Thursday, October 18, 2012

If It All Made Sense

If a student is awake until 5 a.m. reading a book, it's usually for one of two reasons: the assignment is due tomorrow, or the student loves to read. For me this morning, it was both. I wrote a paper about Making Sense of It All for my Christian Theology class, and I actually enjoyed the book. It was written based on the notes of great scientist, mathematician, and philosopher Blaise Pascal. I'll read about a genius's opinions any day, but if it's about the existence of God and the meaning of life, I'll listen closer.

Why does God claim to be transcendent yet "God with us" when He is sometimes so difficult to find? Why doesn't He just write us a message in the sky, clearly proclaiming His existence and intentions? 

Pascal says, "God wishes to move the will rather than the mind. Perfect clarity would help the mind and harm the will." We cannot prove God exists, and we cannot prove that He does not exist. Time is not slowing down, and each person has to choose a side. Is He real? If so, what are we going to do about it? All of us will soon die, and indecision is a decision.

The author compares our choice regarding the reality or fable of God with gambling. What are the risks involved with each "wager?" What are the benefits of each? 

Atheists don't have to answer to anyone; they can live with whatever morals they want or no morals at all. However, they have no Authority to illuminate their paths, either. Christianity involves answering to God, living by a set of standards, and loving all people, even when it seems impossible. If an atheist dies and finds that he is correct, he will not ever realize this since a godless universe implies a lack of an afterlife. If a Christian dies and finds that he was correct in believing God is real, he will enjoy eternal fellowship with God. 

Let's consider the darker side of the equation. What if they are wrong? If the Christian dies and is wrong in his belief that there is a God, he loses nothing, and he'll never realize he was wrong. If an atheist dies and finds that he was wrong, and there IS a God, he will suffer for all of eternity.

Obviously I believe in God. Without going into all the reasons I believe this is true, I think it's pretty obvious which "wager" is the logical choice. Atheists have much more to lose than Christians do if they are wrong. Pascal says that the "rational gambler will bet on God."

Because we must choose an option without absolute proof either way, it makes sense that it's not all about reason and intellect; it's about the heart. We must have faith in God, for without faith, it's impossible to please Him. Faith isn't an end; it's a journey. Not everything is going to make sense, but we have to keep moving forward anyway. 

So, I ask you: will you consider the possibility that there is a God? Will you think about the implications of this fact? The salvation of your soul depends on it.

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