The Nature of Faith: Necessary & Sufficient Conditions
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief…”
~ Matthew 17:19 (NKJV)
For the following, where applicable, let
SC = sufficient condition and NC = necessary condition
~ I will put out some definitions later.
If Gilmore has faith that X will happen, then X will happen.
Now – all that is needed for X to happen is that faith be there. If other things are present, then that is good, however faith is a sufficient condition for X’s happening. Also while faith is a sufficient condition, it is not a necessary condition. Something else could be out there that may bring about X. Think of it this way. You need not have faith always in order to be healed. What if you are in a coma ? If you get healed, it is sheer grace on God’s part.
Spurious Faith: If for some reason whatever, X does not happen, then Gilmore never really had faith to begin with. It was something else (e.g. high emotions).
~ Like Fool’s gold, you can call it Fool’s faith. It looks like gold, but its not really. I know. I know. I’ve been there too – all too often.
Related: The Perseverance of Sanjay and Apostasy
(P1) If it is the case that Sanjay has expressed faith in Christ for salvation, then Sanjay will not apostatize. (Although Sanjay could, he will in fact not.)
(P2) Sanjay “apostatizes”.
Then it was the case that Sanjay never had faith to begin with. Whatever he had or expressed was spurious and it is possible that Sanjay was self-deceived into thinking that he had genuine faith.
Going back to Gilmore:
What I’ve been trying to say: Suppose Gilmore does not have faith that X will happen. Then will X happen? Quite possibly yes. It can, in spite of the fact that Gilmore lacked faith.
Well because while faith is a SC for X to obtain, it is not a NC for X to obtain. Other factors are also can bring about X. Like what? God’s will that X happen regardless of Gilmore’s faith.