Christopher Hitchens Death: A Reformed Reflection

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrew 9:27), Christopher Hitchens, one of the “Four Horsemen” of New Atheism destined day was Thursday night of 15 December 2011. He died at the age of 62, after a 18-month combat with esophageal cancer.

The “blogshere” was kidnapped by reflections of his death. Here are highlights of some of reflection coming from Christians blogoshere:

Justin Taylor’s at Between Two Worlds in Gospel Coalition: Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

He was a brilliant and entertaining man. He was enormously gifted, and in his final years he took those gifts and used them to mock God, using his considerable wit and sharp tongue to convince as many people as possible to do the same.

Glenn Peoples’ at Say Hello to my Little Friend: Hitch: Being dead does not make him any more noble

He may have been a good journalist and writer, but in the arena he became notorious in – attacking religion, he was a prat, and deliberately so. And not just a prat, a pretending, smug, arrogant (certainly more arrogant than was warranted by his ignorance), belligerent prat. He – along with his equally vapid adoring fan base – was quite taken by the idea that you’ve offered a sensible critique of Christianity if you just describe it in scornful terms with a serious look on your face, or that a deep Oxford educated voice and some dirty innuendos made a point all that more logically compelling.

Douglas Wilson’s at Christianity Today: Christopher Hitchens Has Died, Doug Wilson Reflects

Christopher knew that faithful Christians believe that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that the Judgment. He knew that we believe what Jesus taught about the reality of damnation. He also knew that we believe—for I told him—that in this life, the door of repentance is always open. A wise Puritan once noted what we learn from the last-minute conversion of the thief on the cross—one, that no one might despair, but only one, that no one might presume. We have no indication that Christopher ever called on the Lord before he died, and if he did not, then Scriptures plainly teach that he is lost forever. But we do have every indication that Christ died for sinners, men and women just like Christopher. We know that the Lord has more than once hired workers for his vineyard when the sun was almost down (Matt. 20:6).

Edward Feser’s: Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Except on religion, where he was a complete bore and an insufferable hack. There is no use sugar-coating that fact now that he is gone, and Hitchens was not in any event a fan of the polite obituary. Religion is the last subject about which to have a tin ear or a closed mind, and Hitchens had both.

Russel Moore’s at Moore to the Point: Christopher Hitchens Might Be in Heaven

Christopher Hitchens was a blasphemer, true enough, and a nasty character. Aren’t we all, in our different ways. Christ Jesus came for nasty characters like us. And the same blood of Jesus that can deliver us from wrath could do the same for Hitchens had he, if he, at any point, embraced it. It’s not likely, but it’s possible, and, if he did, then Christopher Hitchens’s past atheism would be no barrier to communion with God. It would be, like my sin, crucified with Christ, buried, and remembered no more.

And John Podhoretz, Commentary, Juli Weiner, Vanity Fair, Christopher Buckley, The New Yorker on list goes.

I do agree with much that has been said by all brilliant thinkers and writers above. As Christians who hold to the truthfulness of the doctrine of grace, the death of Hitchens’ reminds us how grateful we ought to be to our Sovereign and wise God. We are to thank him because the Cross of Christ is not a stumbling block to us as with Jewish nor fool as with non-believers but power of God and the wisdom of God ( 1 Cor. 1:23-24)

I was not better than Hitchens. I also was a blasphemer. I hated God and unable to walk to the Calvary. Jesus put it this way: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”(John 6:44) I am a Christian because the Father drew me to His Son. As Lydia of Thyatira(Acts 16:14), it’s Yahweh that opened my heart to give heed unto the Gospel of the crucified and resurrected Savior.

When non-believer dies, we ought to ponder on how wonderful our Lord and God is that in His grace and mercy we found favor. As Paul said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”(Ephesians 2:8)

NB: Please do read the blogs for the context of the quoted part.

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Christians Must Be Hated

“It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but actually to be one”

-Ignatius (To the Romans 3:2)

Are you hated by the world? If you are a Christian, and the world does not hate you, I believe if I may, sadly inform you that you are not a Christian. You are merely called a Christian, but you are actually not one. Being a Christian, “a follower of the anointed one”, is not only professing to the truthfulness of Christianity but also a lifestyle that imitates Christ Jesus.

