“Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is.” (Blaise Pascal, Pensées)
This is probably one of the quotes that has inspired me most in recent years, as I’ve thought about the challenge of communicating Christianity in a winsome and compelling manner. It’s from the French Philosopher and Mathematician Blaise Pascal and is a brilliant introduction to his apologetic strategy.
I was pleased to re-read it again yesterday as I came across this little article by Tim Keller, outlining and explaining Pascal’s method. And quickly it reminded me that this time last year I’d recommended Peter Kreeft’s outstanding commentary on Pascal’s Pensées – Christianity for Modern Pagans. A dip back into my highlighter-scribble-laden book reminded me just how much of a genius Pascal was, and got me thinking how much I’d love to share a table with Keller, Kreeft and Pascal in the New Creation. You can form an orderly queue behind me!
If you’ve never read any Pascal, or are after some reading recommendations for the New Year – can I recommend you check out Keller’s article and pick up Kreeft’s book… You won’t be disappointed!