I have mentioned before that the word faith is nuanced in the Bible.
So what should the Koine Greek Word in the New Testament that is often translated into the English noun faith really be?
How about faithing?
What is faithing? Well, according to the Urban Dictionary:
The act of walking quickly to a class, or just quickly in general, almost running.
Okay, but another question:
Have you heard of speed dating? I’m sure you have.
But have you heard of speed faithing? Maybe not.
Speedfaithing, per Interfaith Youth Core, founded and headed by Eboo Patel [a man I have met twice and an organization I have worked with and support] is all about creating an opportunity to learn about another worldview from the perspective of a person who identifies with that worldview. Speedfaithing has spread around the country, mainly hosted at universities and college campuses. Organizers encourage participants to listen and ask thoughtful questions rather than debate or argue, and to also keep it short. The point isn’t to convert someone in 10 minutes — it’s to explain basic tenets of a faith and answer any questions the other speedfaithers might have.
One of my colleagues at IFYC, Cassie Meyer, says this: “The stereotype of speed-dating is you have two minutes to judge someone. There’s something to be said for speaking really quickly off the cuff about something. You’ll have a chance to be thoughtful, but you don’t have a chance to obsess about it.” So here’s how it works:
- Someone shares the basics of his/her worldview with a group of curious people
- She/he talks about what her/his religious or philosophical background means personally
- It ends by answering questions from the people listening
According to Interfaith Youth Core [and people like me who have done this], speedfaithing provides a great opportunity for you to say all those things you wish people knew about the beauty of your beliefs.
Let’s watch a short video from an IFYC Conference during which students participated in Speedfaithing.
I think that the speedfaithing movement is awesome!
And I think that John the baptizer would approve.
Faith is not some abstract concept and certainly not only a noun.
Faith is a verb.
Therefore, we should encourage questioning, struggling, and doubting. We should walk away from simplistic ways of talking about faith and move towards faithing, which is about continually discarding and acquiring perspective that informs how we make meaning of our lives. This is only natural on our journey.
Your take-home for this week is to consider what you would say about your worldview, your religious or philosophical background to a complete stranger, or to someone of another faith. And, be prepared, because soon enough, you will have this opportunity. Faithing is what we are called to do. And this is freeing.