Wilfred Cantwell Smith on the Furniture of the Modern Mind


There was a time when “I believe” as a ceremonial declaration of faith meant, and was heard as meaning: “Given the reality of God, as a fact of the universe, I hereby proclaim that I align my life accordingly, pledging love and loyalty.” A statement about a person’s believing has now come to mean, rather, something of this sort: “Given the uncertainty of God, as a fact of modern life, so-and-so reports that the idea of God is part of the furniture of his mind.”

Wilfred Cantwell Smith, quoted in James Fowler’s Stages of Faith


This is a short post, so reread that quote one more time. Ask yourself, which statement more closely represents your thinking of what it means to ‘believe’ in God?