To reform Christianity we must shun religion and return to the basics

Gerald R. Baron
6 min readNov 12, 2022
Photo by June O on Unsplash

The final post in the long series on the reformation of Christianity

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

These words of Paul from the first letter to the Corinthian church are among the most famous of the Bible. If Christianity is going to be reformed and reformulated, it must begin here.

I make a distinction between faith, belief systems and religion. The words seem interchangeable, but the reformation of Christianity depends on my take on that distinction.

Belief vs. Religion

A belief system is a set of ideas, facts or propositions. One can accept or reject a belief system based on a number of factors. Atheism is a belief system that is closely related to physicalism. Physicalism says that the universe consists of matter and forces and the laws that determine their interaction. This is nothing else and can be nothing else. That is not a scientific statement, as much as physicalists may protest that it is. It is a belief to which one can subscribe or unsubscribe.

Christianity is a belief system in the same way. It posits a number of ideas and facts which adherents claim are true. Faith is when the belief system is adopted despite necessary uncertainties. Faith moves it from an exercise purely of the head to one involving the heart including a personal commitment that translates into action and behavior.

It is not possible to prove that nothing exists other than matter and forces. It is not possible to prove that God exists, nor that he showed himself to humans in the form of a craftsman from a Mid-East village. It is not possible to prove transcendence in any form. Those who accept the physicalist belief system and commit to it in terms of action — such as speaking out or writing books about it — have faith that it is true. Same for theists, Christian believers and those of most faiths.

Religion vs. Belief

Religion, as opposed to faith or belief systems, is what adherents do with the faith. How they put the faith that they have committed to into action including how they live their lives. If this distinction has any meaning, it…



Gerald R. Baron

Dawdling at the intersection of faith, science, philosophy and theology.