The Budha taught a lot about the pitfalls of attachment to opinions. Attachment often is a function of fear. When we are asserting a view the energy in that assertion may come not so much from our commitment to the view itself as from what we fear will be let in if the view is abandoned. There are many people in Christian countries, for instance, who have turned away from their ancestral religion for a wide range of reasons. One of these reasons is
that they think that faith and reason are opposed principles and they fear that if they have faith they will lose reasonableness. Another is that they think that faith is opposed to experience. In Buddhism, however, neither of these oppositions applies. Buddha taught that reason and experience are the ways we acquire and sustain faith. To give a trivial example, to sit down on a chair is an act of faith - one trusts that the chair will hold one up - one has this faith because of previous experience with chairs and because it is reasonable to expect that what is clearly constructed to be a chair will have been made to perform its proper function. It is still an act of faith to sit down upon it, however. Buddha, who advocated faith, was also one of the foremost teachers of reason and logic and also offered a wide range of experiential spiritual exercises. So for Buddha, faith and experience go together. They make a circular process. Without some faith we do not try anything. Without trying things, faith does not develop. The first step is often the most difficult.
The transition that some people are trying to make from Christianity to Buddhism is, however, beset with some pitfalls because one of the things that they may be rejecting is Christianity is faith and this rejection is embedded in the further idea of an opposition between faith and reason and/or between faith and experience. I have, however, met quite a lot of people who started out by rejecting Christianity, went through some turmoil and searching, found Buddhism, gradually got into a deeper understanding of Buddhism and then one day suddenly realised that they now understood what Christianity was all about. They then felt as if a wound was healed and a circle completed. Buddhism can heal the rift between faith and experience.
There are others who have learnt that faith is a matter of surrender to such an extent that they think that if they have faith they will no longer make any effort in any respect in life. This is also a mistaken idea involving a misconstrual of what faith is about. The only reason a person does make effort is because they have faith in something. For the things we have faith in we will move heaven and earth. For the things we do not have faith in we work at most only reluctantly - which is why so many people find little satisfaction in employment that they have no heart for.
Then again, there are people who distrust faith because they have experiences of its abuse. This is similar to the problem some people have with love. In fact love and faith are very closely related. To have faith in somebody is very close to loving them and to love somebody is close to having faith in them. Buddhism is love for and faith in Buddha, his Dharma and the community or sangha he established. This is called "taking refuge". Taking refuge means having faith in. Taking refuge is absolutely fundamental in Buddhism. If you understand refuge, you understand everything. To become a Buddhist is to take refuge. A person who becomes a Buddhist may or may not have read the four noble truths, may or may not have practised meditation, may or may not understand dependent origination, but they will have taken refuge. Whether they understand or not, they have made a profession of faith.
So what we find is that although all people do actually have faith of various kinds and do live their life centred on the things that they have faith in, there is a widespread resistance to recognising this fact. It is as though many have been immunised against faith - have lost faith in faith itself. This is a deeo spiritual wound. It leads to a truly blind faith - faith that does not recognise itself - faith in technique or faith in ones little self as the measure of all things as if this were all that there is in life. This is, in fact, the diametrical opposite of what Buddha pointed out though it is what he first attempted in his ascetic period. But tha period simply made him alone, whereas when he had his sudden awakening all was transformed.
Of course, it is possible to understand Buddhism in terms of any of its key concepts. Any of them can explain the whole. Buddhism is all faith. Buddhism is all wisdom. Buddhism is all samadhi. Buddhism is all ethics. And so on. Each of these is a gateway. In the West people tend to like the wisodm or samadhi gates, but this is all too often because they fear the gate of faith. Yet that is precisely where the wound that needs healing lies. Those who try to enter by the other gates may well find themselves at the gate of faith in the end, because that is where their real spiritual need lies.