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November 4th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Why I changed from 'Faith' to 'Being'

Editor's Note:Krista Tippett created and hosts the public radio program and podcast "Krista Tippett On Being"/onBeing.org, produced by American Public Media, and is the author of Einstein's God.

By Krista Tippett, Special to CNN

Since I left print journalism to study theology two decades ago, I’ve thought a great deal about the limits and possibilities of words - especially when we try to navigate the spiritual territory of human life.

And when I started a public radio program on religion, ethics and meaning seven years ago, I was also quite aware that I was inviting people to put words around something as intimate as anything we try to talk about, and as ultimately ineffable.

Nevertheless, to paraphrase St. Augustine, we speak in order not to remain silent. We are fin de siècle, turn of century, people - charged with revisiting basic definitions of life, death, and meaning; we are restructuring our families, institutions, and economies. Our common life needs all the edifying vocabulary and virtues we can muster.

There’s an obvious irony here.

Religious voices have been some of the most toxic in global life in recent decades. Bombs explode in the name of Islam. Christian rhetoric fuels culture wars. There is a chasm between these expressions of religion and the lived virtue their texts and traditions demand.

One of the things that drew me to the new name of my radio program, On Being, is that it has profound philosophical and theological roots - and at the same time, it is profoundly hospitable. Hospitality is one of the great overarching virtues of all our traditions, more immediately achievable than peace, forgiveness, or compassion.

And I’ve been pleased and at times surprised by the open-hearted, open-minded correspondence I’ve had with Christian leaders -  including theological conservatives - about losing the show’s former name, Speaking of Faith.

They struggle personally with the fact that “faith” does not carry the complex resonance it has in lives of devotion when it is transplanted to the public square. A Pentecostal leader wrote to me of his regret that the word “faith” has become “neuralgic” - a source of recurrent pain - in American life.

Evangelical leaders have told me about the “embarrassment” they experience among the young in their communities - young evangelicals have used this very word with me too - about the way “faith” became a blunt instrument in American politics in recent years, flattened out into positions and debates, a primary source of animosity.

There is grief behind these sentiments too, a sadness that a term so rich in meaning for so many should become an obstacle to exploring that very meaning. I understand that sadness and share it.

When we launched our radio program in 2003, I insisted against resistance that public radio had to claim an explicit stake in the “faith” discussion, demonstrating that this part of life too could be discussed with intelligence alongside politics, culture and economics. That conviction remains at the heart of my project.

But my cumulative conversation has evolved to cover religious ideas and questions less in a distinct compartment in society, and more as they infuse all of our pursuits and disciplines.

American culture’s encounter with the ethical and spiritual challenges of our time has unfolded along similar lines. There is a convergence of searching questions, strong identities, and communal commitments that long for discussion and shared action not only across religious boundaries but across boundaries of belief and non-belief.

“Faith” has its place in that, but it is too limiting a word even to describe the Christian contribution to it.

And letting go of a word, after all, doesn’t mean letting go of its content. It frees and compels us, rather, to find fresh, vivid language to communicate the deepest sense of our convictions.

A turning point for me around this decision to change our name was a day I spent last spring at Harvard Divinity School. In a discussion about the future of “progressive Christianity,” it became necessary to name the fact that the word “progressive” itself is at once vague and fraught in public discourse, not an adequate vessel for the contribution its passionate adherents want to make.

So, too, words like “peace” and “justice” have taken on political connotations and political divisiveness. They are not effective shorthand or inviting rallying cries. Yet across boundaries of belief and non-belief, so many of us long to pursue the substance those words were coined to signify.

Being is the word I’m throwing into the mix. What does it mean to be human? And how do we want to live?

These are fundamental, animating questions behind the human religious and spiritual impulse. Our great traditions are vast repositories of thinking and prayer, text and ritual, and conversation across generations about them.

But these questions are not exclusive to religious people. Atheists and agnostics are among the most ethically engaged people in our culture now, some of the most vigorous spiritual seekers.

On Being, as a conversation starter, holds out hope, for me, of a bolder demonstration that the extreme choices between nihilistic atheist and unthinking religious don’t fit most of us. Perhaps, in our search for the new vocabulary to express who we are becoming, we will reintroduce our deepest longings and virtues to each other and to the world.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Krista Tippett.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Opinion • Radio

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Treese

    The word "being" is very powerful for those of us who have studied Buddhism. I have noticed some progressive Christians, including one of my best friends, are unaware that some of the concepts they consider to be "progressive Christianity" are simply the co-opting of Buddhist concepts. I'm sure the author means no disrespect, but please be aware that this word and others are already infused with rich meaning.

