On Knowledge and Faith

From the TCPC Message Board

It seems to me there are two kinds of knowledge. The most common being a knowledge ‘about’, which comes from study whether scientific or personal experimentation. With it one can spend a life time studying religion or even birds for that matter and know all there is recorded to know about God through religion or birds through study and observation of birds without really ever truly knowing either.

The second, to me, is a knowledge that is innate and does not come in words but is subjectively experienced by virtue of being One (in Christ) with God in which is hid all true knowledge and wisdom. It is not a learned or taught knowledge but a knowing by virtue of experiencing that oneness that is in and through all things. It is more like something that is already known but hidden or obscured by the illusion of knowing obtained through study, thinking, and formulating concepts through what we might deem as rational or scientific means. This second knowledge some might refer to as revelation.

To me, it seems that faith or trust in passed down spiritual principles that Jesus taught and many here speak of can be the catalyst that is able to remove many of these barriers that obscure that second type of knowledge. I am speaking of faith in principles such as forgiveness as one forgives, mercy as one has mercy on others, being measured as one measures and judgment as one judges, receiving as one gives and the golden rule to mention a few. So, to me, faith may be used for a change to take place but when true knowledge or revelation is realized there ceases to be a need for faith. For what need does one have for faith in that which is known.

Whether one would then consider them (faith and knowledge) compatible or not depends on ones definition. I personally would language the one as a catalyst and the other as true knowledge and not use the word compatible as to me that signifies “harmonious, agreeable, or congenial combination” and “with no modification or conversion required”. In my experience, I have found that some things that were accepted by the concept of faith were true but also that much that had been accepted by faith was not true and modification was most definitely required .

Religion has, for me, provided the faith catalyst that was necessary to progress past it. However, I do not see religion as a requirement for all.

Review & Commentary