Two Intellectuals and God

Jun 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Culture & Wordview, Featured Issues

Intellectuals often have a real struggle with the idea and existence of God.  Atheism, or at best agnosticism, are frequently the standard worldview for the intellectual.  Two recent examples highlight this sad pattern.

  • Christopher Hitchens:  In 2007, Hitchens, a well-known writer and commentator, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  So difficult has his battle with cancer been that he can no longer for the most part talk.  He remains committed to his worldview of atheism.  He has no regrets and blames much of the world?s difficulties on religion?in all its forms.  For him God is a petty and vindictive god of the gloaters.  He despises the self-righteousness of religious people, especially Christians, who gloat that as he has blasphemed God all his life, now ?God has taken away his voice.?  But he has also seen true, biblical Christianity at work.  Countless believers have told him that they are praying for him.  He has befriended Dr. Francis Collins, noted evangelical and director of the Human Genome Project.  (Collins is also one of Hitchens? doctors.)  Hitchens needs to come to terms with the God who is not vindictive, but who experienced, in the 2nd person of the Trinity, all the hate, bitterness and vindictiveness of rebellious humanity.  That same man, the Godman Jesus Christ, became a victim of horrific evil so that He might eradicate evil from this planet.  God has taken the most eloquent of public speakers and writers, Christopher Hitchens, and made it possible for him to listen.  May Hitchens embrace the God who loves him, who died for him and is reaching out His hand to him.  Pray for Christopher Hitchens.
  • Stephen Hawking:  Since 21 years of age, physicist, Stephen Hawking, has lived with a motor neuron disease, what many believe is ALS disease.  He is perhaps one of the most famous scientists alive today.  For years he held the chair at Cambridge University once held by Sir Isaac Newton.  Brilliant, witty and driven, Hawking is a remarkable scientist.  Yet, his new book, The Grand Design, betrays a purely secular viewpoint.  His worldview has no place for God.  His atheism is profound and naively arrogant.  He writes:
  1. ?I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years.  I?m not afraid of death, but I?m in no hurry to die.  I have so much I want to do first.?
  2. ?I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.  There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.?
  3. In an interview in the US, he again rejected the notion of life beyond death and emphasized the need to fulfill our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives.  When asked how we should live, he responded:  ?We should seek the greatest value of our action.?
  4. When asked what is the value in knowing ?why are we here?,? he responded, ?The universe is governed by science.  But science tells us we can?t solve the equations, directly in abstract.  We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive.  We assign them higher value.?
  5. When asked about God as creator and sustainer, he responded:  ?Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing.  It is a matter of chance which we are in.?

For Stephen Hawking, his god is science and the supreme aspect of life is his mind.  When he dies he expects non-existence to follow.  The physical world, which he has studied all his life, is all there is.  It seems to me that Paul?s words in Romans 1 apply perfectly to Hawking as one who ?suppresses the truth [about God] in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.?  For 49 years, Hawking has been studying about God?and he refuses to acknowledge Him.  Pray for Him!  Pray that the God that he has studied all his life will be seen as his Savior and Lord.  May God have mercy on Stephen Hawking.

See World (18 June 2011), p. 28 and (15 May 2011). PRINT PDF


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One Comment to “Two Intellectuals and God”

  1. I love Christopher Hitchens and I am so sorry to hear he has lost his Magnificent voice,I love his prose,his turn of phrase and his deep intellect,I have read ‘God is not Great’and he managed to give me tremendous doubts and I lost my weak faith ,in it’s loss,I became unhappy with the yawning,awning nothingness, I then researched everything about God that I could find and I felt the God I had lost,opening up a new understanding of him.God will never be silenced as there are more believers than atheists in this world,I am sorry about Christopher’s silence,it is his instrument -his voice and -his pen.Christopher has asked us not to pray for him but I will pray that his voice will be restored ,it is one of the gifts he possesses and in its return,I hope he uses it to praise God,that is all God asked of us ,is to believe in Him,Pascal had it right-It is better to believe.I wish you well Christopher