    November 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • NL

      I think that her radio show was about religion, and not restricted to just Christians. This is America, after all, and there are other faiths and non-believers out there.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Words of wisdom:
    Be careful though; when we become stuck in 'negative grieving' it is as if we are ‘choosing’ to keep our heart broken. If you find yourself stuck in the grieving process and not moving forward through it, look for how you can find happiness in everyday things. Focus on doing things that make you laugh or feel good about yourself.
    As the Dalai Lama likes to tell us, happiness is a state of mind. Forgiveness, compassion and acceptance can help heal a wounded heart and then the light of love and joy can come into your life once more.!
    Please check out:  "God in One for All and All for One".
    http://www.islamicsolutions.com/believers-of-the-world-unite-world-day-of-god-2010/

    November 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Muneef: Quoting the Dalai Lama? Just want to say that I love seeing folks being open to the words of great people even if they are not of your same faith.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  3. Dave

    go here for an interesting perception on this topic

    truthknowledge.com

    November 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Iqbal khan

    Please check......

    What Did Jesus Really Say by Misha' al ibn Abdullah Al Kadhi
    Romans 3:7 i What Did Jesus Really Say? The author of this book hereby grants an open license to all interested parties to reproduce this publication in any ...
    http://www.scribd.com/.../What-Did-Jesus-Really-Say-by-Misha-al-ibn-Abdullah- Al-Kadhi –

    November 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Why are you posting, people here either read or blog most do both, if you have a valid point present it, if not why bother being here?

      November 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  5. Earthman

    What sense is there in defining a thing like faith when the real issue is Truth. Many have faith in a lie. To not believe a lie is my quest.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Teephphah

      You have a quest? Do you also have a trusty steed? A fair maiden, perhaps?

      Methinks not, somehow.

      BUT, that being said, God (or whatever Higher Power or Higher Truth may or may not believe in) speed you on your journey.

      EXCELSIOR!!!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  6. James Ison

    As a culture we desperately need to learn to respect each others beliefs. I do not believe in god or christianity, but I respect your right to worship and live any way you want. I will defend with my last breath your right to it. I don't have to agree with you. We can still respect each other. I want you to afford me the same right to believe whatever I choose regardless of how you feel about my beliefs or lifestyle. Let me live my life free from you trying to convert me or legislate your morality on me.

    It's about respect. We have NONE in this country. Republican/Democrat, Tea Party, Christianity, Atheism, Gay, Straight. Whatever. In the end we are Americans. We're supposed to be the bastion of personal liberty in the world and a melting pot. We no longer are.

    Why do you care if gays get married? How does it affect your life in ANY way? Why do you care if someone is an athiest? OR wants to smoke pot or drink or whatever. Live and let live. Quit looking over the hedge and busybodying into your neighbors life. If your religion tells you these things are wrong DON'T DO THEM. Duh, but respect the rights and choices of your fellow Americans, fellow human beings, to live their lives as they see fit.

    If we can learn to respect each other again maybe we can get back to what makes this country great.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      James Ison, Here Here, The Truth, the truth and nothing but the truth. Now let see if it can be disputed.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @James Ison

      Well said...

      November 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • MicheleG

      Agree, agree, agree. The catch is that we must not be bulldozed by that OTHER culture (guess which one...) which wants to destroy us. And there by is the problem...respect for each other without being treated as being pusillanimous and weak in our OWN beliefs by that "other" culture which does NOT include Respect for other beliefs. Awkward sentence but I think a reasonable summation of the current political/theological/cultural conundrum.

      November 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  7. JohnQuest

    It might be because I am a simple minded S O B but, where are these folks getting all of these definitions of "being", I read the article as Being = Human (being alive, bring here at this time at this place) nothing metaphysical. The author just wanted to include more than just the "faithful". Or do I have it all wrong?

    November 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @JohnQuest

      No.. I got a similar take on her expression of being.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • Frogist

      That's what I got too... Being in the present as we would like ourselves to be. Being inclusive and being respectful.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • NL

      Maybe 'being' means actively doing instead of just trying, as most religious folks seem to be?

      November 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  8. Bob Braxton

    The "Sein" part of "Sein und Zeit" Martin Heidegger. My B.A. major is philosophy. Also studied three years at Union Theological Seminary, NYC

    November 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Teephphah

      Wow. That is . . . amazing.

