Faith & The Word of Promise

By: Dev Menon

Quite apt to the story of Abraham:

“Faith by its very nature always conflicts with that which the world and our own reason and experience of the world is able to see. The Christian is constantly being attacked by temptation. The Christian’s existence is in danger because he stands in the midst of reality under the impression of it which reason and rational experience have given him . To believe means to live in constant contradiction of empirical reality and to trust one’s self to that which is hidden. Faith must endure being contradicted by reason and experience; and it must break through the reality of this world by fixing its sights on the Word of Promise. 

This presupposes that faith is not a position on which one takes a stand but a constantly new movement. The empirical reality of human existence and of the world, the experience of trouble, of wrath, and of death, does not cease and cannot be avoided. The Christian can only overcome it constantly by holding fast to the Word in faith. The Christian is always tempted to allow his impression of reality to make him doubt the truth of God and view it as a lie. He cannot possess the heaven of community with God without repeatedly making that descent into hell which takes place when he doubts and even despairs God’s grace. Faith thus stands in constant conflict; and it comes to life only when it breaks through the reality accessible to reason.”

– Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther

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