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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

More on Antony Flew
An on-line interview is available from Biola

It has just been brought to my attention that Biola University has placed on-line an interview with Antony Flew in which, in part, he discusses the arguments that he felt were instrumental in his changing his view from atheism to theism. It can be found here. It is a fascinating read. Consider, for example, the following:

HABERMAS: You very kindly noted that our debates and discussions had influenced your move in the direction of theism. You mentioned that this initial influence contributed in part to your comment that naturalistic efforts have never succeeded in producing “a plausible conjecture as to how any of these complex molecules might have evolved from simple entities.” Then in your recently rewritten introduction to the forthcoming edition of your classic volume God and Philosophy, you say that the original version of that book is now obsolete. You mention a number of trends in theistic argumentation that you find convincing, like big bang cosmology, fine tuning and Intelligent Design arguments. Which arguments for God’s existence did you find most persuasive?

FLEW: I think that the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries. I’ve never been much impressed by the kalam cosmological argument, and I don’t think it has gotten any stronger recently. However, I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.

HABERMAS: So you like arguments such as those that proceed from big bang cosmology and fine tuning arguments?

FLEW: Yes.

In the article, Mr. Flew also says that while he is not presently a Christian because he does not believe in a revelatory religion, he feels that he is open to such an idea now more than he ever was.

HABERMAS: Then, would you comment on your “openness” to the notion of theistic revelation?

FLEW: Yes. I am open to it, but not enthusiastic about potential revelation from God. On the positive side, for example, I am very much impressed with physicist Gerald Schroeder’s comments on Genesis 1. That this biblical account might be scientifically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.

I think that Mr. Flew is making a taking a very brave step. He has a lot of work and thought invested into the belief system of atheism where he is both admired and respected as a thinker. I think he is very brave and honest to take the step that he has to deism. Given the amount of baggage he has built up over the years against Christianity, I am not the least bit surprised that he has, to this point, continued to reject Christianity. However, if he is open-minded enough to set aside his belief in atheism--a belief in which he has a lot invested--in favor of deism, I think that he will be honest enough to give Christianity a second look.

I, for one, will be praying for him.

2 comments:

Congratulations on scooping almost everyone, it seems, on this story. The rest of the blogosphere is catching up to the Cadre on this one ... kudos!

Flew converted to deism ... which is disappointing ... but only at first.

It is significant for several reasons.

Flew was no ordinary atheist. Flew rejecting atheism is kind of like Dawkins conceding some form of theistic evolution ... or Sagan rejecting naturalism ... it does represent a significant shift.

Even more significantly, you cannot accuse Flew of pulling some kind of CYA move to make it into heaven. He still rejects the notion of an afterlife. This removes a significant argument from the naysayers who will now seek to turn on Flew with their full fury.

Finally, the story ain't over yet. Beliefs usually shift one inch at a time. The movement of this shift, and the one who did the shifting, make this a significant story. The jump from no-god to God is the biggest, imho.

Keep up the good reporting. The rest of the blogosphere will follow your lead.

Jeff

"I, for one, will be praying for him."

Me too, BK.

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