      Should we bow before you or just send money?

      November 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  9. kirockk

    Being to me implies a oneness. Where as of late faith has become a blind obsession in the face of facts. An obsession not to a real God but to a book about God or doctrine. Real faith is being able to look past those things, admit that maybe the bible and koran are books written by men of faith but that not every word in them are true and still have a fundamental belief and faith in the love of god. I think that most of the worlds problems are caused by men of faith in doctrine not faith in God. I have faith in the knowledge of evolution and an even greater faith in God. The discrepancy is only with those who lack imagination and faith.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Carlos

    Hmmm... interesting. Have you ever read the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle? In that book, he describes that presence that goes beyond our human being essence, very similar to what you are describing, as "Being".

    Unfortunately, the Terms of Service of CNN prohibits the publication of Copyrighted material, so I cannot post his exact words. Nevertheless, his book has been one of the best spiritual guides that I have had the pleasure of reading, and I am still not done, it is a neverending work in progress, to go from discovering Being to experiencing Being.

    For anyone that has not read of heard the book, it is probably the best $16 you will ever spend in your life. Highly recommended!

    November 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  11. Armando

    FIrst of all god is not trying to harm us in any way, or help the devil "Satan" in any way either, and what i mean by this, is that god made Adam and Eve for a purpose and that was for them to live in a paradize called earth, but as you know the Devil brought sin upon the earth and made them belive that they can govern themselfs, witch is not true. If you have a teacher and he has a hard problem on the board and would like for you to answer the question and you being stuburn think you can solve it in your own way, the wize tacher will let you try to answer it in your own way and get it wrong, your classmates will see that you were wrong and lead to the example of the teacher witch is God. God will not tell you that your wrong and make you do it right, he will let you learn from your mistakes and God will not help the devil by preventing things that the devil has set upon us, so if you feel that God has not help you, its not true. God is watching and has a better plan for you. This life is just temporary for you to learn about him and teach others, for you to have eternal life by beliving in God Jesus christ.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • civilioutside

      "god made Adam and Eve for a purpose and that was for them to live in a paradize called earth, but as you know the Devil brought sin upon the earth and made them belive that they can govern themselfs" Omniscient and omnipotent god had a plan, but the devil defeated it? Does that mean we're working on plan B now?

      November 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Ituri

    So she doesn't like what "faith" means, so she makes up her own special term and expects everyone else to pick it up? Oye...

    If you hate what you believe so much that you have to literally rename it so you can continue believing in it, what does that tell you? The use of the word "Being" doesn't even make grammatical sense, all she's done is confuse herself.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  13. Howie

    Too bad you wasted the last 20 years of your life. Studying religion has got to be the biggest waste of time and resources possible in today's world. Why not study the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny? Just about as productive.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  14. Frogist

    "Being is the word I’m throwing into the mix. What does it mean to be human? And how do we want to live?"
    Everyone faces these questions in their lifetime. And everyone is going to come up with a different answer because that is the nature of humanity. No two people are alike, because no two experiences are alike. Unfortunately the majority of believers don't consider this to be true. They want conformity to an impossible extreme. That's where the proselytizing comes from. And that's where the "I'm right, you're wrong because of the god you worship" comes from too. I truly think if people asked themselves the question, "what does it mean to be human?" and "how do we want to live?", we would have less contention between religions.
    BTW I absolutely support the term "being" instead of "faith". I think "faith" is more passive. But "being" is more practical and far-reaching, yet less contentious. "Being" is an action. And we have to figure out what it means for each of us to BE as we want to be. And we have to respect that other people are being too.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  15. JohnQuest

    I have listen to the program several times. I am not a person of "faith" or religion of any kind, I thought conversations they had were interesting. The shows I heard were mostly about the good that religious people do for the people around the globe. I don't think there was anything mention that could not have been done (or is not being done) by a non believer.

    The one thing that I really don't understand is, what's the difference between the life of a believer and a non believer, for instance, does one live longer than the other, is one more healthier than the other, is one more beloved than the other? If there is no difference then perhaps someone kind believer can explain what's the point of believing?

