I’m joking, although I’m already stocking up on 2008’s reading list. And, since in the last week I finished off the 2 novels I received for Christmas, besides doing a critical review of one of Andrew Murray’s books and reading some theology for my own enjoyment, I really doubt I could squeeze any more reading into my schedule. But, I can always try…
One of the books I’ve just added to my Amazon wish list is Anthony Flew’s book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Anthony Flew first presented his Theology and Falsification in 1950 at the Oxford University Socratic Club, which was then chaired by CS Lewis. He has published a number of philosophical works over his lifetime, and over the last 20 years slowly reasoned his way out of atheism to a belief in a creating intelligence (though not necessarily to a personal deity). Flew was apparently somewhat distinguished from other 20th Century atheist philosophers, for whom atheism was a by-product of their various philosophical systems. Flew, on the other hand, argued for atheism simply on the basis of logical assumptions. It is this kind of thinking which led him to finally accept the existence of God.
And it seems to be driving other atheists a bit nuts. From what I’ve read, the general approach being taken against Flew’s latest book has two prongs: one, Flew is 84 and can’t think as clearly as he used to. Second, his co-author, Roy Abraham Varghese, actually wrote the book and “spun” Flew’s comments to say things Flew didn’t mean to say (in spite of Flew’s insistence that he wrote the book and it says what he wanted it to say).
First, the senility argument is immaterial. Either the book makes sense, or it doesn’t. Now, concerning whether Varghese wrote the book or not, we have Flew’s own statements taking responsibility for the book and ideas:
“My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 percent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. This is my book and it represents my thinking.”
It seems rather far-fetched for anyone to believe that someone who has argued for atheism for years and can still communicate would allow a book to be published under his name stating that he is no longer an atheist. His comments, combined with his various interviews over the last few years, should lay that issue to rest. But, people will continue to grasp at whatever straws are available to avoid having to comes to terms with their individual arguments from authority.
For one fairly in-depth review of the book, look here.
So, There Is A God will probably be in my next book order. In the meantime, to continue in my pursuit of this year’s resolution, I will finish up Anthony Bloom’s God and Man (on which I will blog once or twice), and wait for my Amazon order to arrive with Robert Webber’s The Divine Embrace and 2 of the “Armchair Theologian” series, Augustine for Armchair Theologians and The Reformation …
Happy New Year!