Faith - an act or and attitude?
I have been reading a book by Charled Arand (when I get bored with the thesis) and I came to an interesting point when he related the story of Henry E. Jacobs. Jacobs was considering whether he will continue with Methodist style revivalism or continue with his Lutheran confessionalism. He said that in the revivalism in America it was
justification -- per Christum propter fidem (justification by Christ on account of faith)
justification -- per fidem propter Christum (justification by faith on account of Christ).
One might say, well there is no difference. Yes there is and the difference is miles and even galaxies apart. The first emphasizes faith, the latter emphasizes Christ. The first leads to faith in faith, the latter leads faith to Christ. On what account are we justified? On account of faith (which can be turned to works), or on account of Christ (this you can never turn to a work). Consequently the experience of conversion becomes the focus of the first but Christ becomes the one that is prominent in the second. The first will make you look inside, the second will make you look outside.
Now being trained to listen about faith as an act continues to be my plague, the 25+ years of living in that psyche is a battle. In an unguarded moment, I notice myself cycling on the first. I also noticed that for Jacobs, faith is an attitude rather than an act. This difference caused Jacobs to retreat from revivalism and settle on confessional Lutheranism.
Think about it too. propter fidem or propter Christum?