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Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

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    Tillich, Dynamics of FaithThrough his 1957 thought provoking Dynamics of Faith text on religious theory, American author Paul Tillich explores deep religious issues. To be precise, the author explores the relationship between the dynamics of character and faith besides describing faith as emanating from personality. Further, the book analyses the clash between doubt and faith.

    This book is thus a real gem in the analysis of theological concepts for using profound philosophical reasoning. After studying the book, I can categorically state that I have gained deeper insight into the issues of faith and human personality and how the 2 are interrelated. My bold presentation of this point does not however mean that Tillich’s text is flawless. As is common among instrumental works, the book demonstrates a number of deficiencies which emanate from the usual complexity of religious concepts such as faith.

    On the other hand, the book has a number of significant strong points which demonstrate the author’s expertise in religious issues. All in all, through the Dynamics of Faith text, Tillich explores how faith and personality are interconnected and how doubt and faith conflict besides describing faith as constituting personality amid various notable weaknesses as well as strengths.For example, regarding the issue of faith being a component of personality, Tillich explains faith as constituting ultimate concern. In elaborating this statement, the author states that faith comprises a central concept that has to do with demonstrating ultimate concern.

      Conversely, the author explains that all faith-based acts have an element of doubt in them.  Related to this concept, Tillich observes that faith-based dynamics account for the interplay between doubt and faith. Moreover, all faith-oriented acts acknowledge that doubt is a real possibility.Consequently, a keen analysis of Tillich’s text unearths a number of notable strong points based on the author’s sound arguments.

    To illustrate, by asserting that faith constitutes total personality, the author is spot on. This is because conventional wisdom as well as religious knowledge holds that faith requires one to freely decide to demonstrate trust in a certain entity.  Such an intellectual and conscious act calls for an individual to involve their entire mental faculties in making knowledgeable decisions. This total dedication of one’s mental powers in developing conscious religious decisions thus renders faith a personality-based concept.

    Personality is naturally related to intellect. Tillich is thus confirmed as demonstrating profound foresight in authoring the book.In addition, the author argues that faith cannot be attained through an academic inquiry process. Rejecting this intellectual-based argument, Tillich states that faith constitutes a mental verification of definitive reality.

    Such an argument is again correct because it even concurs with the Bible in its analysis. This is because even the Bible describes faith as not being an academically analyzable construct. Rather, the Bible, especially in the Old Testament scriptures, defines faith as constituting a firm belief in both invisible as well as visible concepts. By demonstrating a similarity in argument with the central Christian religious book, the author thus demonstrates authority in analyzing the subject matter.

    Moreover, Tillich demonstrates honesty and candidness while affirming that in faith, elements of uncertainty and doubt exist. By presenting this bold view, the author avoids being trapped into the sensational waves that usually characterize contemporary religious writers. This is because the author clearly states that when faith unites infinite reality with finite beings, aspects of uncertainty are involved. To demonstrate his commendable realistic nature, the author asserts that such uncertainty is inevitable and that Christians should strive to live with it.

    By avoiding empty religious rhetoric that usually makes people to get swayed by vague waves of religious zeal, the author shows that he is very much in touch with reality. Further, he does not wish to unnecessarily excite his audiences at the expense of their coming to accurate knowledge of the concept of faith. Tillich’s openness, frankness, and depth of reasoning thus make the text very excellent.Further, the author demonstrates critical thought while arguing that the uncertainty that accompanies faith is usually lost when religious or civil authorities impose conformity among religious persons.

    A close examination of this statement reveals that it is essentially a very deep philosophical argument. This is because, in order to advance the aforementioned argument, the author has critically analyzed the role of free will in the depiction of faith by religious persons. Having thus established that free will leads to an aspect of risk, the author concludes that freewill is essential if faith is to be properly exhibited. Such a clear correlation of different but related concepts thus shows that Tillich is a profoundly deep thinker.

    By reflecting such deep thought through the text, the author thus makes the book very appealing.On the flipside, Tillich’s book has a number of observable downsides which mostly have to do with unclear argumentation or irrational statements. For instance, as he defines faith, the author holds that faith constitutes a central concept of demonstrating ultimate concern. A keen analysis of this statement however shows that it is somewhat ambiguous and thus open to varied interpretation.

    To illustrate, assuming that faith really constitutes ultimate concern, one would consequently wish to know the entity with which faith is ultimately concerned. This is because the notion of being concerned means that an entity with which somebody is concerned has to be existent. The ambiguity thus plays out.In addition, the author asserts that faith is not possible if disconnection from definitive reality is inexistent.

    A clever critic may however argue that if persons demonstrate faith towards ultimate reality, then the individuals cease to be separate from such ultimate reality. A striking example of this phenomenon is that persons cease to be autonomous from the person of God if they demonstrate faith in Him. Tillich’s aforementioned argument is thus depicted as a weak one based on the above counterargument that appears more plausible.Moreover, to show another weak argument, the author explains that faith may have both objective and subjective truth as he seeks to explain where faith derives truth.

    It can however be better held that faith remains subjective, as opposed to objective. This premise gains support from the fact that if only objective certainty existed, faith would be unnecessary. Once more, a striking weak argumentation method is depicted.Regarding what I have learned about faith after reading Tillich’s text, I have become aware that objectivity and faith are incompatible.

    Further, I have learned that academic reasoning is an enemy of faith-based reasoning. I have also augmented my awareness that faith essentially constitutes the entire personality. In addition, from my critical analysis of Tillich’s arguments, I have discovered that persons cannot rationally be separate from the definite reality in which they have faith. It is thus clear that studying the text has enabled me to strengthen my existing knowledge as well as develop deep perception into some previously obscure religious concepts.

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    Tillich, Dynamics of Faith. (2017, Mar 04). Retrieved from

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