Religious Studies 17 (4):499 - 510 (1981)

Perhaps you have heard the story of the philosopher who fell off the edge of a cliff and was hanging by the limb of a tree. After calling for help for some time he heard a voice from the heavens saying, ‘I am here’. The philosopher explained his dilemma and then asked, ‘Can you help me?’ The voice replied, ‘Do you believe in me?’, to which the philosopher without hesitation, given the circumstances, said, ‘Yes, of course’. The voice came back, ‘Then, let go.’ There was silence and some moments passed before the philosopher somewhat meekly replied, ‘Lord, I know that this is not the best time and place for a discussion but you know how philosophers are, and you do seem to be asking a good bit of me. I know that many of your followers in recent times would agree that I should let go, but I have this feeling that they may be confusing the doctrine of salvation by faith alone with an epistemological doctrine that faith is a commitment that requires no justification. Could we talk about this? And, in the meantime, I hope you will not be offended if I ask, Is there anyone else up there?’
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500013263
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