Imagine the most hardened atheist – someone who utterly dismisses the mere possibility of the existence of God or a creator behind the Universe. We might not have to go very far to find that person – as it could well be us!
I guess one of the most public and vocal atheists today would be either Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris or Daniel Dennett. All great guys, I’m sure. And stridently atheist in their worldview.
Anthony Flew was their forerunner.
Mr Flew was the public, strident atheist of the mid 20th century. He died in 2010 aged 87, but during his life he spent much of his time proposing his anti-God position.
He was a contemporary of C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien, but was not convinced by their own faith. Rather he believed that talk about God was meaningless and Gods existence could not be proved either way. He engaged in countless public and private debates with people of faith where he stood firmly against any form of faith or belief in a creator. He dismissed the claims of the Bible. There was no God, according to Anthony Flew.
That is…until the mid 2000’s when suddenly his position began to change. He never publicly admitted to becoming a Christian. But he very clearly stated he had been mistaken in his atheism and that he had become a believer in God – in other words, a Theist.
What began to change his mind? Well – listen for yourself to this short interview.
Anthony Flew began his journey toward God when he finally admitted that the case for a Designer was just so great – that he couldn’t deny it any more. The deeper that Scientists looked into the nature and structure of the Universe – everything just REEKED of design! He decided that he was done with NOT following the evidence where it lead. Instead he just followed the breadcrumbs. There had to be – in Anthony Flew’s thinking – a creative intelligence behind all of life.
And so – before his death in 2010 – he stridently changed his position and took up the cause of arguing for the existence of a Designer of our Universe. He co-authored a book which has an inescapable title – “There Is A God”.
The internet’s reaction was scathing. People who didn’t take the time to read Mr Flew’s book, or listen to his reasons, cruelly denounced him as confused and senile. But does he sound that way in the video clip? Not at all – his sharp and incisive mind is very much in evidence.
Now – who knows whether he finally decided to believe in the God of the Bible. I hope so – because I personally feel that only Christianity makes historical and intellectual sense of the evidence that we find in human history.
Anyway – however Anthony Flew’s story really ended – it reminds me of this. Atheists can and do change their minds. And – it’s OK to change your mind.