Re: Abraham

jeffery lynn mullins (
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 13:07:46 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 10 Apr 1996, Bill Hamilton wrote:

> Paul Arveson quotes Jeff:
> >> Is it a positivist stance
> >> to stand against the blind leap of faith with no object that Kierkegaard
> >> expouses?
> >>
> >> Jeff
> >>
> >--------------
> >
> Paul responds:
> > Jeff: I apologize for the name-calling, which was not directed toward
> >anyone
> >in particular, but generally to the attitude I sometimes see here, of people
> >who
> >want to base all belief on sight, all scripture on historical evidence, all
> >faith upon reason. I don't think that approach is biblical. It is inherited
> >from the deism of Locke, perhaps.
> Or perhaps on the attitudes of the Scottish Enlightenment.
> >
> > I will defer to Kierkegaard as to the thoughts Abraham might have had. I
> >know
> >how easily Kierkegaard is generally dismissed among evangelicals like us. And
> >I
> >don't mean to defend everything he stands for.
> An extreme philosophical position frequently gives rise to the opposite
> extreme. I'm not vary familiar with the environment Kierkegaard lived in,
> but from you description it appears a corrective was needed. Kierkegaard
> overcorrected, but that doesn't invalidate his entire response.
> Francis Schaeffer rejected the blind leap approach to faith, but tried to
> formulate the problem of trusting God in a way that showed both the role of
> faith and the role of reason. One of his examples went something like
> this:
> Suppose I'm walking in the Alps and the fog closes in so I can't see where
> I'm going. I fall and find myself hanging from a tree root in a sheer
> cliff. I call for help and a voice answers me from the fog, "If you will
> release the root, you will drop a couple feet to a ledge you can walk on."
> How do I decide whether to follow this advice? In my neighborhood, I would
> begin by asking the caller his name. If I recognize his name as that of a
> family which lives close by and is likely to know this cliff face, I am
> more likely to follow his advice.
> Trust in God and you don't know what precisely will be the results. But
> you can ask questions about His revelation and His dealings with others,
> both past and present. There is an element of leaping, and you may not see
> where you're leaping. But it's not a totally blind leap, either.
> "I don't know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future."
> Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
> GM R&D Center | Warren, MI 48090-9055
> 810 986 1474 (voice) | 810 986 3003 (FAX)
> (office) | (home)
This is exactly what I meant. We should not be positivists, accepting
only what we can observe with the senses, but we should not be irrational
either. Apologetics helps one believe that, in order that he can believe
in (which in my non-hyper-Calvinist beliefs is a function of man's will
cooperating with the enabling "wooing" of the Holy Spirit). Not many
believe because they thought it unreasonable to do so.