Portions from Pascal

I’ve always appreciated Pascal’s Pensees; I also enjoy Peter Kreeft’s commentary on some of them.  Below are some of my favorites – random portions of Pascal’s Pensees found in Kreeft’s commentary (followed by his comments).

Pascal: “There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.”

Kreeft: “The only choice, then, is between being sinners who know they are sinners and repent; or sinners who don’t.  Saints are not the opposite of sinners; saints are sorry sinners, saved sinners” (p. 158).

Pascal: “If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural.  … If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.  … Two excesses: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason.”

Kreeft: “This is neither fideistic religion, rationalistic religion, fideistic irreligion, nor rationalistic irreligion – the four miserable alternatives, all irrational, that we see sprawled around on every side while the truth stands erect and serene in the middle” (p. 236-7).

Pascal: “The Christian’s hope of possessing and infinite good is mingled with actual enjoyment….  Christians hope for holiness, and to be freed from unrighteousness, and some part of this is already theirs.”

Kreeft: “The Wager thus is not wholly a leap in the dark but is partially testable and confirmable experientially in this life” (p. 307).

Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans (San Fransisco: Ignatius Press, 1993).

shane lems

4 thoughts on “Portions from Pascal”

  1. Wasn’t it Kreeft that argued for an alliance of Jews, Christians, and Muslims to wage a crusade against the secularists?
    I think sometimes it would be good to make some caveats when recommending an apostate Romanist’s writings.
    Granted, this is ad hominem, but what think ye?


    1. Not a bad question/comment, Ron. I have posted on this book before and noted that I didn’t agree with everything in it, but no doubt many did not see those earlier posts on it.

      Also, most people who would read Pascal and this book may already know that this isn’t historic Reformed reading. But your point still stands, I suppose. I could have, if even in passing, noted the theological bent of the book. I’ll try to remember next time!



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