There’s a place we hike to that has a rope bridge to cross a wild Alaska river. The first time we hiked there, it was shrouded in fog and we had to make a choice. Trust that the bridge was connected on the other side, even though we could not see it or wait for the fog to clear.
Brad cast me a beserker grin and said “hey, this feels a lot like faith.”
Faith is not a leap into the dark as the modern philosophers would have us believe. It’s a step onto a fog-shrouded bridge.
We are not given definitive proof that God exists, that Jesus is God, that if we trust Him He will save us. We’re given hints — small bits of evidence that we can either follow to the bridge or ignore.
The leap of faith comes to us from Soren Kierkegaard. Modernism had promised a unified explanation for all of reality through science (without God), but by the time Kierkegaard came around, people had begun to despair of ever reaching that answer. Unwilling to accept that there was no answer that didn’t include God and that without that foundation for Truth, you just end up with a bunch of half-truths, Kierkegaard conceived of a dichotomy between reality and faith. He concluded that mankind cannot achieve anything of true metaphysical importance without taking a “leap of faith”. In doing so, people have to separate the rational and logical from faith. We shouldn’t expect the world to make sense according to our metaphysical statements. It’s not necessary for our faith to have meaning in the world and if we think that it does, then we’re deluded. But it’s fine, because we can have faith so long as it is completely divorced from the physical and material world.
Hence the leap of faith.
But Christian faith is more like crossing a bridge that you can’t see the other end of rather than leaping off a cliff. In Hebrews 11 we find the roll call of faith, a listing of the men and women who trusted God without knowing how things would turn out. Noah, for example, built a huge boat in the middle of a desert because God told him to. Yeah, that made no sense to his neighbors … until it started raining. What was Noah’s evidence that building this boat was a good idea? Less than mine is for believing that Jesus will save my soul. God spoke to Noah. His neighbors thought he was crazy … until it started raining. I investigated what there is to know about Jesus and Christianity and I read the Bible while getting to know and coming to trust Christians. I followed the evidence to the bridge.
The bridge of faith is shrouded in fog and uncertainty because we need to cross it in faith. That crossing requires that we trust the bridge enough to hold us up even though we can’t see all of it. Crossing means letting go of the certainty we feel standing on solid ground or believing what Neil deGrasse Tyson puts forth on Cosmos. Crossing means leaving what we now put so much stock in to believe that what is waiting for us on the other side is far more valuable.
The prospect of crossing is scary. It’s potentially dangerous. And we can’t see the far side to assure that it is properly attached, that it will hold our weight and not dump us into the roaring river below where the rapids or hypothermia will kill us. But it is a whole lot less scary than leaping off a cliff into pea-soup fog with no idea of what is on the other side. That would be totally stupid! So we trusted our friend, who built the bridge, and crossed. There’s a beautiful cabin in a awesome forest on the other side Our friend gave us a key and it is worth the risk to cross the bridge. We’ve now done it dozens of times and we no longer feel nervous if we can’t see the other side.
Eternal life rests on the other side of faith’s bridge, Who is Jesus Christ the the Savior. God provided ample but not conclusive evidence for His existence in nature, history, archeology and the Bible. If we follow that evidence, we end up at the bridge. He invites us to cross that bridge to live the kind of life He wants for us because He loves us, but He doesn’t give us all of the evidence up front because He wants us to approach Him through faith, to trust Him as Adam and Eve refused to trust Him in the beginning of time. Why? Well, you find that out when you get to the other side of the bridge.
Source: No Leap of Faith