15 December 2006

Two Roads Diverged.


E.T. Oakes, S.J., reviewing N.T. Wright's Simply Christian in the latest numberof First Things:
Speaking very generally, Christian apologists can go down one of two roads: Friederich Schleiermacher's or Blaise Pascal's. According to Schleiermacher, man's inchoate sense of absolute dependence can best be assuaged by following Jesus, who, more that any other human being, conducted his life not just sensing his absolute dependence on God (which Schleiermacher claims we all do) but actually living it out. In other words, man is thirsty for god, and Christianity offers the most limpid and salubrious water for slaking that thirst. But for Pascal, Christianity is not so much pleasing water for a thirsty, but otherwise healthy traveler; rather, it is harsh chemotherapy for a desperately ill cancer patient.
Not yet available online. He finds Wright too far down the Schleiermacher road.
 

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