The Difference between Religion & Faith (in two simple diagrams)

By the Rev. Ken Howard

When some people talk to me knowing that I am an ordained leader in the Church, they often preface what they say with the phrase, “I’m not very religious person…”

When I hear that, I usual respond, “Me neither, but I am a person of faith…”

Recently, I was challenged to illustrate the difference between religion and faith very simply, in one or two simple diagrams.

The following is my attempt to rise to this challenge:

Diagram #1

Religion

Diagram #2

Slide3

Okay… One more slide for folk who like a verbal summary…

In Summary

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “The Difference between Religion & Faith (in two simple diagrams)

  1. How is “relationship with Christ” mediated apart from the revelation of the life of Christ? I like it but it doesn’t seem to do justice to “the whole story.” It’s impossible to separate faith and doctrine completely. It’s like asking for someone to give you the Washington side of a dollar bill. You can’t have one with out the other.

  2. I totally agree: Relationship with Christ cannot be separated from Doctrine, no more than Relationship with Christ can be separated from Practice. However, the purpose of the diagrams is to illustrate not an either/or dicotomy, but rather the appropriate relationship between them. In my diagram of Religion, the primary direction of influence is from doctrine and/or practice to relationship with Christ. In my diagram of Faith, the primary direction of influence is from relationship with Christ to doctrine and practice.

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