I read an article in Outreach Magazine on Christopher Hitchens, the prominent atheist author and debater. The magazine has a recurring column called My Life, So Far, which contains interviews with people from various backgrounds regarding faith.
I couldn’t help feeling sympathy for Mr. Hitchens, though, judging from the tone of the article, he does not ask me to do so. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June of 2010. When asked about it in Outreach, he said the following:
I’m currently undergoing a strong course of chemotherapy to annex the cancer in my esophagus. Anyone who wants to pray for me has my blessings. However, I know of no way to show there is a relationship between prayer and outcome. (emphasis mine)
Some may interpret these words as simple unbelief. Not me. I read this as veiled hopelessness.
To what extent is that the very essence of atheism? A fervent disbelief in God and a beleaguered acceptance of the frivolity of life, perhaps?
There was a time in my life where I chose to blame God for my circumstances, but deep within my soul I knew that I was wrong to do so. What is it about the atheistic world view that is the opposite of my unfortunate cop-out? “Knowing” that there is no God, throwing up one’s hands, and embracing life as an out-of-control set of unpredictable events set in motion by chance and chaos, whose outcome is eventually nothingness.
- There is no God, and
- I hate Him.
I have not heard Hitchens’ debates and am by no means an expert on the man and his beliefs. But this quote in particular hints at a man who has resigned himself to his lot in life.
The last question in the article is also telling…
How I’d like to be remembered – any answer would be vain and in vain – but I’d like people to really appreciate my essays on literature.
This soul, created by the God who sent His Son to die on a cross for the salvation of mankind, wants to be remembered for his writings about writings.
I have no idea if he will ever read this. If he did, I would ask him to recall what he already knows about God and scripture, and to realize that he doesn’t have to know everything in order to have faith. Faith in the God that loves him. Faith in the Word of God, which has been proven time and time again. Faith in God’s Son, Jesus, that died a criminal’s death and shed His blood so that He could spend eternity in Heaven.
God doesn’t ask us to prove the Bible. He just asks us to believe it, and to trust in Him. There are so many things in this life we do not understand, and it is OK to fail at explaining an infinite God with finite language and intellect. His love never fails, and He does answer prayer.
Did you stop by via a Google or Twitter search and believe the same way as Mr. Hitchens? Salvation is free for you, too. There is only one way to heaven, and that is through salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Check this out.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10 ESV)