Friday, September 22, 2023

A scientist decides that there really is a God

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I was looking at the books on the shelves of a shop in Weston-super-Mare when my eyes alighted upon a specific title.  It said in bold red letters, ‘THERE IS NO GOD”.  On closer inspection the word ‘No’ was crossed out and the letter ‘A’ had replaced it  and so it actually read, ‘THERE IS A GOD’. I could not resist purchasing the book especially as the sub-title said, ‘How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind’.  The book was written by Professor Antony Flew who had been a writer and defender of the philosophy of atheism for many years.
Antony Flew was an intellectual who had held academic positions in British universities such as Oxford, Aberdeen, Reading and had been for twenty years Professor of Philosophy at the University of Keele.  He was also an influential writer whose essay  in the 1950s called ‘Theology and Falsification’ was widely read and believed by many people.  He was considered one of the great philosophical champions of atheism and could be described as a ‘militant atheist’.  Yet after many years of following his anti-God creed he was forced by the sheer weight of evidence to change his mind and accept that God exists.  This, of course, shocked the world of academic atheism and many condemned him and were certainly angry at his change of thinking.

Yet he wrote with clear transparent honesty about a life of study where he was determined to “follow the evidence where it may lead”.  He described his intellectual journey as ‘a pilgrimage of reason’ and concluded by stating, “it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent and omniscient Being”.  He could not have given a clearer description of the God of the Bible.  In a review of his book someone wrote, ‘This engaging personal retrospective on Flew’s philosophical pilgrimage illustrates that it is dangerous for an atheist to think too hard about his religious commitment - he might become unconvinced!’.

Others have had similar experiences as the evidence for the existence and reality of God became overwhelming when they looked at the information in an objective manner.  One man who came to faith in God was once described as “The Most Reluctant Convert” and he was C.S.Lewis one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.  He was also a great academic who held important positions in British universities.  In many ways it was as if Lewis could not escape from God. He, like Flew, was forced to see the logic for God’s existence.

One of Lewis’ biographers is Professor Alister McGrath who studied science to higher degree level and then came to faith in Christ.  He has debated with new atheists as well as writing a book (one amongst many) entitled, “Why God Won’t Go Away”.  The answer is quite obvious because if God is real then it is impossible for Him to disappear.  McGrath concludes that ‘dismissing belief in God as irrational and unscientific might just be a waste of time’.

The Bible is a bit more direct, pointed and challenging in its statements.  In the book of Psalms (14.1) it says clearly and unmistakably, “The fool says in his heart, There is no God”.  It is a very plain and powerful statement because there is so much evidence which should never be ignored.  We see the evidence for God from the microscopic intricacy of the smallest cell, to the wonder of the human body, to the glory of the exact location and tilt of planet earth to sustain life, to the wonder of the Bible as a most amazing book of prophecies and unity, to the person of Jesus Christ who revealed the reality of God as He lived in a human body here on earth. 

Atheism cannot account for many things such as suffering, the innate sense of accountability which we all have, the reality of conscience, the concept of sacrificial love, the reason for existence, the purpose of life, the sense of justice and the ultimate destiny of each of us.  The Christian message has answers to all these seeming imponderables and therefore it is worth giving it some consideration and even serious study.  Why not think about the Bible and God today?

Written by Paul Young For Messages with Meaning (29/05/21) & Your542Day 


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