On no longer being sure whether I ‘believe in’ God

Posted on December 28, 2007


In writing the previous post a footnote occurs to me: is ‘believe in’ the right verb?

My gut instinct is that many others are happier: I think the Church (and with it and in it, me) more nearly ‘confesses,’ ‘proclaims,’ and ‘worships’ God than ‘believes in’ Him.

Such gut instincts could only be proved or disproved by a decent exegetical and theological analysis of ‘salvation by faith,’ I suppose, but I offer as a first thought that privileging ‘belief’ (or even ‘faith’) over confession and worship might come in part from privileging Paul, or perhaps even a particular reading of Paul, over the rest of Scripture, particularly perhaps the Old Testament. And I am almost certain that the meaning of belief in modern English (‘giving cognitive assent to’) is a million miles away from anything Paul meant to suggest was important.

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