Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pascal's Wager

Would you love to share the gospel message with someone, particularly the gospel in creation, but they will not give you the time of day? Is it considered unnecessary or unimportant to spend time discussing the topic? Pascal’s Wager may be the help needed.
Blaise Pascal was a 17th century scientist and Christian, recognised by having a unit of pressure named after him (the pascal). Atmospheric pressure in weather reports is often reported in kilopascals. Blaise, as with many thinkers of his era, was also a philosopher and theologian. Pascal’s Wager, which he used as a “proof” of God, is often used when illustrating decision theory, particularly in minimising losses.

While Pascal’s Wager really does not even come close to “proving God”, it can be useful to get someone to consider the importance of investigating the reality of the Creator’s existence.

So what is Pascal’s Wager? Pascal proposed that there is one of two truths in the universe, and one of two ways to live in relation to those truths.

The truths: Either God exists, or God does not exist.

The ways to live: You can live as if God exists, or you can live as if God does not exist.

Combining these, we have the following conclusions:

Living as though God exists involves far more than just acknowledging He exists [Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19)].

It must involve a recognition of the need for God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

By using Pascal’s Wager you can help friends see they are gambling with eternal life. If they really want to minimise loss, it is worth their while to give you time to share with them the reality of Creator-God, and their need to be saved from sin’s consequences.

Let us pray to our Lord Jesus for the passion, wisdom and courage to share with those around us.

Roger Matthews