Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Famous Atheist Does a U-Turn!

You've probably heard that Christopher Hitchens, author of God is not Great (get Craig's God is Good, God is Great here) died last night after a long battle with Esophageal cancer. He was 62. He was a great author and had a great way with words even though he was dead wrong. That's what  brings me to this post. Phil. 2:9-11 states, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Whether he trusted Christ before he died, or came to that knowledge on the other side of eternity is anybody's guess (and I truly hope it was the first of those two options) but rest assured, he is no atheist any more. I don't want that to come across harsh. He was created in God's image and endowed with numerous talents by his Creator. It is sad that he is dead. My hope is that he came to know Jesus before he died.

I can't help but see the irony in his cause of death. Hitchens wanted to enjoy his own freedom without having to give an account to an omnipotent God. In the end it was his own pursuit of freedom, namely his proud habit of smoking, that led to his death. Where would he be now had he surrendered to Christ with a repentant heart years ago and allowed Him to heal him of that vice, preventing what killed him in the end. Who knows. Hitchens wanted freedom from the confines of God's standards not realizing he was enslaved to his own sin (Jn.8:31-36).

I don't want to miss the opportunity to highlight a huge area of common ground with Hitchens though. Hitchens considered himself pro-life to an extent and would often correct those calling an unborn baby a "fetus" by telling them it was an "unborn child." He was convinced the science alone led to that conclusion. I couldn't agree more. Check out more on that here.

It's a sad day, but one in which I'm reminded of the hope we have in Christ; a hope Hitchens fought adamantly against but one that continues nonetheless. I discussed both Hitchens and hope in the God Solution show we recorded this morning (which will air Sunday), check that out below. Check out more on Hitchens by clicking this link and get a short clip of a Hitchens - Craig debate below that (I think you can get the full debate in parts here). Definitely be praying for God to comfort Hitchens' family and loved ones and bring them (and the many others who followed him) to Himself!

Finally, check out these tips for witnessing to atheists


  1. It wouldn't be sad at all. Remember Pascal's wager. Not arrogant at all. He was intelligent and I went out of my way to acknowledge common ground. I never get the criticism of "pushing beliefs" on people. Isn't that what your comment is all about? That's all atheists do. Take God out of the pledge, off our money, etc. Sorry if you took offense. I would encourage you to read up on the evidence. Maybe listen to the debate I posted - everyone acknowledged Hitchens got clobbered. Thanks for posting.

  2. Dear Anonymous Atheist,
    I don't have time for the tit for tat verbal battles. Even if your claim that I am "arrogant" were correct, and for the sake of argument, let's say you're right, how in the world does that change anything? Ad hominem attacks are easy to make, but won't get you anywhere. I also make it a point not to engage in them either offensively or defensively. That being stated, I wish you all the best. If you have the time to surf the web looking for random posts to get mad at and attack, that's fine. I don't. Most atheists are motivated by anger at God more than the evidence. That is always apparent when they are full of spite. I want you to know Jesus has the solution for your anger and frustration. I'll just leave it at that. Merry Christmas. I wish you all the best.

  3. Atheist friends,
    I don't have the time to respond to every one of you that personally attacks me on this blog. If you can be polite and contribute intellectually to a discussion, comment all you want. If you personally attack, your comments will be deleted. Merry Christmas!

  4. I never made a personal attack, others may have, but I did not.

    I still find that you title "Another Atheist does a U-Turn" is very misleading. Mr. Hitchens did not make a u-turn; he died. You title implies he 'found the lord' on his death bed. This is not the case.

    I can understand you censoring YOUR blog as it should be clean, respectful, etc... While I find all religions as silly, I respect those people that practice. Many dear friends are deeply religious and I make a point to respect their ideas while expressing my own.

    I have no illusions that I'll change you mind, but rather was looking for discourse. It appears that you are not comfortable with discourse when it not on your terms or when it takes a turn you didn't expect.

    I would imagine if I was to be judged on my character, morality, and community involvement, I'd do better than most Christians. I am firm in my beliefs that there is no god (of any sorts), yet I get this idea that I am judged by the very people that preach against casting stones and making judgements.

    I hope you reconsider your stance on opposing viewpoints.

  5. I have no problem posting respectful but opposing posts. I never indicated Hitchens converted on his death bed. I said I sure hope he did. I also said whether he did or not, he's no atheist now (ie. In eternity, he now understands). I was respectful of him and this was an opinion piece. If you want to discuss evidence and so forth (as your "thinker" title implies) I would love to. Thanks for being considerate.

  6. I'm still not seeing how "Another Famouse Atheist" did a U-Turn.........

    If a famous creationist died would your blog title be "Another Famous Creationist Does a U-turn?"

    Just wondering.

    I am a thinker, and am happy to discuss the topics of my beliefs vs yours. I still see no evidence that Mr Hitchens did a U-turn unless you are referring to traffic.

  7. On earth he was an atheist, in eternity he definitely is not. He has completed the U-turn. It is an opinion piece. Nothing more. Sorry it was so confusing. I would like to talk about your beliefs though as time permits. What do you believe? Thanks for posting.

  8. What I beleive in:

    People are neither inherently good or bad, just a product of their environment(s).

    There is no 'god' only the natural energies and laws that dictate nature

    I beleive that a person should try to contribute more to the world than they take

    I find the Golden Rule to be a great tenant to live by.

    I beleive that is God existed he would make it know without any hesitation. Ie, god is given credit for medical miracles, but NEVER ONCE, have I heard of an amputee waking up with their limb back.

