Chesterton and Pascal on Original Sin

Chesterton original sin quote

Original sin is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. G.K. Chesterton

Pascal original sin quote

Certainly nothing offends us more rudely than this doctrine (of original sin), and yet without this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible, to ourselves. Pascal

Pascal and Chesterton tell us two (at least) things about original sin.

First, that it is the most obvious theological reality of all. Modern liberal celebration of the inherent goodness of man sound increasingly lame. In our culture, we are now suspicious of most people, most of the time. Trust is at all time levels of "low." That would not be so if we were all amazingly good people.

Second, that as hard as it is to understand this doctrine, apart from it, we cannot understand ourselves or life itself. Nor will we be inclined to look for a meaningful answer to the question of what has gone wrong?

And, while they don't say it, a third thing should be added. We cannot expect to find a remedy for what has gone wrong, among those who are themselves wrong. Remedy, renewal, and reformation, AND in the beautiful words of Scripture, reconciliation and redemption, will have to come from someplace else. The God of grace is where we must look, if we wish to see what is wrong - put right.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International