Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011)

A week ago I had the opportunity to watch a debate between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens which was conducted on April 4, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8).  It was the first time I had seen either of them in a debate of this length.  Dr. Craig went first and, as I expected, gave a list of sound reasons why the argument FOR the existence God is more plausible than arguments against His existence. I nodded my head continually as I watched his 20 minute introduction.

Christopher Hitchens then made his way to the podium and I have to admit, I expected him to come across as a person who is easily disliked.  I have seen a number of atheists debate and many resort to simply beating up on their opponents with cutting words and demeaning characterizations.  However, 5 minutes into Mr. Hitchens’ talk I found myself rather liking him. He was warm, funny and genuinely appreciative of the opportunity to speak at a Christian University. In his younger days he was known to be abrasive and rude, yet a free thinker. He challenged the theories of many atheists and has been credited to being the father of modern atheism. His only goal in life was to find truth. Unfortunately the notion of God wasn’t in his truth equation.  The statements in his debate with Dr. Craig hint more at a dislike for the idea of God than actually believing He doesn’t exist.  Hitchens didn’t want to believe in a God.

The news of his death was a bit of a shock to me because I didn’t know he was sick.  It saddened me. I know it saddened the Lord even more.  Here was a man, whom God loved infinitely, that had made his final decision to reject all offers of salvation. He had slipped out of time into eternity without any hope.  In a very ironic way he died what he lived.

For those of us who follow Christ and believe in his existence and deity the news of such a death should sorrow our hearts not cause them to rejoice. Will Hitchens “Get what he deserves?” Yes he will. But deep in my heart I am so thankful that I will not.  The blood of Jesus has cleansed me from sin and has removed the penalty of eternal death from my soul.  I will never face the punishment I deserve because Jesus faced it in my place. He died for Christopher Hitchens too. Let’s never forget that when we watch another human being defy God like Hitchens did, these are the very same people Jesus died for.

There are countless around us who do not believe in God. They have no place for Him in their minds or hearts. My urging is for all believers to love them, not hate them. To pray for them not preach at them. To show the warmth and grace of the Lord not try to demean or belittle them and write them off.

With the Lord Jesus in our lives and the truth on our lips let’s win this world for Christ, one atheist at a time.

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Events: John Lennox at Rise Up 2011

Digital Sojourner is greatly looking forward to the 2011 International Rise Up Conference scheduled for December 27-30, 2011 in Charlotte, NC. Among the many excellent speakers to be at the conference is Dr. John Lennox who is featured in the above video clip debating atheist Christopher Hitchens.

Do not miss this event! there are only a few days left to register. Visit the conference website to learn more.

See you there!

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