Rich Paxson

What has the word faith meant to you in a religious context?

I’ve thought of faith as a gift from God for a long time. And yet, I’ve had no real understanding, or theology for the meaning of faith as gift from God. Now comes James talking of faith in terms of expectation and reliability; about the reliability of God’s love and revelation; about the expectation that God the Other other, calls out, inducts God’s love in those who notice, who turn toward, who respond to God’s presence in their lives.

God, the Other other who is not one of the gods, revealed God’s self most completely through the Apostolic witness to Jesus’s life; which produced a concavity in human awareness and action. The Apostolic witness invites me to allow God the Other other to induct the self-same concavity into my life. It is not something I can grasp onto, but something I will receive as I let go of my old, self-achieving, moonshot beliefs about religious goodness; turning in faith to hear and respond to what God the Other other is saying.