    November 4, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • Jeff

      @johnQuest

      I cannot speak in general terms, but I can speak of a specific – myself. I was raised in a split family with one parent who went to church, one who did not. I drifted away from church as a teen, and outright rejected it as an adult. I became a Christian five years ago, and can without a doubt say it has been the best five years of my life. I get great joy out of doing things I never would have imagined I would have done ten years ago: joining in worship, feeding the hungry, visiting in prisons, caring for the homeless, working with youth, etc. And for me, all of it is the result of a change of heart I can't really explain other than to say that God answered a foxhole prayer, or the prayers of a number of other folks. Call me crazy, call me delusional, but I wouldn't want it any other way. 🙂 My home, which was a disaster area years ago, is a joy-filled place where my children come home to see us. By no means perfect, I am still a mess in many areas, and I ask God for forgiveness for those sins. I wrestle with the scriptures, and I don't pretend to understand them all, but I do believe that somehow, Christ's atoning work on the cross was sufficient for my sins and for those of all who call him Lord and Savior. YMMV, but that is the difference that being a believer has made in my life.

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      November 4, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Jeff, Thank you, I do not think you are delusional or crazy, I just don't think God or Jesus has anything to do with it. I am not saying that you don't feel a change, clearly you do, I just think that you made the change. What motivated you who knows, but that change came from you. You implied that you were not satisfied with your life before you found God, then what happened? I don't know you so this is only speculation; you may have changed your att itude, improved your relationship with your wife and kids, whatever you did you made your life better for you. You think it took God in your life for you to change, I don't think God is a necessary agent for change.

      I applaud you your success in your family and life, I too have great kids and a beautiful wife and none of us are believers. As far as I can tell belief in God is not necessary for the good life.

      November 4, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • Jeff

      That's why I made no generalization... Did not mean to suggest belief was required for what you call the 'good life'. I could only talk about the difference belief made in my life, before and after.

      One of Jesus' oft quoted sayings was that he came for the sick, not the righteous. So, implied in that is that the population of believers are actually starting off "worse" than non-believers. Personally, I believe we're all in bad shape without Christ, but that's just my belief, and I'm not forcing it on anyone.

      I know many a fine folk who do not talk to invisible people, and I imagine there are many such people on this list. 🙂

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      November 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • ScottK

      It seems to me to be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. If you build it, they will come... If you pray for something, and since life goes on, something will happen and you will attribute it to the prayer. Faith is the greatest example of a placebo thats ever been tried, and as you can see its impossible to disprove most faith since the burden of proof is on the unbeliever. Prove that voodoo or curses dont work, prove that throwing salt over your shoulder doesnt prevent the devil from sneaking up on you after a salt spill, cause thats what he apparently likes to do. Eventually the supersti tions of religion will fade as so many other outdated and uneeded rituals have. And I say, good riddance.

      November 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  16. Reality

    Getting to some specifics vs. the generalities of K. Tippett

    A personal summary of Christianity in 2010:

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was concieved by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary.

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many local semi-fiction writers
    e.g. Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Thomas.

    A bodily resurrection and ascension story was promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    November 4, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • CW

      @ REALITY,

      HOPE YOU CHANGE YOUR TUNE....ONE DAY YOU WILL...BUT IT WILL BE TO LATE. MY PRAYER IS FOR YOU BELIEVE IN GOD...THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS AND HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. IF YOU DON'T....ONE DAY...THAT "I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GOD SPEECH" WILL GET YOU A ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL.

      November 4, 2010 at 11:20 am |
    • CW

      @ Reality,

      I really didn't read your propaganda...speech but....reallly...I mean reallly...that is what you believe? I truly feel for you....if you had read any of the Gospels you would know that John WAS one of the original twelve that walked with Jesus during his time. He also wrote about doubting Thomas. Now...lets examine things...you have a choice...you can believe and have a chance to go to heaven or....DON'T BELIEVE WHICH WILL MOST ASSUREDLY GET YOU A TICKET TO HELL.

      November 4, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Peace2All

      @CW

      You Said................"@ REALITY,

      HOPE YOU CHANGE YOUR TUNE....ONE DAY YOU WILL...BUT IT WILL BE TO LATE. MY PRAYER IS FOR YOU BELIEVE IN GOD...THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS AND HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. IF YOU DON'T....ONE DAY...THAT "I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GOD SPEECH" WILL GET YOU A ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL."

      First, @CW, no need to 'scream' in caps. You were 'screaming' so loud, I couldn't read what you were saying. In general, for a lot of us here on the blogs, when a person uses caps. (and I am not talking about a 'few' words in caps. for emphasis), it immediately implies you have no relevant or sound argument, as is typical of the 'fundamentalists' such as yourself, who can't argue anything rationally or logically. So... No need to scream with caps. to attempt to make your point.

