This is a great section of Pascal’s Pensees. Here he explains that deism is not Christianity (a point that most Americans don’t understand – specifically in the political realm). I’ll also quote Peter Kreeft’s commentary on Pascal’s statement.
“And…they [unbelievers/skeptics] take occasion to blaspheme against the Christian religion, because they know so little about it. They imagine that it simply consists in worshipping a God considered to be great and mighty and eternal, which is properly speaking deism, almost as remote from the Christian religion as atheism, its complete opposite….”
“But let them [unbelievers/skeptics] what they will against deism, their conclusions will not apply to Christianity, which properly consists in the mystery of the Redeemer, who, uniting in himself the two natures, human and divine, saved men from corruption of sin in order to reconcile them with God in his divine person.”
Here are Kreeft’s comments on this.
“How could a reasonable man confuse Christianity with deism? Deism has a Creator without a Redeemer, transcendence without immanence or incarnation, God without Christ. Imagine confusing Christianity with Christianity-minus-Christ!”
“Deism is still more respectable than Christianity today, just as it was in the seventeenth century, when it was invented. It avoids ‘the scandal of particularity,’ the crime concreteness, the odium of distinctiveness. It is generic religion. And its god is not a crucified criminal.”
“And after creating the world, the deist god no longer gets his divine hands dirty doing miracles in it. Its god is aloof, ‘the snob god,’ while the god of pantheism is ‘the blob god.’ You see, we make gods in our own image. As one wag said, ‘God created man in his image and man has been returning the compliment ever since.'”
“But the Christian God is hardly made in our image. Who wants to be a God who suffers hell on a cross for man’s sin?”
“Deism avoids the two fundamental truths of Christianity, sin and salvation. It avoids blood. It is not – as one of its twentieth-century proponents describes orthodox Christianity – ‘butcher shop theology.'”
“This is why Pascal says deism and atheism are opposites, rather than deism and pantheism. Theologically and theoretically, the opposites are deism (divine transcendence without immanence) and pantheism (immanence without transcendence); but existentially and practically and humanly, the opposites are deism (human greatness without wretchedness) and atheism (wretchedness without greatness).”
These quotes can be found on page 284-287 of Christianity for Modern Pagans.