Hey Leslie, everyone,
I found it! First of all I had to remember which book it was in - then I had to remember where it was. It was in the kitchen, where I keep all my D&M books. Don't know why, just cause there's space, I suppose.
It's from an apendix at the back of a book that's actually the last in a trilogy. The book is "He is There and He is not Silent." By Dr Francis A. Schaeffer. The first two were: "The God Who is There", and "Escape From Reason". I think it's best if I just put it in as a quote:
'Faith' verses Faith.
One must analyse the word Faith and see that it can mean two completely opposite things.
Supposing we were climbing in the Alps and were very high on the bare rock and suddenly the fog shuts down. The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope and that before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of the mountain. Simply to keep warm, the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide: 'Supposing I drop and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?" The guide would say tht you might make it till the morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support this action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.
Supposing, however, after we have worked out on the shoulder in the midst of the fog and the growing ice on the rock, we had stopped and we heard a voice and the voice said: 'You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are from your voices. I am on another ridge. I have lived in these mountains man and boy for over sixty years and I know every foot of them. I assure you that ten feet below you there is a ledge. If you hang and drop, you can make it through the night and I will get you in the morning.'
I would not hang and drop at once, but would ask questions to try and ascertain if the man knew what he was talking about and if he was not my enemy. In the Alps for example, I would ask him his name. If the name he gave me was the name of a family from that part of the mountains, it would count a great deal to me. In the Swiss Alps there are certain family names that indicate mountain families of that area. For example, in the area of the Alps where I live, such a name would be that of Avanthey. In my desperate situation, even though time would be running out, I would ask him what to me would be the sufficient questions, and when I became convinced by his answers, then I would hang and drop.
This is faith, but obviously it has no relationship to the first instance. As a matter of fact, if one of these is called faith, the other should not be designated by the same word symbol. The historic Christian faith is not a leap of faith in the post-Kierdegaardian sense because He is not silent and I am invited to ask the sufficient questions in regard to details but also in regard to the existence of the universe and its complexity and in regard to the existence of man....."
There's a little more to the quote which ultimately sums up what he's been saying over the three books. I don't know that it would be appropriate here, though I don't like taking quotes out of context.
I've been greatly influenced by the writings of Francis Schaeffer, and if we continue to discuss things like this, you'll probably hear me mention him again. But he's not my guru. I just respect his thinking. He was a very educated man - and a great thinker of the 20th Century.
He died in the 80's but his work continues through L'Abri Fellowship which started in Switzerland in the 1950's, I think. I've been to Swiss L'Abri, but there are L'Abris in England, the US, Sweden, Holland, North Korea. It's a great place to take your questions and think through issues. I have mixed feelings about my visit, but I took a lot home with me - including a pile of books of course - AND I finished them!!! Surprise, surprise.
Thanks for your graciousness in allowing me to share my thoughts and those that have influenced me. Talk with you soon,
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