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Archive for December 16, 2011

Dec 16

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel,Mission,Recommended Link

Christopher Hitchens, a prominent and widely influential atheist, died yesterday. If you aren’t familiar with Hitchens from his book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, then you may know him from TV interviews or articles in any number of magazines.

On the occasion of his death, a few articles are worth reading. Justin Taylor has a helpful reflection at his blog, and Douglas Wilson was asked to reflect on his death for Christianity Today.

Doug Wilson, by the way, was Hitchens’ debate partner in a multi-article debate hosted by Christianity Today in 2007 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6). That debate was eventually turned into the documentary video, Collision: Is Christianity Good for the World?:

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

We can genuinely hope that Hitchens died in Christ, since we know he heard the gospel many times. That is never impossible if someone has heard, but that is unlikely. Doug Wilson reflects a bit on this in his article. To the question of deathbed conversion, Thomas Gurhrie, a 19th century Scottish preacher has a timely word: “It cannot be too often, or too loudly, or too solemnly repeated, that the Bible, which ranges over a period of four thousand years, records but one instance of a death-bed conversion—one that none may despair, and but one that none may presume.” (chapter 1 of Early Piety).

Christopher Hitchens was deeply impassioned about the non-existence of God. It really does seem, though, like he really was debating against something, or Someone, instead of nothing. And we believe that he was. How much more should those of us who know the True and Living God be known for our loving, impassioned, and authoritative persuasion with the gospel.