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Life of Faith, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

40- The Theoretical Faith

 

St-Takla.org Image: Man thinking, the mind صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رجل يفكر، العقل

St-Takla.org Image: Man thinking, the mind.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رجل يفكر، العقل.

1. The Theoretical Faith

It is an intellectual or philosophical faith. It is just the intellectual conviction in the existence of God and in the existence of unseen matters without their influence on life. There is a saying that proves that the devils have this kind of faith. Then Saint James says about the dead faith, which is with no deeds “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!” (James 2:19). The book of Job gives us an evidence to that point because the conversation between God and Satan proves this theoretical faith, then Satan says to the Lord “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the

work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:9-11), as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. When Satan took permission from God to act, he went to work against Job, and in the second time Satan told the Lord “Stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2:5).

Hence Satan believes theoretically that, that is God, and that He is the one who blessed the work of Job, and He is able to strike what he has, and to strike his flesh and bones. Every expression coming out of Job against God is considered a curse towards God. Never the less Satan was fighting the kingdom of God and God's children, and he still does.

The theoretical faith of Satan which Job spoke about is a dead faith according to what the apostle said “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Thus if faith without deeds is dead, then what is the faith that is loaded with bad deeds opposing every goodness.

The theoretical faith is easy. How easy is it to prove the existence of God with the intellectual proofs and the many evidences, the most important is however the practical faith.

This leads us to the important kind of faith.


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