Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This morning Christopher Hitchens was interviewed in MSNBC about his books God is Not Great and Thomas Paine and the Right's of Man. Hitchens is about the only person in public life whose worldview can truly be refered to as unique. No one, except perhaps Laura Bush (and that could probably be debated,) is a bigger supporter of President Bush's War in Iraq. In this, Hitchens is firmly in line with about the 30% of people who support the President, of which most are evangelicals. Yet of all the atheists out there, few are more vocal about it than him. Hitchens' belief is not just that there is no God, or that a belief in God is childish, but rather that any acknowledgement of a deity by anyone is just downright dangerous.

He pulled Mother Teresa into his fold by insinuating that her recently released writings prove that she didn't believe in God. What she actually said, however, was that she went for years without feeling the presence of God, which, from the things I have read, seems to be a condition many giants of faith have found themselves in.

After the interview with Christopher Hitchens, Joe Scarborough then had on presidential candidate, and former Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee. His comments were the stuff of all-that-is-good about the Old Time Religion. He didn't try to one up Hitchens with a reasoned apologetic. Nor did he suggest that it was all ok, Hitchens' view was just as valid as anyone else's, that none of it mattered as long as we all get along. He simply said that he felt responsible to live his life for the only one who, in the end, will judge his life.

Apologetics weren't taught much at ETBU, but it was one of the favorite extra-curricular activities of students readying to enter "the world." And honestly, I don't believe there is anything wrong with that. There are those whose lives will be transformed by the Good News, and the only way they will accept the News as credible is if someone gives them intellectually viable evidence, of which I believe there is plenty.

But what most of us have to give is what people like Mother Theresa and Mike Huckabee have to give-- faithful obedience to our creator in spite of all the evidence that suggests such a way of living is foolish. On most days, especially recently, the stuff stirring within me is doubt and uncertainty and feelings that perhaps the best days are over. These are not the ingredients of what passes for a "believer" these days. But I'm not a believer because I know that I know that I know. I'm a believer because I choose to believe, even though some days the choice is harder than others.


Carn-Dog said...

the sound of applause

John said...

Al Sharpton and Hitchens went at it in an interesting debate not too long ago that you can find on google.

Aaron said...

I know on these posts I often come across as though I'm joking, but I'm as serious as I can be on this:

You may choose to believe, but that is because God chose you to be a believer. I hope in all the wrestling with doubt a new vista of grace will open up to you.

Craig said...

1. I don't think you are joking.
2. I'm not a Calvinist, as you probably know.
3. That's ok. I still appreciate and look forward to your comments, and believe I have tons to learn from you.