Thursday, December 27, 2007

Anthony Flew: Tool?

My first memory of Anthony Flew involved a debate he had with William Lane Craig regarding the existence of God. I remember very clearly that I was in a very formative stage of my life, and was still "searching" in many ways for the truth about God. William Lane Craig argued that because Jesus' resurrection is such an historically attested fact, God had to exist, because in naturalistic terms, resurrections do not happen. Ever. An interesting approach to say the least, I thought.

Fast forward, and it's virtually all over the Christian world that Anthony Flew is no longer an atheist. He is, by all accounts now, a deist. My lovely wife gave me a copy of Flew's newest (and probably last) book, There Is A God: How The World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. I immediately started reading, and have been tearing through it. The nice thing is, reading the book is making me thankful for my philosophy degree because I feel very comfortable with the discussion and the language that is being used. Granted, the book is not exactly over-the-top with the complex philosophical nomenclature, but you've got to remember, I'm getting rusty after only a couple years out of school.

Anyway, I have so far been finding the book very encouraging and engaging (it's especially insightful with regards to the "new atheists"). Recently, I came across an article by Mark Oppenheimer in the New York Times where he gives a review of Flew's book, focusing more on the authorship of the book than on any of Flew's arguments. The saddest part is, I am a little confused as to who is right. Did Flew simply let his co-author write the whole book and then simply stamp it? Is Flew getting old and senile as Oppenheimer would like to portray? I simply don't know, and I haven't read enough of Anthony Flew's books or arguments to be able to tell whether the book is even written in Flew's ordinary language.

In contrast to the NY Times piece, what might be termed a "counter-article" from Crosswalk can be found here. I'm still doing alot of thinking about this book, so I'm far from settled. I'll let you all know what I think of the book when I'm done with it.

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