Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interview with a former atheist

In my sermon for Sept. 13, the introductory message of my science and religion series, I explained why an educated, reasonable and scientifically-literate man or woman can believe both the scientific explanations of the beginning of the universe and the teaching of Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In it I mentioned the story of Antony Flew.
Probably few people here are familiar with the name of Antony Flew. A British philosopher, he is a retired Oxford professor, and was a leading academic champion of atheism for more than fifty years. (He was also the son of a Methodist minister!) In 2004, at age 81, he renounced his atheism and gave an interview to Christian scholar Gary Habermas, entitled, with Flew's approval, "Atheist Becomes Theist - Exclusive Interview with Former Atheist Antony Flew." In it he stated,
... that "the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries" and that "the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it".
Flew also affirmed that the "decisive" forms of argument in favor of God's existence "are the scientific" ones. Flew, however, professes no Christian faith, saying his idea of God is much like Aristotle's - a god who caused the universe but since then has had pretty much had nothing to do with it. Flew's type of belief in a deity is called theism.
Here is the text of the interview by Habermas of Flew. Flew was one of the most respected and leading voices of intellectual-academic atheism until 2004, so his explanation of his turn to belief in deity can't be readily dismissed.

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