Long before the “new atheism” arrived courtesy of bestselling authors Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, the renowned British philosopher Antony Flew was the leading proponent of modern atheist thought. His prolific writings helped shape the atheist agenda for much of the 21st century — until he announced to the world in 2004 that he accepts the existence of God. Now, in “There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind,” Flew reveals, for the first time, the scientific discoveries and philosophical arguments that turned him from a staunch atheist to a believer.
The once-believing son of a Methodist minister, Flew made his debut as an influential atheist with his 1950 essay, “Theology and Falsification,” which was first presented at a meeting of the Oxford Socratic Club chaired by C. S. Lewis; it went on to become the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last five decades. His argument, in brief, was that one should presuppose atheism until evidence of a God surfaces. He still believes that — the only difference being that he now believes such evidence exists, particularly in recent scientific findings that suggest that the universe is the product of intelligent design. Flew reviews those findings and explains just why he finds them so persuasive — and why others should too.
“Science qua science cannot furnish an argument for God’s existence,” he explains in his conclusion. “But the three items of evidence we have considered in this volume the laws of nature, life with its teleological organization, and the existence of the universe — can only be explained in the light of an Intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of the world.” The book concludes with two fascinating appendixes — the first critiquing the “new atheism” of Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens; and the second arguing for the coherence of Christian belief in the resurrection, written by New Testament scholar and Anglican bishop N.T. Wright.
This is a story of a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker, and where his lifelong intellectual pursuit eventually led him: back to his childhood belief in God.
“The church of fundamentalist atheism will be scandalized”
“A stellar philosophical mind ponders the latest scientific results. The conclusion: a God stands behind the rationality of nature.” — Michael Behe, author of “Darwin’s Black Box” and “The Edge of Evolution”
“[Flew’s] colleagues in the church of fundamentalist atheism will be scandalized by his story … believers will be greatly encouraged, and earnest seekers will find much in Flew’s journey to illuminate their own path towards the truth.”—Francis S. Collins, New York Times bestselling author of “The Language of God”
“This is a fascinating and very readable account of how a distinguished philosopher who was a militant atheist for most of his working life came to believe in the intelligent design of the universe, and hence deism. This book will provoke as much debate as his previous atheist writings.” —Prof. John Hick, University of Birmingham
“A fascinating record of how one of our most prominent contemporary atheists was led to the conviction that God does exist. The narrative is eloquent testimony to Flew’s openness of mind, fairness, and intellectual integrity. It will come as a most uncomfortable jolt to those who were once his fellow atheists.”—Prof. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University
“Antony Flew not only has the philosophical virtues; he has the virtues of the philosopher. Civil in argument, relentlessly reasonable….” —Ralph McInerny, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
“Flew’s exposition will be a source for reflective inquiry for many, many years.” —Daniel N. Robinson, Philosophy Department, Oxford University
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