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5.27.2005    |    Pesky Pascal
The problem of God's existence and purpose in the face of evil has plagued theologians and philosophers as long as there have been men wondering about creation and the divine. It is the big "why?"

Blaise Pascal was a seventeenth century French mathematician and theologian. In his famous series of essays, Pensees (Thoughts), he laid down a marker, a logical test of faith in the form of a wager:
If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is ... you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that He is.
I'll take the wager, but I'm a believing Christian already. For an atheist's take, I recommend A Skeptic's Guide to Christianity. That recommendation has absolutely no endorsement attached to it. I found the site by accident, and found it to have some decent internal logic.

Notice I wrote "internal." The author, Paul Tobin, goes to great lengths to discredit Christianity by, among other things, ad hominen attacks on major figures in the Church's history. Which is typically what folks do when they can't argue something on its merits. Of course he went too far when he attacked John Calvin...

Nevertheless, Mr. Tobin has a rather complete dissertation on evil and its role in (according to him) disproving Christianity. Which he fails to do, but it's useful to keep tabs on our adversaries. What I would pray for would be for Paul Tobin, and others like him, to see the light by seeing the Light that is Christ.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.