Saturday, August 11, 2012

Faith Reduced to Metaphor

There are those who expect to have their faith and their rationality too by turning faith into metaphor. They rightfully say that their faith is not literally true, and they add that their faith gives them useful metaphors by which they can live their lives.

This, however, does not preserve faith. This simply kills faith peacefully so that rationality can wear its clothes without bloodsplatter. Metaphors are communicative tools; if faith were nothing more than a system of metaphors faith would be superfluous except as a means to help people understand certain rational ideas that are, for the moment, too high for them to grasp. It's a ladder to what is really of substance, nothing to be loved or sought in itself.

But then, that is not really the way we approach faith. The whole difficulty that leads to people trying to hold onto their faith in this way is that they love the faith itself.

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