      Second, your highly brainwashed posting of 'hell' for the non-believers, etc.. is getting old. I would advise you to really 'think' about what you are saying not just be a 'sheep' that is following a book written long-ago that declares you have to worship a God... who, quite frankly seems to be exceptionally needy, and... who apparently loves me so much,.. but... If I don't happen to 'believe' in the baby Jesus-lived, died for me story, then I am going to hell.

      I think if you are watching, reading and hearing about the trends, more and more 'christians' are being brought into the 21st century-starting to not so much believe in the hell/fire/satan has got your soul approach.

      At least with these christians, there can be possibly, and even sometimes now a building of common ground.

      But, threatening @REALITY'S immortal soul with eternal damnation is just plain ridiculous.

      Please try again...

      November 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Reality

      With respect to John's Gospel and John' epistles,

      From Professor/Father Raymond Brown in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (The book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Catholic Church),

      John's Gospel, Date- 80-110 CE, Traditional Attribution, (2nd Century), St. John, one of the Twelve,

      Author Detectable from the Contents, One who regards himself in the tradition of the disciple. (not St. John the Apostle)

      First Epistle of John, Authenticity- Certainly by a writer in the Johannine tradition, probably NOT by the one responsible for most of the Gospel.

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee.

      Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1john.html

      November 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Matt

      @CW

      You cannot simply "choose" to believe if you are not yourself convinced. I could choose to believe that I could fly by flapping my arms hard enough, but I would ultimately still know, deep down, that I couldn't. I'm certain that your god would know whether you truly believed in him/her or if you were just paying lip service (not to mention money) to the church.

      And if your god is all-knowing AND the creator of everything, how can free will exist? Think about it. Everything will already have been set in motion when he created it, so how can we really choose to do anything if he knew what was going to happen when he created everything? What's the point of creating something and then punishing it for the way you created it? Not to mention the whole "God created the Devil" thing. What kind of all-powerful, benevolent being would allow the existence of evil. Either it is NOT all-powerful or NOT completely benevolent.

      November 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • CW

      @ PEACE2ALL
      @ REALITY
      @ anyone....who walks blindly about the word of God

      I won't write in caps....this time. Yes....all of you can deny God alll you want. I will pray for you as all of you will need it. The reason I believe is that most all of you especially Reality have have done your very own research based on other peoples thoughts and findings. The reason I believe is that I chose to....its not about I've seen God rise from the dead or that there is a picture or movie that was shot during the time Jesus walked the earth. Its about FAITH.....period. As it says in John 3:16....if you have the faith then you will believe.

      Now as for all of you talking about these new christians coming out and not believing...unless you believe the Word or God to be true....then your just dabbling in christaianity....which will get God to give you the response on Judgement Day 'to depart from me you worker of inequity I never knew you". Being a Christian requires 100%...of you...not just picking and chosing what you want to believe or do....its an act of the will.

      So yes....Hell does exist...read the book of Revelation.....Satan does exist....As for God being to needy....That is becaus he created you....he loves you. So you have a choice believe....live for the Lord...go to heaven....don't believe...as it says in THE BIBLE....you will go to hell...not my words...but THE BIBLE.

      FOR REALITY,
      So instead of reading some of the errored men's research that Reality likes to piont out....which I will use your point....HOW DO THEY KNOW?...DID THEY WALK DURING THE TIME OF JESUS? Why don't you read THE BIBLE.

      November 5, 2010 at 9:26 am |
    • MadPanda

      CW,
      Look up burden of proof. You will not reach any atheists without logical arguments. You are just repeating the same drivel that we consider to have no basis and could never believe, perhaps because we can’t lie to ourselves?-I tried for a little while, but once I grew up I started paying more attention to how I feel and realized how absurd it all is. Your all knowing god would understand why we don’t believe and could never blame us if he is of as you claim.

      I have a question: Do you have faith in Islam, or Judaism? How about Hinduism?

      November 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • salmos8318

      @MadPanda
      Here's an illustration: Do you believe there exists real money and counterfeit money? So, let's say you were charged with identifying counterfeit money at a bank... how much time would spend learning how many different counterfeit money there is versus just focusing on how to identify real money? Likewise, once we've learned to identify what truth is as we've come to know it in the Bible (a book that claims to be inspired or "uttered in whispers to the listener/secretary" by God), there's no need to go learning the many different flavors of falsehood.... IMHO that would be not only foolish but it wouldn't make any sense either. Only the Bible ... the 66 canonical books from Genesis to Revelation... is a valid reference as to what is "real money"... it's quite complete and extraordinary in so many ways (oldest book, has affected billions of lives throughout all history, has survived despite attempts to have it destroyed, is the all-time best-selling book, is accurate historically, contains history in advance AKA prophecy, not to mention that it's as practical a book today as when it was written, etc.)... all others are fake.

