Monotheistic Religions Analysis

2013 Words9 Pages
Two Different Approaches to Faith in Monotheistic Religions
Faith, which is a strong attachment of man’s heart to God, is one of the most important concept in monotheistic religions. In this paper, two passages are selected in order to study two opposite way to perceive faith in those religions. One of the writings is from the Doctrine of Monotheism(The World of Islam, 178-179, Islamic readings from Williams book.pdf), which is observed by the Ibadi Muslims, and another is taken from Preface to Romans ( MARTIN LUTHER--Selections From His Writings, 23-25, Luther.pdf), one of the writings of the religious reformer Martin Luther. Although a few similarities exist, the two passages differ significantly in the definition of faith, the attainment
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The author directly presents his rejection a common conception of faith which the he regarded as misleading and useless. He criticized that it was only “belief”, which is useless in attaining salvation. Then the way of perceiving faith held by the author is elaborated. The author describes faith as some given and lively, and how faith improves a man’s thinking and action. The relationship of faith and works are concretely explained, with attention specifically placed on their cause and effect. God’s active role in making judgement is and faith’s ability to shape one’s behavior are especially emphasized, and are the central point of…show more content…
Although both mentioned the inseparability of faith and good works, as mentioned in Doctrine of Monotheism “Commitment is not complete without both word and act” (The World of Islam, 178) and in Preface to Romans “It is impossible, indeed, to separate works from faith” (MARTIN LUTHER, 24), the relationship of faith and works is completely different as to their cause and effect. In Doctrine of Monotheism, works is clearly described as a required part of faith. It is addressed in two parts, verbal profession, which is fulfilled by confessing the trueness of God and his messengers, and active profession, which is done by the fulfillment of all the divine ordinances. Under such view, faith is seen as derived from righteous behaviors. In another word, good works is an integral part of faith and its prerequisite. On the opposite side, in Preface to Romans, the author completely denies such view of the causality of works and faith. He made his point clear by fiercely accusing the traditional practice of people doing works while feeling that faith is not enough, calling such practice “nonsense”. He further explains that a person of faith never seeks good works to do, because the faith in him with Holy Spirit would make him to do good in a natural and spontaneous manner. Thus, the author reasoned that one who is not active in this way and is searching for good works to do has no
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