Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)One of the most profound Christian Philosophers of his day (though not a puritan).
“If I believe in God and life after death and you do not, and if there is no God, we both lose when we die. However, if there is a God, you still lose and I gain everything.”
Biography of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662):
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) earned recognition as a renowned mathematician, physicist—and a man after God’s heart. As he came to the forefront of geometry and physics, he turned his considerable analytical abilities to study religion or, as he said, to “contemplate the greatness and the misery of man.” Pascal’s classic defense of Christianity—Pensées—persuaded many a skeptic in his time.
Pascal’s thought are living thoughts. They are not simply words on the page. They are filled with insight and demonstrate that his mind was “on fire” as in his writings concerning his conversion.
On November 23, 1654, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, Pascal had an intense religious experience and immediately recorded the it in a brief note to himself which began, “Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars…” and concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: “I will not forget thy word. Amen.” He seems to have carefully sewn this document into his coat and always transferred it when he changed clothes; a servant discovered it only by chance after his death. This piece is now known as “the Memorial.” His belief and religious commitment revitalized, Pascal visited the older of two convents at Port-Royal for a two-week retreat in January 1655. For the next four years, he regularly traveled between Port-Royal and Paris. It was at this point immediately after his conversion when he began writing his first major literary work on religion, the Provincial Letters.
The Works of Blaise Pascal available in old English or French (Puritan Publications is working to republish Pascal’s Pensees and Letters):
- Pensees – Section 1: Thoughts on Mind and Style
- Pensees – Section 2: The Misery of Man Without God
- Pensees – Section 3: Of the Necessity of Wager
- Pensees – Section 4: Of the Means of Unbelief
- Pensees – Section 5: Justice and the Reason of Effects
- Pensees – Section 6: The Philosophers
- Pensees – Section 7: Morality and Doctrine
- Pensees – Section 8: The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion
- Pensees – Section 9: Perpetuity
- Pensees – Section 10: Typology
- Pensees – Section 11: The Prophecies
- Pensees – Section 12: Proofs of Jesus Christ
- Pensees – Section 13: The Miracles
- Pensees – Section 14: Polemical Fragments