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A soulful look into 17th century Blaise Pascal Pensees #387 rational for personal faith in Jesus Christ.


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“The Wager” A Soul-ful conversation for those “players” Who are interested, but indifferent as to faith in Christ - or Uncertain / Doubtful about the possibility of truth in such a belief….

Examine your options, Consider the stakes, Place your bet…..

Examine your Options “I should be much more afraid of being mistaken only to find out that Christianity and Christ is true, than of being mistaken in believing it to be true” * Blaise Pascal c1660 Pensees #387 ‘Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief, and their ain’t neutral ground” Bob Dylan 1979 Precious Angel

Blaise Pascal and his ‘Pensees’ and #387

Blaise Pascal, lived in the 17th century, and is considered among France’s greatest writers, philosophers and mathematicians. He left a legacy of thought, discoveries and mathematical work including practical outcomes on probability theory. In his later years (he only lived to 39) Pascal applied this pioneering work to his faith in Christ as Lord of the World and to his belief in Christ’s saving message. He asserted that we have only one of two choices which compel us to wager when contemplating faith in Jesus Christ. The choice may be good or bad but there is no other option but to choose. Pascal’s challenge lay out the risks in the following 4 square matrix

Pascal’s Wager es stak

Christ is not the Lord

Jesus Christ Is LORD Greatest loss + Worst horrors

Nothing to gain Nothing to lose

bets

Unbelief

or

Wager 3

Wager 1

ons opti or

Possibility of temporal Gain with little lost

Belief

(may be fooled/perceived foolish)

Wager 2

Greatest gain Infinite happiness

Wager 4

Options in the Wager Wager 1 Zero risk - nothing ventured nothing gained Wager 2 A foolish game and perhaps psychological trick Wager 3 Absolute worst possible choice & greatest loss Wager 4 Greatest return for ultimate ‘happiness’ Pascal’s conclusion - The Win/Win and only play

“Bet all you have on ultimate happiness as this is the wisest choice & very best wager.”

Consider the Stakes

At our own peril, the claims of Jesus Christ cannot be avoided. “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. One must make your choice…….You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us”** **”Lord, Liar or Lunatic” trilemma - C.S. Lewis 1952 Full quote here: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6979

Place your bet Either Jesus Christ is LORD Or not ? You’ve either got Belief Or Unbelief their ain’t neutral ground

What does it profit us, if we gain the whole world but lose our soul?*****

References - digging deeper *Pensees by Blaise Pascal 1652 translated and revised in modern english titled Christianity for Pagans by Peter Kreeft Full treatment at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/

**Lord, Liar Lunatic” actual text From Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis Revised Edtion 1952 pg 55 ****Happiness considered From ‘The Journey” by Peter Kreeft Chapter 1 pg 16-17 https://books.google.com/books?id=TrVqYkg7EYsC&printsec=copyright#v=onepage&q&f=false

*****Consderations from The Message Gospel of Mark -New Testament Bible ‘The Message’ Mark Chapter 8, Verse 36 Gospel of John -New Testament Bible “The Message” John Chapter 3 Verses 1-21 https://www.biblegateway.com/