Friday, 8 February 2008

Faith as Symbol

Faith and belief is not a series or list of doctrines or dogmas but a new way of life wherein the person has made an about face in a new direction toward Christ.

The basis of this as we have seen in the historical background and development of the Apostles' Creed is rooted in the thrice assent and thrice dissent in the baptismal rite formula.

This formula is called the symbolum or symballein a word that means to fall together or to be cast together. The original meaning, therefore, referred to an ancient method to authenticate a message, document or treaty by the presence of two halves of a seal or signet ring, or the two halves of a garment, the hem and the rest, or two halves of a staff, or of a tablet.

When these two identifying pieces fall together, or are cast together they bear witness to the authenticity where the two holders of each portion are verified and confirmed. This allowed each of them to have special authority or privileges. Consequently,
"A symbolum is something which points to its complimentary other half and thus creates mutual recognition and unity. It is the expression and means of unity."

Joseph Ratzinger: "Introduction to Christianity" p.62

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