So the quote I asked for clarification about is saying that faith without deeds is NOT useless? In other words, faith is a necessary starting point, but not sufficient in and of itself? That’s why I like your writings. You are comfortable straddling middle ground if it increases human happiness. In this case between those who think deeds alone can save and those who think all mankind is irredeemably corrupt.
Buddhism is pantheistic and teaches that everyone can save themselves by tapping into the the ultimate law of life operating always and everywhere (we don’t personify God).
Therefore we see faith as a natural power that can be developed through practice. It deepens through the attainment of actual proof in daily life. There is an old adage that a common horsefly can travel 1000 miles clinging to the tail of a horse. This means that even weak faith can have profound effect when expressed in a powerful practice. Also Buddhist prayer, then, is not supplication, but instead, determination; and faith without action would be incomplete. Hell is where everyone is starving because they insist on selfishly continuing to try to feed themselves with chopsticks that are too long to reach back to their mouths; whereas Heaven is where people with the same obstacle simply feed each other. Faith without compassionate action is unfulfilling. Faith with compassionate action leads to enlightenment. The practice of faith must be for BOTH ourselves AND others; and this requires deeds.