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Introduction to Faith in God
Eric vanSonnenberg, MD


Eric by "Praying Hands", a statue in front of Oral Roberts University

You want controversy, you want ubiquity, you want the essence of man (and woman)? Well, we believe we've got it for you herein. In this section of Emeritus Voices, we've tapped into perhaps the biggest conundrum of our world, simultaneously the core of our beliefs as humans, and the majesty and ineffability of the Almighty.

You will find on the following pages, fourteen essays on "What is Faith in God?" in various religions and denominations. The genesis (pardon the pun) for the concept of this theme emanated from a discussion at the Emeritus College Writers group luncheon. The authors (and our appreciation to each and every one of them!) have been asked to write personally from their faith's perspective, in a non-proselytizing fashion. Each has done so, and admirably.

While there are about twenty major religions and some 10,000 faiths world-wide, the following submissions represent a compilation of some of the most common in the United States. The faiths in this section are ordered by affiliation numbers in the U.S. (http://religions.pewforum.org/reports#). Several other faiths were to be included, but the authors did not meet the deadline for publication. If the following stimulates submissions from other faiths not herein included, we would be happy to consider them for future editions of Emeritus Voices.

The goal in this section is to share beliefs about God and faith. Further purpose is to better understand and appreciate others' beliefs, albeit different from our own, and to stimulate intellectual thought. Hopefully, the authors also touch the core of human goodness and tenderness, as God has bestowed upon us. Let's now appreciate, learn, and enjoy...