Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Having Faith

I am currently listening to a very interesting lecture on CD. The lecture is about comparative religion. I am fascinated by it. It talks about various religions, including some that pre-date Judaism, and talks about similarities and differences.

I have often wondered if this, coupled with yesterday’s post makes me appear like a skeptic or non-believer. I do not fall into either category. I do have my differences and I am willing to talk about the problems I have with certain stories. Still, we can learn from them.

I think back to a class I had in college called Religion, Myth and Magic. The instructor was talking about Bishop Codrington. Codrington, a Bishop in the Catholic Church, was also considered one of the most scholarly of anthropologists. One of Codrington’s disciples one asked him how, considering all he knew, he could still be a Bishop, a man who had faith in G-d. Codrington replied to the effect, “It is precisely because of what I do know that I can believe this way.”

In other words, Codrington was suggested that the true test of his faith was to believe, even when all the evidence, evidence that he was helping to find, pointed elsewhere. I understand that approach. From a Jewish perspective, can there be faith without doubt?

What is faith? I think Dan Brown, in the DaVinci Code, does an excellent job explaining it. To paraphrase, he is saying that faith is to believe in something regardless of what the evidence shows. Therefore, anyone who believe in something, often times will continue to believe even if the evidence says otherwise.

To that extent, at least to a degree, I understand and agree. Despite having issues, despite speaking publically, despite not automatically accepting what all the commentators say, I still have faith, I still believe. I think that is extremely important.

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