For those of you who missed me and for those who didn’t, I am, nevertheless, back to blogging. I took a blog break over Lent, although I left a few post-dated posts, and now I’m back with lots of “stuff” from my reading and thinking and writing over the five or six weeks of Lent.
One of my Lenten projects was Peter Kreeft’s commentary on Pascal’s Pensees, called Christianity for Modern Pagans. In the book, Kreeft takes Pascal’s thoughts and organizes them by subject in an order that makes some sense. Then Kreeft comments on each of the sets of pensees and relates them to a modern mindset. According to Kreeft, Pascal, although he lived in the seventeenth century, speaks quite cogently to the twentieth and twenty-first century man’s dilemma. A lot of what I collected in my commonplace book were quotations from the book, both Pascal’s words and Kreeft’s exegesis.
Chapter 1: Order
Pascal: “Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.”
Kreeft: “The root of most atheism is not argument but attitude, not intellection but feeling, not love of truth but the fear of truth.”
“Most apologetics tries to feed spinach to a reluctant baby who stubbornly closes his mouth. . . . What you have to do is make the baby hungry.”
“Why not cultivate neutrality instead? Because neutrality is impossible once you are addressed with a claim as total, as intimate, as life-changing and as sin-threatening as Christianity. Christianity is not a hypothesis; it is a proposal of marriage.”
Sherry: And moderns/post-moderns are afraid of marriage commitment just as they are afraid of Christian commitment. The job is to make people see that there is no neutral ground in regard to Christianity just as there is no neutral ground in regard to eating or marriage. Either you eat or you starve. Either you’re married or you’re not. (“Living together” is an attempt at compromise in this area, but it’s a very poor compromise.) You can’t decide to be neutral about food or marriage. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. Agnosticism says, like Satan in the garden, “You will not surely die.” And people fear that Satan may be right and try to hedge their bets. But there is no middle ground. Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40) and also “He who is not with me is against me.” (Matthew 12:30) We all must choose, and even those who think they are not choosing are making a choice, whether they will or no.
I’ve got lots of book reviews, a couple of memes, more Pascal and Kreeft, and even some essays and Biblical commentary. So as they say, stay tuned.