      Now, obviously, it takes time, effort, sincerity of heart, and lots of humility to get to understanding it; however, the book itself states, "faith is not a posession of all". I'm curious as to what stumbled you... what specific nonsense (note that I'm agreeing with you here that not all you hear out there is sensical when it comes to biblical doctrine) did you in?

      November 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  17. TinaC

    I will listen, regardless of the name. Krista Tippet's conversations over the yrs have been a treasure.

    Yes, words have limits. I am okay with adjusting how we speak, in order to do so more effectively and, perhaps, draw more ppl from varying backgrounds into the conversation. (glad she mentionrd the atheists & agnostics)

    Still, "Speaking of Faith" began with the belief that we could broaden the understanding of a word (the f-word) that was hijacked by extremists & loudmouths. This feels like, ultimately, those hijackers won. It leaves "faith" that much emptier.

    And that makes me sad.

    November 4, 2010 at 10:22 am |
    • Jim

      I agree on all counts.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  18. Name*Doug

    Being suggests a stillness that opens up to awareness.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Jeff

      true – psalm 46:10 comes to mind...

      November 4, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  19. jeff

    To me, 'being' connotes no purpose, merely existence. It implies no relationship. For me, 'faith' produces hope, whereas 'being' does not. Again, for me, 'faith' conjures up active struggling, wrestling, questioning, whereas 'being' suggests passivity.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:59 am |
    • NL

      jeff-

      Maybe it's like the difference between relationships in your youth and in your later years? When you're young your typical relationship is passionate, never guaranteed, full of angst and something you have to constantly work at. As you grow into a relationship it becomes comfortable, steadfast, and defined by trust.

      In our youth we may 'play the field' and dabble in all kinds of different belief systems (maybe even witchcraft, eh Christine?) and this attracts us because we really don't know what we want in life and we're naturally adventurous. Eventually for most, we find something that sticks with us and we grow to live with our belief together. Some people will carry this belief on into old age like an old married couple, without anybody ever thinking of one without the other. Sometimes, as with human relationships, people drift away from their beliefs and become attracted to new ones. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the drift may be towards a belief that has a more positive effect upon the person's life.

      One would think that Christians who find Jesus in their youth and learn to grow comfortably into their faith would be cherished within the community, but often they are scrutinized by folks who came into their faith later, or who always struggled to maintain their relationship with Christ. Those folks think that the only valid relationship with Christ is a rocky one, the 'prodigal son' example, but I think that is unfair to the steadfast, meek and gentle believers that many people would like to be the face of Christianity today. The ones who spend their lives being Christians instead of struggling to be Christians through faith. I think that is the difference between terms.

      November 4, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Zardoze

      jeff, you make faith sound like someone's getting ra-ped. Does it hurt?

      November 4, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Jeff

      @zardoze – Joy is in the ears that hear – you tell me...

      November 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Jeff in Florida

      I agree completely. Additionally, I think all of this psycho babble about "being" is a hugh politically correct copout. The last nail in the coffin for American Media and NPR.

      January 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Nesdon

      Jeff, you say faith is "active struggling, wrestling, questioning" and I accept that that is your experience, but faith, liguistically, means belief that is not based on proof. To me, this means that it is in fact unquestioning and inflexible. Faith often precludes wrestling and active struggle, faith is often retreat from struggle to a comfortable homeostais.

      So often, my dialogues with the faithful about our stuggle to undestand our collective existance, are stopped short with claims of faith: "That's what I believe and nothing you say can change that."
      Frankly, I most often find faith to be the end of active struggle, to be a surrender to a fixed doctrine and the end to open contact with and exploration of the mystery of, well, being.

      January 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  20. Chris Thompson

    I understand the thought behind changing the wording a bit to shake people out of rote recitation. It's good to think about the meaning behind the words. But I feel the new wording only serves to re-mystify the language of the Mass. That's not the same as encouraging people to think about the mysteries of the Catholic failth. I think it obscures those mysteries and makes the less accessible to the people Jesus was trying to reach.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:57 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.