Our guest blogger today is Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century French Catholic, philosopher, mathematician, scientist and all-around genius. He will be speaking on the subject of Why God Hides, or put another way, why He doesn’t reveal Himself plainly to all people so that no one could doubt His being.
“God wishes to move the will rather than the mind. Perfect clarity would help the mind and harm the will. Humble their pride.”
“There is enough light for those who desire to see it, and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition.”
“If there were no obscurity man would not feel his corruption; if there was no light man could not hope for a cure. Thus it is not only right but useful for us that God should be partly concealed and partly revealed, since it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness as to know his own wretchedness without knowing God.”
“Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness.”
“If he had wished to overcome the obstinacy of the most hardened, he could have done so by revealing himself so plainly that they could not doubt… as he will appear on the last day… This is not the way he wished to appear when he came in mildness… The way of God, which disposes all things with gentleness, is to instill religion into our minds with reasoned arguments and into our hearts with grace; but attempting to instill it into our hearts and minds with force and threats is to instill not religion but terror.”
Notes: The above quotations from Pascal come from Peter Kreeft’s book Socrates’ Children: Modern Philosophers
Image: Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch (downloaded from Wikipedia Commons).