Faith and Practice in a Nutshell

Vocal ministry at Homewood Friends Meeting, 7/22/18:

In his gospel book, the apostle John has Jesus say that eternal life is knowing God. In a letter, the same apostle writes that whoever loves knows God, because God is love.

That’s it: faith and practice.

Notes and disclaimer:

The first scripture reference is to the evidently unhistorical statement of Jesus in John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” The second reference is to 1 John 4:7b-8: “everyone who loves is begotten of God and knows God; the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” “Love” here renders the Greek agapē; for a brief explication of that term, please see Quaker Theology in Brief.

Perhaps I should have mentioned the question of attribution, but that didn’t feel appropriate. In any case, I do not have and did not intend to assert an opinion about the authorship of the texts cited.

2 thoughts on “Faith and Practice in a Nutshell

  1. Thanks for that helpful insight.

    Should Quaker texts then not be “Quaker Practice and Faith” (rather than faith and practice)?

    Also, I get that love (in practice) leads to knowledge of God (faith) but I fall short at how that knowledge leads to “eternal life” and how we are to understand that latter term today?



    • In this context, faith is trust in loving, and loving is always already an act of faith. See A Basic Theology for Friends for more on the unity of faith and practice.

      I think of “eternal life” as signifying a living that tends to transcendence of the normal human self-enclosure. But I don’t propose to define it for others.

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