Thursday, August 27, 2009

There Is A God

Anthony Flew had been a famous atheist for over 50 years. He had published a great many books and articles arguing there is no god. Then, sometime in the early 21st century, he changed his mind. In this book, he outlined the reasons for his being an atheist, as well as the reasons that subsequently made him change his mind. This book is very well written, and fairly easy to read - as easy as a book on philosophy can be.

He insists that he has been following the command attributed by Plato to Socrates, “We must follow the argument wherever it leads.”

The main reasons for his believing in atheism earlier were these: (1) the problem of evil disproves the existence of an all-good, all-powerful God; (2) the “free-will” defense did not relieve the Creator of responsibility for the manifest ills of creation.

Why does he now believe that there is a God? It is based on three dimensions of nature that point to God. (1) Nature obeys laws; where do these laws come from? (2) How did life, which is so intelligently organized and purpose-driven, come from non-life? (3) How did nature, the universe, come into being?

Of course, there is a lot more to the arguments than what I can say here. So I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the existence (or non-existence) of God.

By the way, Flew’s discovery of God has been an exercise of reason, not of faith. He does not rely on any special revelation from God. He is considered a theist, someone who believes in the existence of a God, but not a specific one. Not yet, at least. He did say, however, that “the Christian religion is the one religion that clearly deserves to be honored and respected ...”

Our pastor gave my wife and me this very interesting book - for which we are very grateful.


Anonymous said...

I will buy the book - from your brief description, I share his rationale and i onced asked the same set of questions and got myself convinced as I studied more and more about nature (chemistry) in university.

And if I find it easily understood, i will get one for my friend - the friend who has agreed to support your mission in the Mainland, the friend who has asked me to buy him his first Bible. Ann

StephenC said...

Good idea. Highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your book review.

This book reminds me of two others, both by journalists, who both wanted to investigate the claims of Christianity, and both came to believe in Christ against their original intentions.

Lee Strobel - The Case For Christ
Frank Morrison - Who Moved The Stone


StephenC said...

Yes, those are very good books too. Particularly Lee Strobel. He has written a series of excellent books discussing faith rationally from different angles.