Christian theology is differentiated from pagan religious and philosophical reflection primarily by the introduction of a new distinction, the distinction between the world understood as possibly not having existed and God understood as possibly being all that there is.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
rejected paragraph from the thesis...
The world, which is all created things, is now understood and analyzed as being the thoroughly contingent term of a distinction that might not have existed at all but, in fact, does. God is the necessary being; indeed, he is ipsum esse subsistens, the pure and unadulterated act of being itself. “To be God, God does not need to be distinct from the world, because there does not need to be anything other than God alone.” The context in which Pascal considers human nature, God, and eternal life, then, is one in which only God is necessary. The rest is, simply, not. This distinction is not merely cerebral, but elicits particular attitudes from its adherents: “The existence of the world now prompts our gratitude, whereas the being of the world prompts our wonder.”