Tuesday, September 18, 2007

There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

Antony Flew's "conversion account" is coming out this November.

Here's a couple blurbs:

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British philosopher Flew has long been something of an evangelist for atheism, debating theologians and pastors in front of enormous crowds. In 2004, breathless news reports announced that the nonagenarian had changed his mind. This book tells why. Ironically, his arguments about the absurdity of God-talk launched a revival of philosophical theists, some of whom, like Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, were important in Flew's recent conversion to theism. Breakthroughs in science, especially cosmology, also played a part: if the speed or mass of the electron were off just a little, no life could have evolved on this planet. Perhaps the arrogance of the New Atheists also emboldened him, as Flew taunts them for failing to live up to the greatness of atheists of yore. The book concludes with an appendix by New Testament scholar and Anglican bishop N.T. Wright, arguing for the coherence of Christian belief in the resurrection. Flew praises Wright, though he maintains some distance still from orthodox Christianity. The book will be most avidly embraced by traditional theists seeking argumentative ammunition. It sometimes disappoints: quoting other authorities at length, citing religion-friendly scientists for pages at a time and belaboring side issues, like the claim that Einstein was really a religious believer of sorts. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description

In one of the biggest religion news stories of the new millennium, the Associated Press announced that Professor Antony Flew, the world's leading atheist, now believes in God.

Flew is a pioneer for modern atheism. His famous paper, Theology and Falsification, was first presented at a meeting of the Oxford Socratic Club chaired by C. S. Lewis and went on to become the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last five decades. Flew earned his fame by arguing that one should presuppose atheism until evidence of a God surfaces. He now believes that such evidence exists, and There Is a God chronicles his journey from staunch atheism to believer.

For the first time, this book will present a detailed and fascinating account of Flew's riveting decision to revoke his previous beliefs and argue for the existence of God. Ever since Flew's announcement, there has been great debate among atheists and believers alike about what exactly this "conversion" means. There Is a God will finally put this debate to rest.

This is a story of a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker, and where his lifelong intellectual pursuit eventually led him: belief in God as designer.

17 comments:

  1. :::YAWN!!!:::


    (and...are congrats in order...you a new daddy?)

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  2. Silas Allan Manata 7.12 lbs, 19.75 inches :-)

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  3. When he was an atheist, he was a fool, an ignoramus, a boorish and obstinate dullard. But now that he "believes in God," he's "a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker," the cause celebre behind "one of the biggest religion news stories of the new millennium."

    Mmkay.

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  4. arguyle said:
    ---
    When he was an atheist, he was a fool, an ignoramus, a boorish and obstinate dullard. But now that he "believes in God," he's "a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker," the cause celebre behind "one of the biggest religion news stories of the new millennium."
    ---

    When he was an atheist, he was a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker, but now that he's a theist he's over the hill and losing senility.

    Mmkay.

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  5. PP: "When he was an atheist, he was a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker, but now that he's a theist he's over the hill and losing senility."

    Agreed!

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  6. Ojib agrees with the arbitrainess and hypocrisy of the atheist position on these matters. I agree too!

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  7. Arguyle said: When he was an atheist, he was a fool, an ignoramus, a boorish and obstinate dullard. But now that he "believes in God," he's "a brilliant mind and reasoned thinker," the cause celebre behind "one of the biggest religion news stories of the new millennium."

    Exactly!

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  8. Gary Ericson9/19/2007 8:26 AM

    As an atheist myself, I was never very impressed with much of anything Flew had to say. But I do recall numerous Christians asserting over and over again on the Internet Infidels discussion lists how "irrational" and "subjective" Flew's position was. I guess they were right: look at where it all led him.

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  9. Whatever Flews personal experience has been, I would not give much attention to his "conversion" to theism. Unless he has changed since the last article I read on him it appears that he believes in a more Aristotelian concept of God, doesn't he?

    If that is what he believes in I find his conversion to have little weight as far as the theism/atheism debate goes.

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  10. I don't think any of us here put much into his "conversion." The point: it ruffles the feathers of atheists.

    In fact, I'm actually glad. Now atheists can see what we feel like when a Barker (or even a Loftus) puts out a book about his "deconversion." You laugh at Flew and say he was never "really" a top-notch thinker, so what did you expect. We laugh at them and know that they were always fundy-hick backwoods snake dancing, poison drinking, theists who never bothered to learn how to defend what they believed, and most probably were never followers of Christ in the first place. At least the atheists can empathize now.

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  11. I love the:

    "We act dumb and so do you!"

    defense.

    Great work Manata!

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  12. PM "The point: it ruffles the feathers of atheists."

    It does? Which atheists' feathers are ruffled by this?

    Couldn't care less myself. But Manata tells us what he thinks is important.

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  13. Karl,

    The ones who are bothered enough to point out that they're not bothered.

    You know the play ground chant: "the one who denied it supplied it?"

    Anonymous,

    I wasn't offering a defense of anything. But, if you were referring to my pointing out that atheists can now have first hand experience of what we Christians think about "deconverts" who "write testimonies" about the so-called reasons why the "left the fold," you're welcome.

    I just love the "no true scotsman fallcy" that atheists love to place on Christians being reversed now.

    "Yeah, but he wasn't a real atheist. He was sloppy and incoherent. If he was smart, he wouldn't have deconverted.

    What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. To throw a temper tantrum now, makes all your previous comments about "scotsmen fallacies" look rather disingenuous. Quit while you're ahead. :-P

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  14. Gary Ericson said:
    "As an atheist myself, I was never very impressed with much of anything Flew had to say. But I do recall numerous Christians asserting over and over again on the Internet Infidels discussion lists how "irrational" and "subjective" Flew's position was. I guess they were right: look at where it all led him."

    I would like to see you put out work that is even 1/1000000th of the caliber of Flew's. While I disagreed with him in much of his atheological writings, most were top notch. This statement from the book description is worth noting: "His famous paper, Theology and Falsification, was first presented at a meeting of the Oxford Socratic Club chaired by C. S. Lewis and went on to become the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last five decades."

    So you may not have been very impressed with anything Flew had to say, but the rest of the scholarly world was (on both sides). Perhaps, this is just another tactic from the atheist camp to downplay the importance of someone who comes to disagree with them (You disagre with us now so all of your previous scholarly work wasn't that interesting or important). Who's to know?

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  15. Manata You know the play ground chant: "the one who denied it supplied it?"

    Leave it to Paul to drag the discussion to the play ground... Nothing new under the sun....

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  16. At the risk of sounding bland, what it proves is that intelligent men on both sides of the aisle can change their minds and still remain intelligent. I've known smart Christians and smart atheists.

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