Apostle John records Jesus saying: “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.”(John 7:7). The context to which this Jesus’ saying is coming out, is that of his half brothers, who the Apostle remarked did not even believed in Jesus, pose him to go to Judea and twitter himself publicly at the Jews Feast of Booths, which is celebration of the feast of ingathering observed at the end of the year (Exod. 23:16; Exod. 34:22)

Jesus answered his skeptical half-brothers with a reply  like this: The world loves those who speak what it longs and dearly wants to hear: it’s O.K., it’s O.K.! You are fine! Everything is going to be fine! The world loves those who “claim” to be Christians yet appraise and approve its immoral actions and behavior and hates those who testify about its evil.

If you are a Christian, and the world listens to you, then examine yourself to see whether you are truly what you claim to be. In First Epistle of John, a letter that was generally written to congregations across Asia Minor (now Turkey), John warned Christian that there are “Christian” who are not “ Christian”: “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us.”(1 John 4:5-6)

Christ Jesus was hated for speaking against the evilness of the world. As a true follower of Christ, practicing his teaching and lives a life-style that reflects that you are in Christ, being hated by the world is guarantied. You ought to be hated. You must be hated.

In all this, take courage in these words of warning from the one who loves you: “ If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”(John 15:18–19)

Be a Christian, “Keep on praying”for others too, for there is a chance of their being converted and getting to God. Let them, then, learn from you at least by your actions. Return their bad temper with gentleness; their boasts with humility; their abuse with prayer. In the face of their error, be “steadfast in the faith.” Return their violence with mildness and do not be intent on getting your own back. By our patience let us show we are their brothers, intent on imitating the Lord, seeing which of us can be the more wronged, robbed, and despised. Thus no devil’s weed will be found among you; but thoroughly pure and self-controlled, you will remain body and soul united to Jesus Christ.”(Ignatius’ To the Ephesians 10:1-3)

Go out Christians and be hated! Speak the truth with love and gentleness. Go out, Go be hated.

Is God Dead?

Alvin Plantinga

“Philosophers refurbish the tools of reason to sharpen arguments for theism God? Wasn’t he chased out of heaven by Marx, banished to the unconscious by Freud and announced by Nietzsche to be deceased? Did not Darwin drive him out of the empirical world? Well, not entirely. In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening not among theologians or ordinary believers—most of whom never accepted for a moment that he was in any serious trouble—but in the crisp, intellectual circles of academic philosophers, where the consensus had long banished the Almighty from fruitful discourse.”

In “Modernizing the Case for God,”  Monday, April 7 1980, Time magazine

Is God Dead?

A wonderful article on the come back of Arguments for Existence of God answering  “Is God Dead?” Times’ cover story of  April 8, 1966.

Is God dead? It is a question that tantalizes both believers, who perhaps secretly fear that he is, and atheists, who possibly suspect that the answer is no.

God is making a come back and I am proud to be alive witnessing  a great number of Christians recapturing our lost ground of Reason/Philosophy, in loving God with all our mind.

No fear, No tantalizing question, God is alive and well in the intelligentsia. As “Modernizing the Case for God” article concludes:

But if in an age of science, faith in God can be more rationally grounded, as a growing number of philosophers now attest, then the reasoning soul who is so inclined can more surely and assuredly feel comfortable in moving beyond reason.

My Top Seven Christian Philosophers:

  1. Alvin Plantinga (Recommended books: God Freedom and Evil, The Nature of Necessity, Warranted Christian Belief, Naturalism Defeated?)
  2. William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith, Does God Exist? (w/ Antony Flew), The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview) Continue reading

Doubting Evolution

 

“Scientific journals now document many scientific problems and criticisms of evolutionary theory and students need to know about these as well. … Many of the scientific criticisms of which I speak are well known by scientists in various disciplines, including the disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry, in which I have done my work.”

− Philip S. Skell,

Member National Academy of Sciences, Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University

Cited: There Is Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. “It deserves to be heard