Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Terminology Tuesday: Belief

Belief: The fundamental positive cognitive attitude that commonly takes a proposition as its object. Most philosophers hold that propositional beliefs can be occurrent, in which case there is conscious assent to a proposition, or nonoccurrent, in which case a person has a disposition to assent to a proposition (such as 2+3=5) even though the person is not consciously thinking of that proposition. Theologians distinguish belief that something is the case from belief in a person or ideal, as when a person believes in God or democracy. The latter seems closer to the biblical concept of faith. It seems clear, however, that belief in God is not possible without some propositional beliefs as well, since one could hardly believe in God if one did not believe that God existed or believe anything about God’s character.1
1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 17.


  1. Adam Omelianchuk May 18, 2010

    I think you mean Stanley J. Grenz… not Grantz.

  2. Joanne May 18, 2010

    Very helpful…I would also like to learn more about the deeper nature of belief. What actually is it and/or what happens within us when we exercise it, since it is so vital that we cannot even know God without it?

  3. RkBall May 18, 2010

    It is my belief that "form" should be "from". If this is a seeded error and I have just won a complete apologetics library, woo-hoo!

  4. Brian May 19, 2010

    Thanks for finding that error, Adam. Fixed now. And I see you like Cush… yes! Good stuff.

    Yes, that error was there for you to catch. Award ceremony to be announced.