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Rational Faith: The Logic of Trusting in Jesus

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord...

The human mind constitutes an intricate tapestry of emotion, intellect, intuition, and logic. Religion, characteristically a matter of faith, belief, and emotion, may seem to exist outside logical argument. Yet, Blaise Pascal, a renowned 17th-century mathematician, physicist, and Christian philosopher, would beg to differ. Let us explore the rationality of trusting in Jesus Christ as a saviour via a thought experiment — Pascal's Wager.


Pascal's Wager is not an argument for the existence of God but rather a pragmatic justifying commitment to belief when one has no overriding reason to disbelieve. In simplistic terms, the wager lays out a game of chance with the following possibilities: 

  1. If God exists and one chooses to believe, there is infinite gain (Eternal life).
  2. If God exists and one chooses not to believe, there is infinite loss (Eternal damnation).
  3. If God does not exist, the gain or loss is finite, regardless of belief (You ultimately just die).


The heart of this argument is the concept of the infinite. Pascal argues the potential for gaining eternity outweighs any finite loss. If one lives as if they believe in God and are wrong, the loss is minimal — perhaps some worldly pleasures, autonomy, or intellectual pride. However, if one lives as if God does not exist and are wrong, the loss is incomprehensibly vast — forfeiting eternal bliss.


Pascal's Wager can be applied passionately by choosing to put one's faith in Christ as the Son of God, accepting His teachings, obeying His commands, and putting hope in His sacrifice as the means of eternal salvation. If right, eternity is to be gained in a state of bliss. If wrong, little has been lost. A life promoting love, forgiveness, and righteousness, is one that many would argue still has its own merits in this world.


It is worth noting; the wager does not intend to replace or bypass the emotional and spiritual aspects of faith. Instead, it invites us to engage our logic and reason in harmony with our spiritual and emotional experiences. It prompts us to consider faith not as a blind leap into the dark, but as a measured step into what even our own logic admits could be light.


Some critics argue that Pascal's Wager is too simplistic, that it bypasses a human's authentic relationship with God. However, Pascal was aware of these concerns. He never intended for the wager to be a surrogate for genuine faith, but rather a stepping stone that would hopefully lead towards a more authentic encounter with God.


In conclusion, Pascal's Wager presents a logical rationale for believing in Jesus. It provides a valuable perspective on the potential consequences of our choices regarding faith, encouraging us to consider the infinite possibilities stemming from our finite lives. So, whether you are a sceptic, agnostic, or believer, Pascal invites you to weigh the choices of belief and unbelief, ultimately reminding us that the decision we make has potential implications with literally infinite significance.