Fifty years ago, if I wanted to carry on a serious dialogue and apologetic debate with Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, and Muslim scholars I probably needed to go overseas. But with the emergence of the internet and influx of immigration in America and other parts of the Western world, all of that has changed. Great religious diversity now exists in America, especially in its large urban centers.
Even with the growth of secularism, we still live in a largely religious world. In fact, if current trends continue, by 2050 there will be nine billion people living on Earth. Approximately three billion will be Christians, three billion will be Muslims, and three billion others will represent various beliefs (both religious and secular).1
Because I have dialogued and debated with scholars from various faiths,2 people often ask me for recommended sources on world religions. In my personal library I have dozens of books that discuss the religions of the world, but there is one that stands out among them.
I’ve been reading and reflecting on philosopher Blaise Pascal’s extraordinary book Pensées (pronounced in French “Pon-SAYZ” and roughly translated as “Thoughts”) for a long time. Yet Pensées is really...