Gambling on God

dice.jpgIs it right to gamble on God? If we’re not absolutely convinced that God even exists does it make any sense to live as if he does?

Many people will say that they are absolutely convinced that God is real and that they know him. Others seem equally as convinced that God doesn’t exist. What about those who aren’t completely sure one way or the other? Is there a place for stepping across the line and living as if they believed one way or the other? If so, which is better, to live as if God is real or to live as if he is a fabrication of human imagination?

Blaise Pascal’s posthumously published writings, known as Pascal’s Wager, suggested that knowing absolutely isn’t a prerequisite for faith.

Pascal’s Wager (or Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should “wager” as though God exists, because so living has potentially everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose.

Pascal figured that if the person who lives as if God is real is wrong, they’ve lost nothing, but if the person who lives as if God doesn’t exist is wrong, they lose everything.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

This week we discussed the idea of gambling on God and Ross recounted stories of people who came very close to believing in God but there was still a gap between what they’d been told about God and what they truly believed. Many people have felt that the gap to God is smaller than the gap away from him and so they’ve taken the step to believe and then felt an enormous confirmation within their spirits that they’ve connected with the Creator.

You can hear our conversation by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

What has your experience been? Have you stepped across the line to belief in God? Did that come after you were totally convinced of the truth of who God is or did you still have doubt? What happened after you took that step?

Maybe you’ve heard people talking about God but you’re not sufficiently convinced that the evidence stacks up. What would it take to convince you that God exists?

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • good post for the ones who question …

    if only everyone could peak inside those of us who have fallen into the grace of God … and found it has no boundaries or limits … it’s guilt removed, love restored, new dreams worth dreaming … it is like the thrill of our first and innocent love – except with maturity, God’s love becomes even better …

    for those with doubts, just ask God to show Himself – and He always does to the one who sincerely prays …

    blessings on you Rodney …

    (p.s. canada is finally on the olympic medal board – yayayayaya!!!)

  • Hey Rod!
    I find the only problem with living as if there is a God just in case, because you lose nothing… is that Jesus has says that following him may cost you everything. Luke 14:33, Matt 10:39.

  • A beautiful comment, Saija. Thanks for your thoughts.

    All the theological and theoretical arguments fall away when faced with the reality of a changed life.

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