Still don’t get Cox’s definition of “faith”

This is only a small aside from Cox’s chapter on the Bible: “Meet Rocky, Maggie, and Barry”.  For the most part, I find this chapter fairly un-controversial — which is not to say that people aren’t going to argue with him, just that I don’t feel the need to. But the one thing I stood out was at the bottom of page 159 where he says: But here “faith” is once again debased into accepting as true something for which you have no evidence. The problem is that this is exactly how the word “faith” has been used for centuries — at least since the author of Hebrews wrote: Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. So what Hebrews calls “faith”, Cox calls “debased”.  No wonder I’ve been struggling with The Future of Faith so much: he’s re-defining a clearly understood term and expecting everyone to play along.  I imagine I’m not the only one confused.

2 thoughts on “Still don’t get Cox’s definition of “faith””

  1. How about a different term? ‘Messiah’

    Just to twitch the rug a wee bit…

    There is no use of the term or concept of ‘Messiah’, a holy saviour of Israel, in the Mishna until 410-430, and the concept was likely then borrowed from early Christianity.

    Without this concept, however, much of the religion itself is baseless within the monotheistic triad. It also fundamentally undercuts the supposed theological basis for early Christian conflict with Rome. In short, the formation of the early Christian church becomes solely a political/ethnic rebellion organized around a religious leader – there is no reason to believe he might be ‘the son of god’ because there is no religious context for such an assumption or even possibility. Another Daniel, another prophet, possibly; but not a chance the Jews would consider him a deity.

    Yes, Cox may be alternately defining ‘faith’ to suit his arguments. It’s an old practice.

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