By Martin Morrison.
Passion and philosophy are not normally regarded as close bedfellows. The great African theologian Augustine combined the two in his biography “Confessions”. Nietzsche also combined the two in “Thus spoke Zarathustra”. Ironically, the one was a passionate Christian and the other a passionate anti-Christian. Augustine gave birth to Luther and the Reformation. Nietzsche gave birth to Hitler and Nazism. Which tells us that ideas have consequences. Major consequences!
Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) was a French philosopher, physicist, mathematician and theologian. Pascal like Augustine was able to combine both passion and philosophy in his well-known Penséees or reflections. When you read Pascal’s Penséees, you realize that he was four centuries ahead of his time. He speaks to modern pagans as well as members of the secular intelligentsia.
Pascal argues that the root of most atheism is not argument but attitude, not intellect but feeling, not the love of truth, but the fear of truth. What if it should be true? What if I need to repent of my present way of life? Surely I am not accountable to anything or anyone? Surely it can’t be true, because if it is true I will need to forfeit my independence. Under no circumstances can we have two Gods in this house! The one is doing just fine, thank-you very much!
People despise Christianity. They do not despise it because of the supernatural. They do not despise it because of the doctrine of creation. They do not despise it because it contains mysteries. They despise it, because they’re afraid that it may be true. They despise it, because they may have to bow the knee to King Jesus. And that would destroy their autonomy and capsize their pride.
Fifteen hundred years before Pascal, Jesus taught us that the light has come into the world. But people love darkness rather than the light. People love the darkness and hate the light, because the light will expose their wicked deeds.( John 3: 19 – 20). They hate the light, because the light will expose their darkness. They hate Christ, because he may be the truth.
Jesus said, “I am the truth”, and “I am the light of the world”. Only light can dispel your darkness. Only truth can set you free. Only Christ can rescue you from the dark little dungeon of your own ego.
John’s Gospel has 21 chapters. Why not read 3 chapters per day for the next week. Every time you read, ask God to make himself light to you. Ask God to make himself truth for you.