The Only Leap of Faith
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
—1 Peter 3:15
A while ago, as I was working (or, possibly, napping) in my study, I overheard this line from a movie that was playing in the next room: “Sometimes you just have to make a leap of faith. The trust part comes later.” That is, without a doubt, one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Faith, as theologians define it, consists of three elements: notitia, assensus, and fiducia, or knowledge, agreement, and trust, with trust being the most defining element. There is no faith without trust. But that is the kind of ignorant philosophy one expects to find in movies.
More troubling is the philosophy often encountered in the church. While few there would divorce faith from trust, many separate faith from knowledge. Faith is not only thought to be a nonintellectual exercise, it is often set in opposition to the intellect. Biblical Christianity rejects that notion.
Some Christians tell those who inquire that we simply take a leap of faith with no bother about the credibility or the rational character of the truth claims of the Bible, but that response goes against the teaching of this text. The only leap of faith we are to take is out of the darkness and into the light. When we become Christians, we do not leave our mind in the parking lot. We are called to think according to the Word of God, to seek the mind of Christ and an understanding of the things set forth in sacred Scripture. The Bible is a big book, and every bit of it, I believe, has been inspired by God the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the author of this Book is God. He gave it to us to be understood, and we cannot understand it if we close our mind to the careful study of it.
—R. C. Sproul, 1–2 Peter: Be All the More Diligent to Make Your Calling and Election Sure (Crossway, 2011), 115.