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January 15, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Why is faith big tent?

As humans we grow over time. We also build relations over time. This is even taken into account in psychology theories like Kolberg’s theory of moral development (ie stages of development). To me that fits with how people work–epsecially over an 60 to 95 year lifetime.

My guess is that most Christians would point to grace as the reason that such a difference is possible. Its a big tent option in some respects–sure its limited–but a big tent compared to the alternatives that now allowing that diversity would suggest or dictate.

* I don’t think I have a monopoly on answers on this question–but I do think its a pretty decent answer.

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Given that people come to faith in different ways often–in the same way they might get to Austin, TX from any number of the highways that go into the city–it means that others likely came to faith based on one of the reason/emotional/experiential strands that I rode through my maturity.

As with any human experiential or behavioral issue–its possible to describe it from the outside in or the inside out. I picked one of those. I think that its possible that it also can stand in for the opposite or complement (ie there is a large overlap between the two).

I’ve described faith as a posture–not a physical one–per se. Its a posture of hope and a leaning onto God and leaning into Him. I think dovetails the ability to have doubts….but not live in the doubts. In the same way an entrepreneur has hope or an opportunistic outlook on the future–may have doubts about their venture (is this the right timeframe? have we looked at all our assumptions?) but has an overall hopeful and more faith-based outlook. This outlook on the future isn’t just a rational one based totally on evidence or a leap into the great unknown (although it occassionally is). One thing we do know is that faith and hope in the future is generally the precondition. Any ideology which doesn’t have some interplay between the two seems to encounter some problems (at least this is historically what I’ve noticed and experienced–and I imagine others have as well). The pragmatist Charles Sanders Pierce points out that this is actually abductive logic–which would seem to transcend the dualism that certain authors have recently attempted to impose on this choice.

I don’t mean to unhinge your sentence–
but I might say:
1. I believe in God because…
2. I have faith in God because…
3. I believe in God because I believe (ie I have faith that one story or interpretation is more credible for me).

You can read more here:
* Abductive reasoning (link)
** Charles Sanders Peirce (link)
*** Process theology (link)
**** Process Theism (link) (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

You might just pick abductive reasoning and one of the process links. I’ve included the Charles Sanders Peirce just for your own intellectual curiosity.

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