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To: Notary Sojac
Are those the specific things which you think I should do??

I wasn't sure what Pascal's wager was, but Google is a personal friend of mine, so finding out was no problem.

I would not suggest the 'fake it till you make it' approach. (I don't think Pascal was recommending that specifically. That's just my quick and dirty summation.) A lot of people do just that and it is frustrating and ultimately disillusioning.

I suggest reading "Surprised by Joy" and "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Lewis was an Oxford professor and former atheist who later became an outstanding apologist for faith in Christ. After that, I suggest getting a bible you can read (lots of debate on translations. New King James or NIV will do fine) and let God speak to through His own word. Mark is a good place to start.

If you just want a good daily read, read a Psalm and a chapter of Proverbs a day. Lots of good ordinary wisdom there.

29 posted on 12/05/2011 6:08:12 PM PST by tbpiper
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To: tbpiper
Sorry for the assumption that you were familiar with Pascal's wager, the language of your post strongly echoed it.

The reason I used that exact quote from Pascal is that, unlike many modern Christians who use the wager as an apologetic argument, Pascal clearly did not intend that the winning wager was a bet on God's existence, rather to him the winning wager was a bet on Roman Catholic doctrine.

Which brings up one of the other objections to Pascal's wager, the "Which God" response.

In my experience, Christians seem to define humanity's belief systems as composed of: Christianity, and, everything else. The possibility that someone might respond to Pascal's wager by adopting Judaism, or Hinduism, or Islam, or Buddhism, or any other non-Christian faith does not seem often to occur.

As I have said to my believing friends countless times: there are a hundred religions in the world. I disbelieve in a hundred of them, you disbelieve in ninety-nine. We are closer together than we think!!

I have read most of the works of C.S. Lewis, (my favorite by the way is "The Great Divorce" which seems to present a rather merciful God) as well as other works of Christian apologetics. I have found none of them yet to be convincing, although many are well-written and very respectful of the unbelieving reader.

Anyway, if you want to carry on the discussion, here's a quote from Jonathan Edwards, the great eighteenth century revivalist preacher:

...the sight of hell's torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. It will not only make them more sensible of the greatness and freeness of the grace of God in their happiness, but it will really make their happiness the greater, as it will make them more sensible of their own happiness. It will give them a more lively relish of it: it will make them prize it more. When they see others, who were of the same nature and born under the same circumstances, plunged in such misery, and they so distinguished, O it will make them sensible how happy they are. A sense of the opposite misery, in all cases, greatly increases the relish of any joy or pleasure.

Do you agree with Edwards?? When you are in heaven, will you take pleasure in observing the torments of the damned in hell??

33 posted on 12/06/2011 11:04:08 AM PST by Notary Sojac
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