Who Cares?

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 14, 2004

It is all over the news that renouned athiest Antony Flew now believes in the existence of God.  People are treating this like a huge deal.  And as much as I love God and am glad God exists, I find myself thinking: "Who Cares if people like Antony Flew believe in a Necessary Being (God)?

There is nothing worthwhile about holding to deism or an empty theism.  The fact that something created everything is an interesting fact, but only matters to me if there is something worthwhile about that "something."  For me, theism is worthless apart from Jesus Christ.  The God revealed in Jesus Christ is worthy of love and praise.  Some sort of Necessary Being who created everything may be a logical necessity, but he doesn’t automatically deserve our love and respect.  But the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ does (btw, I’m not arguing against YHWH in the Old Testament, I would consider YHWH to be "the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ") deserve such love and respect.  In the end, mere belief in God will get you no where, unless it is a pit stop on your way to worshiping the Triune God revealed in Jesus Christ.

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4 Responses to “Who Cares?”

  1. ToddH on December 14th, 2004 11:49 am

    I think you’re right in a sense with the “pit stop” idea. But I like what Newbigin says in The Open Secret about Christians rejoicing in God’s work in those who do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord: “If we love the light and walk in the light we will also rejoice in the light wherever we find it - even the smallest gleams of it in the surrounding darkness.”

    In a way, that’s what Flew represents: a man committed to the acidic, modern, scientific worldview, who ultimately has the guts to reject it out of a lifetime of promoting it. So it’s a tiny light, but a light nonetheless.

    Still, I wonder if, for Christians, they are more excited about the repudiation of his former worldview - one of the enemies of Christianity for several centuries, than they are about his conversion to Deism.

  2. Jeremy on December 15th, 2004 2:23 am

    Let’s face it: atheism is boring. After awhile anyone who clings to atheism must run out of things to talk about. There’s no controversy left in it, so the only controversy left is to embrace what you’ve been rejecting. This is Flew’s last ditch effort to be interesting and significant.

  3. Chris on December 15th, 2004 1:03 pm

    Ultimately I think there is futility in rejoicing over anyone’s mere existence in a monotheistic God. We can say that it is a step toward a deep faith, but only if it follows the “Add a pinch of Jesus and a dash of the Holy Spirit” way of systematic theology that late modern theologians seem to advance. Why not simply present God the way he is, not by presenting metaphysical arguments that don’t need Jesus to be successful?

  4. Van S on December 15th, 2004 1:09 pm

    You all bring great insights. Todd, you’re right. We should rejoice in the small glimmers of hope. After all, Lewis had stages he went through between atheism and Christianity. And Perhaps this Flew fellow is on his way.

    Jeremy, you might be right. Flew could be some old dude who feels like he needs to shake things up…what better way than to embrace deism?

    Chris–amen. Jesus isn’t simple an expansion pack for theism.

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