Saturday, August 13, 2005

Made for thinking, but...

Blaise Pascal, from Pensees.

Man is obviously made for thinking. Therein lies all his dignity and his merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought. Now the order of thought is to begin with ourselves, and with our author and our end. Now what does the world think about? Never about that, but about dancing, playing the lute, singing, writing verse, tilting at the ring, etc., and fighting, becoming king, without thinking what it means to be a king or to be a man (620/146).


Ted M. Gossard said...

The Bible seems to be concerned about getting our heads straightened out first, then the body will act accordingly.

Example: Paul concerned about taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Thought taken captive first then obedience follows.

Thanks for sharing that.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Pascal also speaks of "the order of the body." Our minds are effected by the way that we act. So, the will is crucial to sanctification with respect to our bodily actions--kneeling during prayer, for example.

Ted M. Gossard said...


It seems like posture or bodily actions are not considered important, yes even considered suspect in especially traditional evangelical and fundamentalist churches.

Especially in the psalms it seems they have some significant place for us as humans in the Bible.

I'm reminded of Paul kneeling before the Father (Ephesians). I wonder if bodily acts like that are both for expressing our faith in God and actually helping us toward and to remain in that faith in God.

The writer to the Hebrews says in the context of God's loving discipline for his children's good: "Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 'Make level paths for your feet,' so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."

I guess I'm thinking more about "spiritual disciplines". Maybe this gives us a heads up to look more in Scripture as to the significance this has for us- both for good as well as for evil.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The tongue is an obvious vehicle to influence others (minds and hearts) for evil or good (Proverbs, James). Surely this applies to what we say to ourselves affecting ourselves as well, as we may speak to our souls (Psalms).