Chapter

<i>Faith and Criticism as Interdependent</i>

Basil Mitchell

in Faith and Criticism

Published in print January 1995 | ISBN: 9780198267584
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683312 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267584.003.0003
Faith and Criticism as Interdependent

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Scripture is authoritative only to the extent that worthwhile insights are to be found in it, which survive subsequent testing. Such a stance, although possible for a theologian, is not characteristic, but its prevalence does throw into relief features of Christian faith, as traditionally understood, which are thought to impose particular strains upon the believer, strains which are avoided altogether or at least are felt less severely, by the secular thinker. The believer is committed to the faith of the Church, which in turn is committed to the historic faith of Christians. Each element in this double commitment is felt to impede the free flow of enquiry which is a necessary condition of rational criticism. The individual believer surrenders his rights of criticism to the Church and the Church systematically prejudges all issues by acceptance of an authority which cannot be questioned. This chapter argues that Christian faith is not a merely human achievement and that it involves a relationship of love and trust in God.

Keywords: scripture; faith; love; Church; criticism; trust; God

Chapter.  6195 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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