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Pascal's Wager Paperback – August 9, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nancy Rue taught English and theater before pursuing writing full time. The award-winning author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction for children, young adults, and adults, Nancy lives with her husband in Lebanon, Tennessee.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (August 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576738264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576738269
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Grace VINE VOICE on July 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone already familiar with Nancy Rue's writing knows that her skill with imagery, characters, and dialogue is second to few, and this book is no exception. It is engaging from the first chapter and never ceases to be so. And as always, Rue's characters (especially the sardonic heroine) drive a unique plot in which real life events become captivating.

As for the theme of "intellectual Christianity," the two-star review below seems to expect a single author to explore every facet of faith, science, and religious diversity within a single, less-than-300-page novel. An unrealistic expectation, at best. Every religious argument ever concocted by humanity cannot be explored and refuted in a work of fiction that also contains a decent plot and round characters. This novel simply intends to cause Christians and non-Christians alike to examine faith as more than just blind belief.

The main character, Jill, confronts her own beliefs regarding the existence God and the soul, comparing them with the convictions of a Christian man she is becoming more and more attracted to, despite what she deems his "irrational" faith. Of course, it is a Christian novel, so Jill's must be a "conversion story." However, this is not a typical Christian formula novel. The people within these pages make us care, and the painful twists of Jill's mother's illness are not always predictable. It is the journey, not the destination, that makes this book a winner.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like literary-style prose; I like somewhat genre-free reading; I enjoy a challenge that does have a conclusion at some point. I got all three in this quite intense story. It’s dated, of course. Authors of contemporary lit have to use contemporary reference points, so some of the music and films and events are forever encased in turn of the century-mode. But the premise is timeless: the challenge of seventeenth-century philosopher Blaise Pascal to live as if God exists, no matter how you reason his existence, for you have nothing to lose.

Jill McGavrock’s elegant and renowned mother, Dr. Elizabeth McGavrock, is losing to her mind to a terrible disease. Jill’s never given thought much to matters of faith, preferring sarcastic self-defense in order to maintain her incredible busy life. When she learns of her mother’s condition, Jill is horrified by the idea that Elizabeth’s essence, her soul, might be gone, too. But if a person doesn’t believe in God, why should the state of her soul matter?

Jill’s encounter with a philosophy professor on the Stanford University campus where her mother worked and where Jill pursues her doctorate in mathematics, changes her life on many levels. Fighting through much of the story with the mostly gentle and always charming ways of Dr. Sam Bakalis, they each learn the depth of wounds and struggles which has formed their personalities. Jill and Sam need to grow and see through their defenses, and slowly form an attachment.

More than a conversion story, Pascal’s Wager challenges to reader to reach inside to determine the depth of our faith commitment. Are we paying lip service? Are we happy? What is happiness, anyway. What does it mean to live as if God exists?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Asks, rebutts, and later answers every question a scientific minds ponders over the existence of God and human soul.

Characters come to life in proportion to the main character's ability to see beyond her own preconceived notions, which is probably why I had a hard time getting into the book. She transforms from a very self-absorbed mask of a person to a deeply thoughtful person with a contrite heart who learns to see the details within the hearts of others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nancy Rue writes books I truly love and her stories are about real issues but told in a way we can all enjoy. You will laugh, cry, but I always want the next book. The Healing series got me started and I've been hooked since. The Reluctant Prophet and Unexpected Dismount, are unique for me because you have a good Christian book and a motorcycle "chick" and how God uses her. I think Nancy would appeal to young and old alike.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nancy Rue is one my favorite authors to source when figuring out "humans."
This book is on my to-read-multiple-times stack.
The debates between Jill and Sam are realistically entwined with their life experiences.

Read it. You'll be glad you did.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A confirmed atheist and mathematician has her life under control. She's a graduate student writing a thesis and has a difficult time with her mother. But that well kept life starts to unravel when she attends a banquet honoring her mother. She comes to the realization something is wrong with her mother and also meets philosophy teacher, Sam, who tells her about Pascals Wager. Through the following weeks dealing with her mothers dementia and stress from school, she turns more and more to Sam and towards God. Good read and engaging characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition
All the christians in the book are portrayed as selfless, loving, patient people while the atheists are hopeless, aimless, angry people (or carousing drunks) who need to consult a god to figure out their life. I would think even a christian would find this very one-sided and hypocritical. I guarantee this author doesn't know a single atheist.
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