Pascal's Pensées: Week 1, God Matters

I doubt I'll be able to top the epic 60+ post series "The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings." In retrospect, it was a great series for this year of COVID. The series was nostalgic and uplifting. It was a wonderful oasis during a tough, dark, difficult season. Thank you for all the encouragement you gave me about that series. 

But I am keen to resist any temptation to match or top that series. That's pressure I'm just not going to put on myself. So if you're disappointed in the new Friday series, I'm sorry to let you down. Feel free to share your concerns with the management. 

Soon after starting the series on The Lord of the Rings I knew what my next series was going to be. I wanted to blog through Pascal's Pensées.

Some background. 

Pensées is French for "Thoughts." It was the title given to the collection of jottings, reflections, notes, and ideas of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer and Catholic theologian. Pascal had been collecting his insights to write a book that would be an apology for and defense of the Christian faith. Pascal died before completing that book, but his thoughts were published after his death as the Pensées, a work that is considered to be a Christian classic.

As long time readers will have noticed, over the years my writing here has become more evangelistic and apologetic in nature. In the early years of this blog, I used to care a lot about making Christianity respectable to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics. I was, pretty much, an agnostic myself. 

But around the time of the publication of Reviving Old Scratch, I've been slowly making a turn. A book about the devil should have been a good warning sign. I still recall doing a breakout session at Rachel Held Evans' and Nadia Bolz-Weber's Why Christian? conference to talk about the devil with a room full of progressive Christians. Worlds were starting to collide. My deconstruction had turned toward reconstruction. The functional atheism of my progressive Christianity has given way to the post-progressive enchantments of Hunting Magic Eels. I'll always work to keep my faith generous, inclusive, liberationist, and intellectually humble. But I'm now pretty firm and vocal on this point: God matters.

Why does God matter? Well, Pascal is a great companion to help make that case. Welcome to the new Friday series.

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