This past Sunday, July 6th, Pastor Mike Penninga sermon focused on the book of Proverbs and in particular, what Scripture means by “wisdom” (full message here). The collective understanding seemed to be centred around the notion that wisdom is applying what we have learned that we believe to be true, that has been tried and demonstrated so, followed by living in accord to these beliefs, ideas, “assembly instructions” and so forth. Wisdom as one stated was simply “common sense”.
It occurred to me that this understanding of what wisdom is, is how I view what biblical faith is. I think of faith in a formula with three components; (1) content (2) conviction (3) consent. Simply put, “the three C’s” of biblical faith.
1. Content (notitia); to begin, faith must have substance. It is simply impossible to have faith in nothing. There must be some propositional truth to which faith is directed towards. For example, God exists, Christ arose from the grave and God loves us form a basis of information and knowledge on which faith is properly grounded.
2. Conviction (assensus); with a foundation of knowledge, we must “assent” to the information. This is the process in which involves seeking, reflecting, studying, praying, and gaining evidence that leads to the conviction of the truthfulness of the particular idea or proposition.
3. Consent (fiducia); this is the resting or trusting in the information based on the conviction of its truthfulness. Without fiducia, we have what some refer to as “head knowledge” that has not gained access into our “hearts”.