The Underused Wager

It seems to me that Pascal’s Wager is greatly underutilized and ought to be used more aggressively in evangelism. Brief review:  Pascal’s Wager argues that, because the costs of incorrectly choosing not to believe in God if He turns out to exist (namely, eternal damnation instead of eternal and joyful life) are so much greater … [Read more…]

Amir D. Aczel, “Why Science Does Not Disprove God”

This is an extremely well-written, measured, and intelligent book.  As the title suggests, it has a relatively limited aim, but the book achieves it very well.  The author also wrote Fermat’s Last Theorem and much else in science; he has a Ph.D. in mathematics and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard. The author is … [Read more…]

“The Timeless Writings of C.S. Lewis”

I noted this important exchange (477):  When asked, “What Christian writers have helped you?,” C.S. Lewis replied, The contemporary book that has helped me the most is Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man.  Others are Edwyn Bevan’s book, Symbolism and Belief, and Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy, and the plays of Dorothy Sayers.  [Footnote: “Such … [Read more…]

R.J. Page, “Norse Myths”

The author of this 80-page book, which is part of a series on myths, is a Cambridge professor.  The myths recounted are bloody and irrational, entertaining but not edifying, and so it seemed to me very different from Bible stories or even classical myths.  It’s also much harder to see how the Norse myths would … [Read more…]

Ravi Zacharias, “Recapture the Wonder”

Ravi Zacharias is a good man, but I found this book to be disappointing — not particularly helpful in recapturing the wonder or insightful generally.  Still, I liked this (46-47): In other words, if we are to understand wonder we must see that the first chronological destroyer of wonder is anything that takes away the … [Read more…]

M. Scott Peck, “Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption”

The author of The Road Less Traveled and People of the Lie gives a straightforward account here of two exorcisms he did.  There’s no proof the devil here, exactly, but pretty good evidence. I’ll note here a piece in the Washington Post‘s Outlook section, “As a Psychiatrist, I Diagnose Mental Illness/Also, I Help Spot Demonic … [Read more…]

Rosalie F. & Charles F. Baker III, “Ancient Romans: Expanding the Classical Tradition”

I noted a couple of passages in this young-readers book.  First (178), “And, as Christianity spread across the Roman world, Christian writers and teachers drew upon Seneca’s essays.”  Second (199): Unlike other fields of literature, in which the Roman imitated their Greek predecessors, letter writing was a uniquely Roman pursuit.  For the Greeks, who traditionally … [Read more…]