Friday, December 25, 2015

BLAISE PASCAL: Resources for Study

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and an atheist. But when he came to Christ, his passion was to win his atheist friends and he began to write a unique book of apologetics for that purpose. But he died before he could finish it. His friends collected his notes for this work and published what is known as Pascal's Pensees (French for "thoughts"). 

It has become a classic that every apologist should put at the top of their reading list. I remember hearing Os Guinness saying in one of his lectures that he makes it a habit to read it every year. Peter Kreeft has said that it is an apologetic for our times. Kreeft writes: "He is three centuries ahead of his time. He addresses his apologetic to modern pagans, sophisticated skeptics, comfortable members of the new secular intelligentsia. He is the first to realize the new dechristianized, desacramentalized world and to address it. He belongs to us." (from "Pascal for Today")

This bibliography provides links to some excellent resources for learning from this brilliant and godly man who left us a legacy....

*PDF, etc.: FREE
*Amazon: paperback 

*Brief Biography at Christian Classics Ethereal Library
*Long Article at the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
*On Pascal by Douglas Groothuis. My Amazon review of this book.

*"Pascal's Anthropological Argument" (10 minutes) by Douglas Groothuis

*"Pascal's Wager" by Douglas Groothuis. An excellent lecture by an expert on Pascal.
*"Arguments for God's Existence" by Peter Kreeft (78 minutes). The last half of this lecture is an excellent presentation of Pascal's Wager.
*Kenneth Samples' former podcast, Straight Thinking, contains four episodes that discuss Blaise Pascal: “Blaise Pascal: Man of Reason and Faith,” “Blaise Pascal: Two Apologetics Insights,” “Blaise Pascal: The Wager, Part 1,” and “Blaise Pascal: The Wager, Part 2.”*Apologetic Methodologies Past and Present: A series of 5 lectures by Phil Fernandes. Part of the Tabor Lecture Series at Western Reformed Seminary. One of the lectures includes thoughts on Pascal.

*"Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Blaise Pascal" by Kenneth Samples. Part of an excellent series on apologists of the past.
*"The Apologetic Methodology of Pascal" by Phil Fernandes. An excellent 14-page analysis of Pascal's Pensees. FREE.
*"Pascal for Today" by Peter Kreeft. From the Preface to Christianity for Pagans: Pascal's Pensees Edited, Outlined and Explained. FREE.
*"Deposed Royalty: Pascal's Anthropological Argument" (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society) by Douglas Groothuis. FREE.
*"A Critique of Pascal's Wager: Argument Against Natural Theology" by Douglas Groothuis. FREE.
*"The Truth About Pascal's Wager" by David Marshall. FREE.
*Last Seminary hosts five articles on "Pascal's Wager" that can be download for FREE--with brief abstracts for each.
*Last Seminary hosts 3 articles on "Pascal's Anthropological Argument" that can be download for FREE--with brief abstracts for each.

*Online Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania Library. FREE.

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