Religious belief

My third contention is that the act and attitude of faith is born from the imagination. Faith sees the form or pattern of divine revelation as a whole. It sees it embedded in the literary genres of the Bible. It sees it radiating supremely from Jesus Christ as he lies in the manger of the scriptures (as Luther put it). It hears and heeds the witness of the Church in its teaching. It is seized by the truth of the central Christian doctrines of creation, the fallen human condition, atonement, salvation and sanctification in the Church, and the accomplishing of all this through the triune nature of God. The meaning of these doctrines is grasped by the believer through an act of imaginative assent. Faith is not only convinced that the gospel of Christ is worthy of credence and is no illusion, it is also drawn by the perfection of its form: it sees it as supremely beautiful, attractive and desirable. I wish to draw attention to the aesthetic dimension in faith. The imaginative-aesthetic dimension of faith and assent will be pursued in Chapter 7.

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