Pascal and VanTil . . .

I came across this gem in Blaise Pascal’s Pensees that reminded me of one of VanTil’s concerns, namely that evidences are indeed useful, but only if someone has a worldview in which such evidences make sense:

I admire the boldness with which these persons undertake to speak of God.  In addressing their argument to infidels, their first chapter is to prove Divinity from the works of nature.  I should not be astonished at their enterprise, if they were addressing their argument to the faithful; for it is certain that those who have the living faith in their heart see at once that all existence is one other than the work of the God whom they adore.  But for those in whom this light is extinguished, and in whom we purpose to rekindle it, persons destitute of faith and grace, who, seeking with all their light whatever they see in nature than can bring them to this knowledge, find only obscurity and darkness; to tell them that they have only to look at the smallest things which surround them, and they will see God openly, to give them, as a complete proof of this great and important matter, the course of the moon and planets, and to claim to have concluded the proof with such an argument, is to give them ground for believing that the proofs of our religion are very weak.  And I see by reason and experience that nothing is more calculated to arouse their contempt.

It is not after this manner that Scripture speaks, which has a better knowledge of the things that are of God.  It says, on the contrary, that God is a hidden God, and that, since the corruption of nature, He has left men in a darkness from which they can escape only through Jesus Christ, without whom all communion with God is cut off. . . .

This is what Scripture points out to us, when it says in so many places that those who seek God find Him.  It is not of that light, “like the noonday sun,” that this is said.  We do not say that those who seek the noonday sun, or water in the sea, shall find them; and hence the evidence of God must not be of this nature. . . .

Section IV, Sentence 242.

Thanks again to Ken Samples for recommending this book!

_____________
Andrew

2 thoughts on “Pascal and VanTil . . .”

  1. I love that book. It’s too bad he died so young. It’d have been interesting to see what the book would have been like if he had lived to really complete it.

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  2. I hear you . . . I wish I could have a list of all the interesting projects by Christian theologians of the past which were cut short by said theologians’ entry into glory! Might also be fun to just speculate a little!!!

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