Saturday, September 4

What Is Man?

“When small men begin to cast long shadows, it is a sure sign that the sun is setting."

So, too, I would claim that when men’s views of God are low, they will inevitably run hard to promote themselves. The following quotation from Blaise Pascal will not tickle the ears of the modern who loves to laud mankind, treating him as a god! But it will reveal what a great scientist and a true Christian felt about humanity.
What is man in nature? A nothing compared to the infinite, a whole compared to the nothing, a middle point between all and nothing, infinitely remote from an understanding of the extremes . . . equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. . .

Let us then realize our limitations. We are something and we are not everything. Such being as we have conceals from us the knowledge of first principles, which arise from nothingness, and the smallness of our being hides infinity from our sight.

Our intelligence occupies the same rank in the order of intellect as our body in the whole range of nature.

Limited in every respect, we find this intermediate state between two extremes reflected in all our faculties. Our senses can perceive nothing extreme; too much noise deafens us, too much light dazzles; when we are too far or too close we cannot see properly; are argument is obscured by being too long or too short; too much truth bewilders us.

—Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 61-63 (emphasis mine) Tyler Kenney at DGM
Right views of God promote right views of man. None can be compared to the greatness of the great God "who dwells in light unapproachable." We rise or fall over our own thoughts of truth. Let's make sure we are on the right side of it!

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