Thoughts Along the Way
Antony Flew was raised in a Christian home, the son of a Methodist minister. But at the age of 15, he became an atheist. He studied at Oxford, where he won the John Locke Prize for Mental Philosophy. He taught at Oxford and three other universities. He has written 26 books. He lectured in classes taught by CS Lewis and debated many on the existence of God. The Times of London called him "one of the most renowned atheists of the past half-century, whose papers and lectures have formed the bedrock of unbelief for many adherents."
And he has changed his mind.
Last year, Anthony Flew - one of the world's prominent atheist philosophers - decided that he had been wrong. He decided that, in fact, there must be a God. Some argue that the change came because Flew is getting old (he's 81). But, according to Flew, the reason is simple: The evidence demands that there must be a Creator. After examining the evidence of Intelligent Design, he has concluded that there is indeed a Creator. It should be noted that Flew's move is just to deism (he calls himself a Jeffersonian Deist) and not to Christianity. The April 2005 issue of Christianity Today contains an article by James A. Beverley about Flew and his change of mind. It is worth reading. At this time, it's not online, but I'm sure it will be soon. You can check at www.ChristianityToday.com.
Two thoughts struck me after I read this article. The first was an admiration for Flew. He had built his career and reputation on defending the position of the atheist. Yet he was honest and humble enough to publicly admit that he was wrong and change his position. How many times do we let our pride keep us from responding to what we know to be true and right because it might involve admitting we were wrong? Or because it might be embarrassing to us?
The second is that often on a university campus it is easy to feel that those who believe in God are in the minority and are not taken seriously by "real" scholars. Though there are thousands of Christian students on campus and many Christian professors, there is often a sense that those who believe in God and follow Christ aren't quite "up to snuff" intellectually. Yet I'm convinced that there is a solid foundation of evidence for the things that we believe. We aren't just making this up off of the top of our heads. When you see a prominent opponent of God examine that evidence and change his mind, it just reaffirms the truth of what we believe and the evidence that supports it.
I don't need Antony Flew's agreement for me to believe in God. But it is good to see that the evidence that points me to God is strong enough to also convince him.
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:20
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge." Psalm 19:1-2