A year or two ago, I read a book by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch titled The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure and Courage. I used the book extensively in a sermon series, and I was reminded of it today when I read an article by Kyle R. Cupp on the new papal encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), that was begun by Pope Benedict and finished by Pope Frances. His short summary makes me think I should take the time to read the whole thing.
“We read that ‘faith opens the way before us and accompanies our steps through time,’ summoning us to an unseen future, but then the encyclical says something striking: ‘the sight which faith would give to Abraham would always be linked to the need to take this step forward: faith “sees’” to the extent that it journeys, to the extent that it chooses to enter into the horizons opened up by God’s word.’ In other words, to see by the light of faith, you first have to take a step in the darkness. Faith is a choice to move, to journey, and only on this journey is the path illuminated by faith. The light shines after the taking of each step, and as faith is a choice one must make at each moment of each day, the sight of faith is neither immediate nor constant. The light and the dark go together. In the words of the Lumen Fidei: ‘Faith by its very nature demands renouncing the immediate possession which sight would appear to offer; it is an invitation to turn to the source of the light, while respecting the mystery of a countenance which will unveil itself personally in its own good time.’
I think this highlights two very important points: 1. faith is not a matter of mere intellectual assent, which is often a very small aspect of the kind faith and faithfulness that God calls us to; 2. Faith is more about a choice, a decision, a commitment to trust God. (You might want to see this previous post.)
I’ve also just finished searching this blog and found that I didn’t make any posts on The Faith of Leap. I’m going to try to rectify that soon.