believed that Job
would curse God…. he did not believe in the perseverance of the
saints…. Possibly Satan believed the promise he himself made to
Eve…. (and) that he might tempt Christ to sin.
If he had believed (the latter action)
impossible, why should he have tried three times?
Therefore there must be a good bit of the Bible that
devils do not believe (in the way that Christians do—Ed).
What Is Saving Faith, Trinity Foundation, 2004 edition, p.
This exploration leads to major patterns of
ignorance among Christians—both lay and professional theologians
(2) Faith is common and
generic in every decision that a person makes every day.
I “believe” that my alarm clock will go off for the time
that I set it. I
believe that my car will get me to my destination.
I believe that my candidate will be best in
the office for which he is running.
I believe that my employer will pay me at the end of the
For every decision and
action, there is a belief.
The process is inescapable.
In this way, as I have demonstrated, demons also believe.
process of belief and action is the same for generic belief, as
for saving faith.
Now, “saving faith” here includes the act of belief at
the moment of conversion and
all subsequent acts
that occur for the rest of one’s life.
There is no
mystery to the mechanism of faith.
Once this “how” is understood, the mystery of faith is
removal is of great importance to Christians.
How can a person have “enough” faith to be healed?
God must give him or her the knowledge that they will be healed,
as He did those to whom he said, “Go!
Your faith has made you whole.)
Such special (implanted) knowledge was directly given by
God. The same is
true of having “enough” faith “to move mountains.”
He must give that knowledge.
But He has given us the knowledge of His mind
for our life.
The object of faith must
be the revealing of God’s knowledge to His people in the
This object is the knowledge of faith, or
academicians like to say.
This knowledge is common to all Christians—it
is virtually the only current knowledge for faith.
There is no real need with the detailed revelation in
Scripture is the norm—the normal and almost exclusively means by
which God makes available and gives knowledge to His people.
Implanted knowledge is miraculous and can by no means be
caused by man’s actions, including prayer.
Well, a short verse has opened up a much
longer discourse—one that may have brought more questions than
answers. I invite
readers to read a current essay that I have written that will
explain in much greater detail.
Also, I have book available online,
Without Faith It Is Impossible to Please God.
There is no greater understanding needed for modern
Christians than to understand Biblical faith!
Knowledge (1) that, (2) how, and (3) by acquaintance.
Probability theory that assesses new knowledge that changes the
probability of old knowledge.
Seems to have at least as many detractors, as attracters.
See Flew’s dictionary.
externalism approach to knowledge where “reliable evidence” is
substituted for justified, and the person holding it does not
have to be aware of this evidence.
or consequence growing out of and sometimes complicating a
problem, plan, or statement,” as in ramifications.
and philosophy of language.
“Like many analytic philosophers, Hamann insists that
language is the very criterion of thought and that the
philosophy of language should replace epistemology.
Anticipating Freud, he puts his finger on the formative role of
the subconscious in our intellectual life. And, long
before Hegel or Wittgenstein, he stresses the cultural and
social dimension of rationality.”
“Language is the perfect hypostatic union of the sensible and
Christian dualism certain: (1) mind survives death, (2) at
the resurrection, we receive a new body, but in regeneration, we
receive a “new mind” immediately, (3) creation of Adam: “body”
without a mind until it was “breathed” into him, (4) Image of
God is the mind, as God has no body.
Refutation of physicalism…(1) All empiricism is a fallacy.
(2) Consciousness and self-consciousness is unique in the
cosmos—unique to any form of emergence.
The leap from physicalism to “mind” is strained at the
least, and virtually impossible, at the most.
(3) The working of the brain, as mind, has never been
Problem of cause and effect.
Science has never proven cause and effect.
“Mind,” then must be postulated as “caused” by brain
Naturalistic fallacy—the problem of “ought” from an “is.”
With physicalism, we are left without right and wrong.
(6) Physicalism can never rule out supernaturalism
because such is beyond “science.”
The “super-natural” is just that—above the means of
science. (7) Only
two possibilities for mind: panpsychism and emergence—from
Stanford article. Both
theories are beyond the purview of science.
Simplicity of argument.
(9) Number and sophistication of theistic arguments for
the past 30 years.
More so, the strong argument of orthodox Christianity.
Catechism, Answer 21, specifically mentions “knowledge”
and “assurance” (certainty), and gives numerous
Scripture references to same.
Hebrews 11:1 says that such knowledge of faith is
hypostasis, the bedrock
or the ultimate ground of all that is known.
are made in several of his texts.