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Well, considering that I am fairly convinced the Bible speaks of faith not the way we understand it today but rather as a relationship, I'd say that yes, you absolutely can't remove the facts of who Christ is from our faith. I'm not even sure what the speaker was saying. I'd be scratching my head, too. I have moved away from a definition of faith as intellectual assent toward faith as relational. Makes much more sense that way. So what Christ is, who He is, what He did, all that is wrapped up in who we are when we're in relationship with Him.
I think there are elements of truth in holding firm to our faith. But the flip side of that is that growth doesn't occur until we admit we are wrong or incomplete in our understanding of something and learn something new/better. So there is a difference between "growing" in our faith and becoming more and more entrenched in something that may actually be wrong. The key is to have a proper balance between what we hold tightly to and what we are willing to be wrong about. It's great to dig foxholes and fight off the enemy, but we also need to be going out and planting as well.
I heard a speaker today say that for us to grow we must hold onto our faith.
"Hold(ing) onto" our faith is consistent with Paul's words in 1 Tim. 1:18-19; 6:12; and 2 Tim. 4:7.
Our faith is the most important element of our relationship. He said the world can attack our facts but our faith is what "pulls our train." I countered
So you challenged the speaker? How did he react to that?
that without the facts of our faith--Jesus came, He died, and was raised--our faith was meaningless.
Those facts are important, but I hope you are not of the impression that "faith" is simply "believing certain particular facts."
I further said that our faith can waver and that's why we have to know that our doctrine is sure.
Sound doctrine is important, but for Paul, Luke, and John, the test was not merely, "Do you believe these particular credal points," it was, "Do you have the Holy Spirit?" In our worship of objective logic, many of us here in the West have neglected the subjective experiential aspects of Xianity, and in fact even fear them.
In fact doesn't Scripture teach us that "our faith" isn't even ours, that it is a gift from God?
I think someone once pointed out to me one verse that gives that impression. But in general, Scripture teaches that faith is our part of the equation. Faith is our response to God's grace. God does the giving, and we receive by faith. God saves by his grace, we receive it by faith.
I believe that putting an emphasis on our faith is man-centered. We have to accept that every part of our relationship with God comes from Him.
Then in what meaningful sense can it even be a "relationship"?
I seemed to be the only one in a roomful of men who understood Scripture this way. Does Scripture teach something different?
Perhaps you were the only Calvinist in a room full of Arminians.
Your speaker seemed to possibly be leaning a bit further in the Word-Faith direction than I'd like, but it's hard to tell from the small sampling you provided. Obviously, I do believe Scripture teaches "something different" from what you believe it teaches.
Perhaps the problem is that not everything can be explored in a single message. As far as I understand it, there is no conflict between faith and facts (i.e., doctrines). The statement, “for us to grow we must hold onto our faith,” is obviously true. Someone who has not held onto it has no concern for spiritual growth.
Biblical doctrines are true regardless of one’s faith or belief in them. It becomes personal and experiential when one believes and receives it.
Also, putting the emphasis on doctrine can be just as man-centered. People seem to seek out ways to make it “about me.” The way to avoid this is to keep a balance, which is easier said than done.
I like E.A. Long's comments above. I always get nervous when people try to put too much emphasis on a single item. That's probably why I have a problem with "Sola (anything)".
Of course, not having heard the talk given, none of here really have a full insight into the speaker's view.
That said, one comment that the OP attributes to the Speaker caught my attention...
Our faith is the most important element of our relationship
I like that he says "most important element" and thus is saying not the "only" element necessary, but If it is true that it is the most important then How could St Paul say:
"...and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing...So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 1-13)
Truly - Faith and facts - "the reason for our hope" as St Paul calls it, are intertwined. But even in faith we run the risk of being too "academic" too disconnected from the heart. So to paraphrase St Paul, one could have all "facts" to support ones faith, but he has not love (in his heart), then he is nothing.
Scripture - From The Lips of Christ in Mt 22:36-40, tells us that all the Law and Prophets - and so all of salvation history - is based on Love. Paul in the passage referenced above, points to the supremacy necessity of Love even over faith (belief). St James in his oft discussed letter talks of how faith, without (loving) works is dead and cannot save....
So - to carry the speaker's point just a bit further, "the world can attack our facts but our faith is what "pulls our train," - However it is LOVE that is both the fuel and the rails that powers the train and keeps it on the right track.