THE UNIQUENESS OF THE FAITH OF CHRISTIANITY
Faith is the bed-rock of Christianity. Of all existing religions, Christianity is the only faith-centered religion. Other religions are wrongly labeled as “faiths”. The paradoxical phrase “paths of faith” has falsely elevated the other religions to a “faith” status. For, there is no other religion than Christianity which offers “faith” as a way of salvation to its adherents. Faith “marga” (way) is unique to Christianity. Faith is the essence of Christian teachings. Faith is indispensable to Christian life. From the time of its very inception, Christianity has evolved and developed the concept of faith. It has from time to time, informed and enriched and formulated its idea of “faith” from all branches of sciences. Christianity alone is the proud owner of fully developed high-pistology (Greek: pistis = faith, logos= study). Pistology is the systematic study of Faith and the Believer. This present study undertakes to construct a proper theology of pistology by systematically studying the etymology of faith, Christian philosophy of faith, the Christian psychology of faith, the Biblical theology of faith, and the Christian theology of faith to prove that the nomenclature “Faith” is the sole property of Christianity. Etymologically, faith is an English word derived form the Old French “feid” (faith, trust), which was derived from the Latin “fides” (trust, belief), which in trurn was derived from the root of Latin “fidere” (to trust, to believe). The Webster’s Dictionary defines faith as “belief, especially in a revealed religion, trust, reliance, loyalty”. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “trust in somebody’s ability or knowledge, trust that somebody or something will do what has been promised, a strong religious belief”. The polymorphic nature of faith obvious by the following various definitions. By its meaning, faith is a belief directed toward a person or a thing. Traditionally, faith was considered as simple-mindedness. It was considered as the refuge of the uneducated. The crutch of the illiterate. And some still consider so. But, there is a divided opinion about faith in various circles of knowledge and science. Many philosophers define faith as irrational and ignorance of reality. Some psychologists understand faith as a neurotic disorder. Scientists say, it is a superstition. But, at the same time, there are equally positive definitions from the same circles. Philosophically, faith is the mental attitude of assent to the reality of a given object. Psychologically, faith is the inner psyche oriented trust toward a proximate or ultimate source of meaning and security. Theologically, it is the assent to the truth of what God has revealed. For Religion, it is preliminary to all devotion directed towards the Deity. For Christianity, faith is dynamic and salvific. Pistology inquired via Christian Philosophy, faith is a universal phenomenon. Faith is a universal human capacity. Every human being is capable of believing, trusting or relying upon somebody or something. Faith is a way of relating to one’s environment. Faith is the qualifier of personal relationships. It is enricher and strengthener of relationships. Whereas, doubt, disbelief, mistrust breaks relationships and separates persons. Faith is an act of human person in which the individual shows assent or reliance on a person or a proposition.
The Uniqueness of the Faith of Christianity
CH. Vijaya Kumar, 2009
In the act of faith, the subject of faith and the object of faith and the content of faith determine the quality of faith. For faith to be a completed quality action should meet the three basic requirements. The primary prerequisite: The subject of faith is required to be a “whole person,” for, anything less will render the act of faith partial and incomplete or no act at all. The secondary but vital prerequisite: The object of faith is required to be an “ultimate person,” for, anything less than...
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