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The Mind on Fire

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) earned recognition as a renowned mathematician, physicist—and a man after God's heart. As he came to the forefront of geometry and physics, he turned his considerable analytical abilities to study religion or, as he said, to "contemplate the greatness and the misery of man." Pascal's classic defense of Christianity—Pensées—persuaded many a skeptic ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by David C. Cook (first published 1989)
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Oct 25, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This book is subtitled Faith for the Skeptical & Indifferent. What an audacious aim. To sway the minds of those who carry heavy doubts & those who are apathetic to such a plight. The text itself is quite contradictory, as Christianity itself is, but it makes no apologies about this. It simply asks the reader to submit to faith. Faith is where the diverging viewpoints of humankind should converge. Faith can ameliorate the chasms between all of the vast discrepancies. When all else fails, ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Cathie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This present life is momentary, but the state of death is eternal.How terribly important it is, then, to live in the light of the eternal, since it ultimately affects all that we do or think! Since nothing is more obvious than this observation, how absurd it is to behave differently."

The Pensees (thoughts) of Blaise Pascal are organized topically in this edition. The Pensees were written in the seventeenth century in bits and pieces as Pascal suffered sickness and faced death at the age of 39.
Mar 07, 2013 Shawn rated it really liked it
This modernized presentation of Pascal's "Pensees" is a collection of thoughts organized as an apologetic of his faith in Christ. This volume also contains a series of letters he wrote in response to the condemnation of the Jansenist position by a Scholastic.

Pascal provides many proofs of faith including everything from traditional proofs, such as Scripture and prophecy, to less conventional ones, such as the boredom and dissatisfaction of man. Many of his thoughts still connect in our own cult
Feb 28, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pascal was a great mind of the Renaissance era, i.e. a scholar in numerous fields.
His insights (theological, Christian life, anthropolocial, ...) will blow your mind! How could one man say so many brilliant things. Throw away all your quote books and feed on the bread of Pascal.
This book takes "Pensees" and organizes the collected thoughts from it into a more organized form. (Pascal died before he could do it.)
Apr 12, 2007 cocav marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've started this book several times - Pascal is really intense. You have to be in the right mood for this book.
Jul 21, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was a contemporary of René Descartes and was ten when Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his belief that the earth circled the sun. He and Thomas Hobbes lived in Paris at the same time (1640) including the year Hobbes published his famous Leviathan (1651). Together with Pierre de Fermat, Pascal created the calculus of probabilities.

A near-fatal
More about Blaise Pascal...

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“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” 32 likes
“For after all, what is man in creation? Is he not a mere cipher compared with the infinite, a whole compared to the nothing, a mean between zero & all, infinitely remote from understanding of either extreme? Who can follow these astonishing processes? The Author of these wonders understands them, but no one else can.” 1 likes
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