The Testimonial Model: Sealed Upon Our Hearts

Alvin Plantinga

in Warranted Christian Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195131932
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867486 | DOI:
The Testimonial Model: Sealed Upon Our Hearts

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According to the model I proposed in Ch. 8, Christian belief is produced in the believer by the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit; the result of this work of the Holy Spirit is faith. In Ch. 8, I explored the cognitive aspects of faith, but faith is more than just belief; in producing faith, the Holy Spirit does more than produce knowledge in the believer – the Holy Spirit also seals this knowledge to our hearts, which is to say that the Holy Spirit begins to cure our misdirected wills, producing in us the right sorts of affections. In this chapter, I explore the affective side of faith, turning first to the work of Jonathan Edwards in order to examine the nature of religious affections. In doing so, I address the issue of the relationship between intellect and will (and belief and affection) in the process of acquiring faith. I then turn to that most important of religious affections, the love of God, exploring the nature of this love and arguing that it is, in part, an erotic love, figured or imaged in the phenomenon of human erotic love.

Keywords: affection; Jonathan Edwards; erotic love; faith; God; Holy Spirit; intellect; love; religious affections; will

Chapter.  17450 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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