Belief is Different from Faith

Not only is belief or opinion a different Greek word (doxa) from faith (pistis), it is in itself a completely different concept. Historically, this distinction has been obscured by accepted teachings that the faithful ought to believe certain propositions to be true. I have sometimes thought of this common traditional view as the “transitive” concept of faith. But a more profound “intransitive” concept of faith is equally ancient. This is not in itself a belief or opinion that a creed or doctrine is true, but rather a kind of affirmative, trusting, hopeful sincerity that need not refer to anything beyond itself. I find ample evidence of it in Augustine’s Confessions, to mention but one example, even though Augustine also affirmed and helped formulate doctrinal propositions.