Graham Cole quotes Blaise Pascal in his chapter, “The Glory and Garbage of the Universe” (God the Peacemaker). With arresting language, Pascal bemoans of our condition:
What sort of freak then is man! How novel, how monstruous, how chaotic, how paradoxical, how prodigious! Judge of all things, feeble earth-worm, repository of truth, sink of doubt and error, glory and refuse of the universe… Man’s greatness and wretchedness are so evident that the true religion must necessarily teach us that there is in man some great principle of greatness and some great principle of wretchedness! (Quoted in from Pascal’s Pensees in God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom [Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009], 53).
So too, the ‘true religious’ preacher must preach on the wages of sin that lead to death and deform our lives, and the glorious possibilities of life found in Christ, led by his re-creative Spirit. May we consider Pascals words and grow downward in humility and upward in adoration of the God who made us and makes us anew in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss