Also see http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2589498
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Dr Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions and author of the New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
I think the last part of the interview is best, when Dr Aslan talks about his personal experience of faith (just move the bar along, if you wish)
The difference between religion and faith: The difference between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith… where His Spirit (immense) is activated.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND FAITH
Here are my notes… enjoy
“Religion is nothing more than a symbol, a metaphor of (for) my faith. My faith is in God, the Ultimate Source, the Ground of All Being. There is a difference between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Faith helps us to define the journey.
Religion is simply the language of metaphor. Religion is not divine – it’s man-made – it’s a personal expression of our faith. Don’t confuse religion and (with) faith. My faith is in God and religion allows me to define and express that faith. The water is the water that everyone is drawing from – the water is the same, but the well is all that’s different. Amazing thing about the study of religion – the one thing you can’t get past. Countless cultures and civilisations separated by thousands and thousands of kilometres and many centuries of history define that religious experience, the mystery of God in the same way. They use the same language, the same myths, the same stories (??). They come up with the exact same answers to our questions. Religion is not the means to an end – it’s the end in itself what matters; religion is merely the path to a destination, but it’s the destination that’s crucial. Religion is nothing more than the path, whilst faith is the destination.
– the words of Reza Aslan, author of Zealot, who expressed them, his views on religion and faith far better than I ever could.
Picture from http://www.tworiversblog.com