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Integration of Faith and Learning

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Tammie Jones



Integration of Faith and Learning

         What is the meaning of faith? Webster dictionary says that faith is a "firm belief in something for which there is no proof." The Oxford dictionary states that faith is a "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof." The Bible talks about faith throughout the Old and New Testament. One such verse is Hebrews 11:1(NKJV) faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." These definitions have determined that faith is the belief in something that can not be seen or proved.  

We have all heard the saying "have faith in me," those four little words carry a lot of meaning. How do you have faith in someone? I have found out that to have faith in someone, you must first learn who they are. Someone that may be easy to show you have faith in would be a pastor, parents, police, and others that are in the position of authority. Even though you can see these people, you have faith in what you can not see, their actions or motives.

 To show faith in someone, for example, I show faith in my parents, or should I say, I have learned to show faith in my parents. Because my parents have always provided for me and and kept me safe. I was never in need of anything throughout my childhood, so my faith in my parents grew. Because of my knowledge from my childhood of their reliance and support, I still trust them for advice throughout my daily life.

Another aspect of faith is the faith that we have in the world around us. Every night as the sun sets we have faith that it will rise again in the morning. Why? Because the sun has always risen every morning. Every time we breathe the air around us into our lungs we believe this air will keep us alive because it always has. This same faith is also expressed in all facets of our lives. With hope, we get through the trails that we are faced with throughout our day from getting out of bed to getting into our car to drive to work. We use faith to make decisions about relationships, business, money, and every other aspect of our life.

How do learning and faith integrate? It is vital that we gain knowledge about things in the world for your faith to grow throughout your life. Just like with the example of my parents above, the more that I knew about my parents, the greater my confidence grew in them. The same concept can be applied to the world around us, the more we know about the workings of the sun, air, and other natural forces the more faith we obtain. Trust is something that you can apply to any relationship even your relationship with God. You need to continue to learn about God's love and God's story for your faith to grow.

Lack of faith is a problem that can be corrected with knowledge. If you lack in faith in regards to a store, bank, or school then it is vital that you study into these businesses to build my confidence in their capabilities to deliver what they promise. This knowledge develops your faith in them and the more you know the stronger your faith.

This is where a liberal arts education comes in. With a liberal arts education, the whole mind is trained not just a portion. Students are taught how to think not what to think. By learning how to think you obtain knowledge that opens up the world around you and encourages your creative as well as your intellect side (Harris)

By obtaining a Christian liberal arts education, you are increasing your knowledge of God and the love that God has for humanity, along with the understanding of the world and how it functions (Harris). If God is the sustainer of everything on earth, then the more you know about life on earth the more you know about God.

In this class THEO2100, I have acquired the knowledge that is enabling my faith in God to grow and flourish. One of these sources of knowledge that I have found is the sermon by John Wesley "The Catholic Spirit" through this sermon I have established a deeper understanding of what it is to be a Christian and to have faith. I have realized that what is most important about being a Christian is having a love of God in your heart and the love for others as well.

With the love of God in our hearts, I am not concerned if others opinions differ from mine what is vital according to Wesley is to engage in conversations with people of all faiths and beliefs. By having conversations with others, we are expanding our learning. As humans, we are finite creatures who interpret our ideas according to our traditions and experience. But by opening up our selves to others opinions, we can learn and grow.

Wesley states that what is important is not how you worship or what you believe but whether you have a love of God in your heart(Wesley). Being filled with Gods love and having faith implies that you can see beyond differences of opinions between those of different religion than yours. By seeing beyond the differences, you can grow in your faith.



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