Hey, Calvary Fremont –
I’m not one to gossip about others, but I don’t know if you heard that Atheism was rushed to the hospital today and put on life support. Some doctors expect a full recovery while others think Atheism should be transferred to hospice care and kept comfortable until the end comes. This will surprise many as it seemed like Atheism was growing bigger – but bigger isn’t always an indication of healthier. Some have already said their goodbyes.
The most celebrated atheist of the 20th century has said his goodbye to Atheism. Anthony Flew was the atheists’ atheist. For many, he was the go-to-guy for arguments against any kind of Theism (the belief that there is a God). There have been other famous atheists in the 20th century, but none have had a greater influence than Flew as he developed a systematic, comprehensive, and original exposition of Atheism. Yet he came to believe that the foundational assumptions of Atheism could no longer support it. He writes: “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an Infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God.”
Flew converted from Atheism to Theism for three main reasons. He could no longer maintain the premise that something came from nothing, or that life came from non-life, or that chaos evolved into order. He thought long, and hard, and deep and concluded that he didn’t have enough faith to be an atheist any longer. Admittedly, he didn’t become a Christian – conversion to Theism isn’t conversion to Christianity. Yet in his book “There is a God,” he asked Anglican Bishop, N.T. Wright to write an appendix. N.T. Wright is considered the world’s foremost expert on the New Testament. And in the appendix, Wright laid out the case for Christ’s life and resurrection. When Anthony Flew converted to Theism, Atheism began to feel sick at its stomach.
The Fall 2022 edition of Salvo Magazine has an article by Gunter Bechly who earned a doctorate in paleontology in 1999 and landed his dream job as scientific curator for amber and fossil insects in the paleontology department at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. He had a deep scorn for Christians and was a confirmed atheist. Yet as he continued to read and research, he began to see problems with the materialistic worldview as he struggled with such questions as causality, the ontology of time and space, the status of mathematics, and the laws of nature.
He had always heard his colleagues heap derision upon Intelligent Design (ID) theory, yet when he began to read into it and gain an understanding of it, he felt that this derision was underserved. He writes that the more he studied ID arguments, the more he became a critic of Neo-Darwinism and a proponent of ID himself. There is more to his journey, but he also said goodbye to Atheism and hello to Theism. Yet he went even further, he writes – “I reached a point where the evidence and the arguments were so overwhelming…that I had no choice but to surrender to the call of Christ.” Hallelujah! When Gunter Bechly converted to Theism and then to Christ, Atheism came down with a fever and became bed-ridden.
Dr. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, is the most public intellectual in the West today. All of you have heard his name. Many of you have listened to his presentations. Jordan Peterson is no longer an atheist. He says: “I’m not an atheist anymore because I don’t look at the world that way anymore…For me, the proof of belief is to be found in action. I decided to act as if God does exist a long while back.”
Like Anthony Flew, Jordan Peterson is not a Christian. Yet he has left the fold of Atheism and come into the fold of Theism. May his journey end in the arms of Christ. When Jordan Peterson converted to Theism, Atheism had to be rushed to the hospital and put on life support. Some say Atheism will make a full recovery while others believe that funeral arrangements should be made.
It’s easy to be intimidated by those with advanced degrees in highly specialized sciences and philosophy and who are articulate in their advocacy of Atheism and their scorn of Christianity. Yet know that these men and women are on a journey and for many of them there is a constant tension between where they are and where they are going. I would imagine that most of them are intellectually honest and really desire to know the truth. Yet Romans 1 tells us that when a person suppresses the truth about God, this results in a further corruption of their mind. When an acknowledgment of the existence of God will undo all of one’s life work, the journey to faith is uphill all the way. Yet Flew, Bechly, and Peterson made the journey – and with Atheism in hospice, I expect a lot more will make it to the top of the hill of faith.
Be blessed and stay healthy and follow Jesus – Pastor Tim