Many of us actively involved in the Christian Business Faculty Association are interested in the process of integrating faith with what happens in the classroom. We are interested in discerning the biblical foundations for our various business disciplines. Faith integration as a perspective is gathering momentum among all types of Christian colleges and universities.
One question worth asking is this: What type of faith are you integrating in your classroom and in your scholarship?
“Belief that is not brought in to action is not truly faith. Biblical faith is not mere belief or mental assent to the proposition that God exists or belief in the truthfulness of what the Bible says when it talks about God or belief in Jesus as your personal Savior. This is a part but not the whole. Biblical faith is more! “Biblical faith is not a feeling of certainty that you have correct beliefs. Thus, biblical faith is not a mere sense of psychological certainty which you use to remove all questions, even the difficult ones. Rather, biblical faith involves living a life that is committed to a relationship with God and his way of living even when we do not feel especially close to him and especially when we still have questions…faith is action-oriented, not just psychological or emotional affection. It involves committed faithfulness of your whole being in a social context. In addition, true faith is not just an individualistic way of personal thinking; it is commitment lived in community where the great biblical story themes are shown in action. Accordingly, faith is not merely what you say; it is what you do with others that shows in action what you say. This level of commitment is not something that humans can produce of their own will. What an amazing gift of God faithfulness is.” Cafferky, Michael E. (2015). Business ethics in biblical perspective: A comprehensive introduction (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), p. 24.
Alister McGrath describes three types of faith this way:
- “Faith is about believing that certain things are true.” (p. 77)
- “Faith is trust. When I say that I believe in the promises of God, I am declaring that I trust them. It is more than a recognition that these promises exist; it is an awareness that they can be trusted and relied upon. Faith is not something purely intellectual, enlightening the mind while leaving the heart untouched. Faith is the response of our whole persons to the person of God. It is a joyful reaction on our part to the overwhelming divine love we see revealed in Jesus Christ.” (p. 78)
- “Faith is entry into the promises of God, receiving what they have to offer. Having recognized that the promises exist, and that they can be trusted, it is necessary to act upon them – to enter into them, and benefit from them… the first two stages of faith prepare the way for the third; without it, they are incomplete.” (p. 79) (McGrath, 1992, pp. 77-79)
McGrath, Alister (1992) Bridge-Building: Effective Christian Apologetics (Leicester, UK: Inter-Varsity Press).
So, I ask again: What type of faith are you integrating in your classroom and in your scholarship? It makes a difference!
- How does your teaching and scholarship lead students to faith as belief in the truthfulness of certain propositions about God and the Bible?
- How does your teaching and scholarship lead students to trust the validity of God’s promises?
- How does your teaching and scholarship encourage or point the way to what it means to act upon the principles of a flourishing life (elements of God’s character) and thereby experience the benefits that these principles envision?