    I don't beleive that an enlightened being (god) would be so against homosexuality. Many Christians have a dark hatred for gay people.

    If 'God' is so forgiving, why do Christians demand I join them and accept god? If I, as a respectful atheist live a life mostly free of sin and always strive to help others wouldn't I be rewarded with Heave as I lived a good life?

    I beleive the 'god' concept has been a tool to oppress many populations and justify a feudal society. Religion has been a tool to kill, maim, oppress, and enslave other groups since the beginning of time.

    How can a Christian Argue for God's existence in a way that negates other relgions? ie, Can you prove that god exists, and while using that logic also proof that Buddha is wrong, and Allah is a myth?

    More importantly- How is Hitchens not an atheist still? If he's is not it is because he is dead and is nothing.

    Have a great winter solstice, and may you enjoy family and friends.

  9. Thanks for posting. Let's go through those one at a time. You say, "People are neither inherently good or bad, just a product of their environment(s)." What evidence leads you to that conclusion? Thanks for posting. I look forward to a great discussion.

  10. That is easy for to explain:

    I have met many people both good and bad. It seems the racist and hate filled people often grew up in that type of environment.

    I have met atheists that are every bit as compassionate as so called 'Good Christians'

    I guess I am looking to see whether you agree or disagree with this statement and why.....

    DO you think people are inherently good? It seems to me the scriptures assume people are inherently bad and need Christ to absolve them of evil. To me that is a scare tactic to sell religion, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or Mormonism.

    Who is a better person the Christian that helps the community and pushes evangelism based on their fear of sin, OR the person that has no religious motivation and helps those based on compassion as just a human?

  11. I don't think atheists are necessarily worse than Christians as I too know good atheists and terrible Christians. What I'm wondering is why you think there is good or bad at all and why you think no one is either intrinsically. Mugridge said "the depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality while at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact." So, rephrasing the question, is there anyone alive who is intrinsically all good and why?

  12. I don't think anyone is intrinsically good or bad, I think it is largely what they have been exposed to. Of course this is all unprovable, but anecdotal evidence shows children that live in abusive households often continue that path. Children that are raised in compassionate loving households seem to generally follow that path.

    I know many good people, but I bet if they had a different upbringing or experience they would be 'bad' Look at child warriors in Africa, these kids were probably neutral until they were taken from their families and put into armies to commit genocide. These are now 'bad' people only because of what shaped them.

  13. If no one is intrinsically good or bad what are we intrinsically and if there is no objective moral standard why do you disagree with genocide? Just curious. Anyway, hope you had a GREAT New Year's Eve and hope 2012 is your best yet!

  14. I think we are intrinsically neutral, there may be exceptions in the cases of people with mental problems (bi polarism, sociopaths, etc) but I think we are born with a clean slate as a species.

    Genetics also plays a part, as substance addiction can be a family trait, but that doesn't count one way or another.

    It's been shown that children from violent families often continue that pattern. Many criminals and sexual deviants were the victims of the same people at an early age.

    Take a dog for example. A puppy can be raised to love and be around people, or raised to be mean and skittish. Same goes for kids.

    What do you beleive?
    From what I can tell the bible assumes people are inherently sinners and need Jesus/God/Allah to be good.

    I'll return the New Year's wishes. Regardless of our views we are living in a time where things could radically change in a heartbeat. I wish the best for everyone regardless of faith and beliefs.

  15. If you've ever had kids (and I love mine more than you can imagine) you'd have a hard time believing the clean slate idea (kids naturally lie, cheat, hit, etc.). I do believe in a natural human sin nature that we must be "saved" from. I don't believe that makes CHristians "good" just forgiven. I've known bad Christians and "good" atheists - but not a single perfect person (except my Savior Jesus!). So back to you, moving on from there, why do you believe in bad and/or evil? Why do you think violence is wrong. Why do you think morality is important? Why not do whatever feels good and / or benefits you even if it hurts or kills others? I have an answer based in objective moral truth. What's yours?

  16. Morality is important because it is the fabric of society. An immoral society that cheats and steals is destined for a diaster.

    I don't hurt others because I have a respect for others, that and the threat of prison :).... No, seriously, I am a big fan of the Do unto others as you wish to do unto you, yes this is from the bible, but also a basic tenant in other religions and texts (4 great truths, Koran, Tao De Ching, etc...) I figure that if I act with compassion and stay strong it will be an example for others to see.

    I don't have kids, but I know what you mean. Kids just push the limits, not because they are bad but because they don't know better. If they were intrinsically evil they would be bad little minions forever. I imagine your kids are quite behaved because you seem to be a pretty moral and upstanding person. Maybe we do all have natural human sin(I call it choice), I know I've done wrong, I made amends with the one's I wronged to clear my conscious, not for Jesus.

    My objective moral truth is simple. I want to live in a world where love, compassion, and understanding exist. To live in that world I must first act on these tenants. As I act on them others will see the power and the 'zen' that I receive from such actions. aka Leading by Example. I dedicate a large part of my life to self reflection, meditation, and communicating with others. Though my communications I and others can exchange ideas and try to come to conclusions of how we can shape our world into one of respect and compassion.

  17. Definitely short on time. Just a question. What is your objective basis for morality? Why do you go against the evolutionary grain of survival of the fittest? Why not kill, steal and destroy to get what you want and need? What keeps you from that and why would that apply to others?