Pascal's Pensées: Week 30, The Interrogation of the World


Philosophers: they surprise the ordinary run of men.

Christians: they surprise the philosophers. 


As regular readers know, I tend to blog about three months out. A few weeks ago I was working on a series of posts that will appear in late December or early January about the gospel being the "epistemological crisis" of the world. 

Obviously, I don't want to give the thesis of that whole series away, but Pascal's pensée today is a teaser. Specifically, we think here of Paul's claim in 1 Corinthians:

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
Here's how Karl Barth put it in his commentary on Romans. In an increasingly post-Christian world, we tend to think Christianity is in the dock being questioned, cross-examined, and interrogated by the world. Intellectually, we're on the defensive. The world places a question mark next to the gospel.

But Barth boldly proclaims, and Pascal's pensée today agrees, the situation is quite the opposite. The world doesn't put a question mark next to the gospel, the gospel puts a question mark next to the world. It's the gospel that places the world in the dock to be cross-examined and interrogated. For in the cross of Jesus God has made foolish the wisdom of the world. Every pundit, commentator, TED talker, life coach, TV show host, author, podcaster, blogger, critic, professor, philosopher, columnist, talk radio host, reporter, retreat guru, speaker--you name it--all of it, under the withering cross-examination of the gospel, weighed in the balance and found wanting.


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