Have Any Major Atheist Thinkers Converted?
Question: Atheism is the belief that there is no supreme being, no deity, no God. It would seem that atheism is hard to defend, but there are atheist thinkers who go to great lengths to disprove the existence of God. Have any major atheist thinkers converted to Christianity?
Answer: I do not know of any major atheist thinkers who have converted to Christianity. However, I do know of one major atheist thinker who now believes in the existence of God.
In 2004, longtime British atheist philosopher Anthony Flew publicly announced that he now believes in God. He is the author of over thirty professional and philosophical works that have helped to advance the cause of atheism around the world. He is known for saying that he will believe whatever the evidence shows, and wherever the evidence leads. In 2004 he claimed the evidence has led to the existence of God.
In 2007, Harper Collins published Anthony Flew’s book, There Is a God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, in which Professor Flew discusses how he came to deny atheism.
Atheist Richard Dawkins claimed that Flew’s change of mind was a kind of apostasy from his atheist faith. Others have come forth with the idea that Flew was “hedging his bets” because he is advanced in years. When he dies he is afraid of meeting an angry God. Still others have advanced the theory that Flew has succumbed to dementia and his words are not to be taken seriously.
Question: Is the book credible, and what are some of the factors that influenced Flew to change his mind?
Answer: It is highly credible. Flew argues that something could not possibly have come from nothing. Things just don’t happen for no reason at all. If the police find a dead man in a ditch they don’t just pass it off as just having happened. They realize there is a cause. They investigate whether or not it was a natural death, or if foul play was involved.
Flew goes a step further. He argues that the universe knew we were coming. The universe has been fine-tuned to support life on earth. Even minute changes in either the gravitational or electromagnetic force would have spelled disaster for the stars and the planets. He has come to believe that a Supreme Being, a kind of super intellect, has monkeyed with the laws of physics. The laws of nature are rigged to support life on earth. Flew believes in Occam’s razor—a principle in logic that says that when there are a number of possible explanations, go with the one that requires the fewest assumptions—and that’s belief in God.
Flew does not believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, one of the fundamentals of the faith. However, Flew does say that the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is impressive. We need to pray for Anthony Flew.