Current Module resource

Current Module Resource / When Can the Doubter Be Saved?  Insights on the Problem of Deficient Belief

When Can the Doubter Be Saved?
Insights on the Problem of Deficient Belief

While belief is conventionally regarded as a necessary condition of religious faith, some have proposed that certain voluntary, non-doxastic cognitive stances/states may function in the stead of full assent to the content of Christian confession. Among the most prominent representatives of this approach to faith is Louis Pojman (d. 2005), who propounds a faith-model of deep/desperate hope in response to the Problem of Deficient Belief. This alternative account is found to be an insufficient to substitute for the mental attitude required by faith on the biblical criteria, as well as philosophically untenable. Though Pojman may fail to resolve this problem, critical scrutiny of his work yields insights of potential value. Rather than an alternative theory of faith, Pojman’s “religious attitude of hope” is perhaps better regarded as evidence of faith that coheres with scripture. I argue that for one who has doubts, if a minimal degree of belief is held, then the doxastic condition of faith is met. Further, if a state of acceptance may be freely chosen, and is essentially similar to a state of minimal belief, then the latter may be freely chosen as well.


What is “intellectual formation”? In Rom. 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”