Faith a Chair and a Leap

Leap of Faith from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Leap of Faith from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Modernists say that faith is a foolish blind leap but theologians say that faith is a contemplated and certain leap. We both agree that faith is a leap but we disagree that faith is blind and foolish. Consider a man sitting in a chair. He is certain that the chair is in fact under him because it is presently supporting his weight. [1] At some point the man will stand temporarily and then sit back down again. When the man stands, he no longer sees or feels the chair. Nor do any of his senses assure him that the chair remains where it aught to be; that it is where it was. The man has only the recollection that the chair is there and upon that secure knowledge he sits again. Is the man uncertain of the presence of the chair? Is the man foolish for trusting that the chair is there? So too is man certain that he did not create himself and therefore there must be another in whom rests the sufficient cause for his own being. That knowledge is akin to first sitting in the chair. Trusting in the revealed truth of sacred Scripture and Tradition is akin to the second sitting in the chair. They are both predicated on the certainty that God and truth exist just as the chair exists. Modernists play the prank of yanking the chair out from under us in the lamest way. They are incapable of removing the chair of faith so they shout, “look out the chair is gone,” when all the while the chair has not moved. It is a mean trick of misdirection and it catches only some of the people some of the time.

While on vacation at Copper Canyon my daughter, noticing the cliff jumpers, asked if I would ever do something like that. Indeed in my younger days I had done that and worse. Wanting to show her a side of myself that I have never shown her before, I crossed over to the cliff and promptly ascended the path to the highest point from where none in our company had yet flung themselves. At the top there were a few people trying to muster the courage to jump and I asked them, “It is deep enough right? I mean people have done this and survived right?” Indeed I had seen a few people not in our party jump from this height earlier. I looked down at the water and saw that there were patches of discolorations and from this was able to discern the deep areas. After that I leaned forward and with a great push of my legs leaped of the ledge. The plummet was fast, the landing furious and the fanfare glorious. Never have I considered that leap foolish, since I ascertained the degree of safety before hand. Certainly there was some risk but all the while I was assured by the actions of the people that had gone before me. The leap of faith is just like this leap at Copper Canyon; it is certified by the Tradition of those saints who precede us.

At this I expect that modernists will point to the classic example of the Brooklyn Bridge jumpers saying, “If everybody jumped of the Brooklyn Bridge that still wouldn’t make it right.” First, the leap of faith is nothing like the Brooklyn Bridge. Those who jump off the Brooklyn Bridge or travel down the Niagara Falls in a barrel are in no way assured of their safety. They are the extreme, the fringe of society who in no way characterize the lives of the saints. Second, not everyone… not even a majority of this culture is exactly standing in line to take the leap of faith. Really, when was the last time you looked at the red and white martyrs of the faith and said, “Ooo! There’s something everyone is lining up to do, I can’t wait for my turn!?”

  1. Let us for the time being suspend the modernist argument that we cannot trust our senses and for the sake of this argument accept that the man is in fact supported by the chair. The reality of the common empirical experience of sitting in chairs should suffice for any rational person. []

2 Responses to “Faith a Chair and a Leap”

  1. Bumble says:

    I was looking for the Indiana Jones Leap of Faith picture for sermon illustration and found your thought well articulated. Thanks.

  2. Sam says:

    This is something that everyone should be aware of.. thanks….

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