There Is a God by Antony Flew

Antony Flew is one of the leading philosophers of the Twentieth Century. And an atheist. Or at least he used to be. In 2004 the 81-year-old scholar admitted publicly that he now believes there is a god. He still denies anything like special revelation—the actual communication of God with Man—but he “followed the evidence,” and found the arguments for intelligent design compelling.

This rather shocking about-face was reported in various news media, but a lengthy interview exploring Flew’s beliefs is available at Biola University’s Biola News & Communications.

There Is a GodThe book, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (HarperOne, 2007) by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese, released last month. Interestingly, I heard about it from Steve Laube at the ACW Conference in Anaheim the week the book came out. Little did I suspect I would be blogging about it in a matter of weeks.

Actually when Mir left her comment to yesterday’s post, I was trying to remember Flew’s name. Then, lo and behold, on the ACFW email loop, one of the writers mentioned the book! Well, I don’t believe in coincidences—I see God’s hand in bringing little details together. So I set out to learn a little about Flew.

First, I was surprised that his revelation came three years ago. I vaguely remember reading the headline of an article about his change of mind (clearly not yet a change of heart) in my local paper. Nothing more until Steve Laube told us the interesting tale of how he became Flew’s agent. Even then I didn’t realize this “news” was not new.

Of course, the book release is stirring up more conversation about the subject, and it is interesting. On one site, evidently visited predominantly by atheists, the reaction ranged from distain to relief. Distain because, surely if Antony Flew was really such an important, leading atheist, THEY would know who he was! Relief, because Flew may now believe in god, but he clearly does not believe in the Christian God!

In regards to the first point, I admit I didn’t know who Flew was either. Here’s the intro of his entry in Wikipedia:

Professor Antony Garrard Newton Flew (born February 11, 1923) is a British philosopher. Known for several decades as a prominent atheist, Flew first publicly expressed deist views in 2004

Evidently his prominence is in academia. He produced forty books or pamphlets in his field, a number specifically dealing with the subject of God’s existence.

That some other people came up with the idea that there is no god, apart from any apparent study or philosophical base is more telling of the weakness of their belief system, I would think. Their ignorance of such an influential thinker would be tantamount to my saying I’ve never heard of Charles Spurgeon or J. I. Packer or A. W. Tozer.

Regarding their “relief” that at least he doesn’t believe in the Christian God, I at first found it amusing, until I realized how that attitude reflected such a clear rejection of God Himself.

Much like Flew’s own rejection of God. The man was raised in a God-fearing home but turned to atheism because he couldn’t accept the idea of a good, wise, all powerful creator who would consign much of humanity to hell. In other words, he can’t resolve God’s goodness with His justice. My belief is, the resolution lies with His mercy.

Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 12:21 pm  Comments (21)  
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