Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Powerlessness of Faith

“Paul did not believe in faith. He believed in God and emphasized faith—not because faith is powerful but because God is....Had Paul been interested in the power of faith, in the potency of our trusting, he might have organized ‘faith clinics’ in which he taught people how to ‘believe harder’ so that their faith would be more powerful. Then, of course, he would have said that God justifies the godly.”
– Leander E. Keck, Romans (ANTC; Nashville: Abingdon, 2005), 133 on Rom 4:23-25.

1 comment:

bill erlenbach said...

Good sermon material ;)

I wonder to what extent an isolated reading of Matt. 17:20, for one example, confuses the issue. The object of faith (I am not speaking of grammar) is implied, but not specified. I suspect for the original Hebrew audience, the One they are to have faith in would be rightly assumed.

You have reminded me of how important it is when preaching today to not assume that the hearer/reader will rightly discern that the source of power is not "faith," but God. Faith could be stated simply as belief that God is and God is able. If the power is in faith, then I am and I can...I do believe there is a problem with that ;)