Tag: Blaise Pascal

Christian Humanist Profiles 19: Pascal the Philosopher

Blaise Pascal was one of those polymaths that only the Enlightenment could have produced. He was one of the sixteenth century’s most important mathematicians, and Pascal’s Triangle alone might have been enough to make his name immortal. But he also invented the roulette wheel, proved the existence of natural vacuums, created the barometer and the…

The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #87: Death

General Introduction – Nathan’s snottier than usual – David goes back to bed – Listener feedback Death in the Bible – A Psalm of Moses – Daniel speaks out – Job knows that his redeemer liveth – Conscious afterlife? – Christ and Lazarus – The Bible’s lack of systematic theology Other Ancient Views – Nathan…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 6: Apologetics

I grew up at the tail-end of the Evangelical Apologetics Explosion. Somewhat arbitrarily, I’m selecting as the apex of that movement the year 1999. (I use that date because of the publication of Josh McDowell’s New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, but that was also the year of Norman Geisler’s Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 5: Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal initially seems a rather odd figure to label as a Christian existentialist–or even as a forerunner to the movement. Other than his famous “wager” (about which I will say quite a bit more later), he is perhaps best known for a major contribution to mathematics: Pascal’s Triangle. (It’s apparently quite significant, but don’t…

A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 4: Augustine

As I mentioned last week, the academic dean of the secondary literature on existentialism, Walter Kaufmann, points to the Christian theologians St. Augustine and Blaise Pascal as early examples of existentialist thought. He does so in a rather unhelpful and patronizing way: If we look for anything remotely similar [to Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground] in…