Can true, “saving” faith (that is, faith that is part of a restored relationship with God) better be described as a set of likely emotions rather than just a mental assent to something? For example, we all know people that have professed to believe all of what can be considered the “required” points of the gospel, but later, they inexplicably turned away.
Maybe what we should have focused on was their reaction to their sin; was it disgust? Frustration? Then how did they feel about their chances of making it on their own… Hopeless? Then, when they found out there was a way, that God had come to earth to pay the price for their sins that they couldn’t; profound joy and gratitude? And finally, a sense of commitment?
These are the genuine reactions to our need for a Savior. What if any of them is missing? Can you replace disgust and hopelessness with something else; oh, let’s say “fear”? In other words, you shortcut the gospel message and instead of telling someone how bad their sin is, you present Jesus as nothing more than a “get out of Hell free” card. Without feeling disgust at sin, is true repentance possible?