The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Saturday, December 17, 2011

10 Reasons Why Atheist Christopher Hitchens Was Good For Christianity

As most of you know by now, prolific writer and well known atheist Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday after battling cancer. I have an atheist friend who liked some of Hitchens' thoughts and works; Hitchens also garnered respect from Christians, such as Doug Wilson, whom Hitchens toured with for debates. Hitchens was, in an odd way, both offensive and endearing to many on both sides of the fence in the debate about God. Building on this, I would like to briefly talk about how, in God's providence, atheists like Christopher Hitchens can actually be good for Christianity. 

  1. Hitchens was smart, and offered strong rebuttals to the Christian defense of faith. His prowess as a speaker and writer, combined with a brash and bold approach, helped make him a famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) figure. This forced believers to know what they believe, and why they believe it, if they were to stand confidently as believers in this lost and dying world. 

  1. Once Christians start thinking about what they believe and why they believe it, it is revealed who really has come to terms of peace with the God of the Bible, and who has not. This means we might lose some church members, but that's fine- that's just the chaff blowing away in the wind, a helpful thing indeed.

  1. For those that really are believers, a man like Hitchens can challenge your faith. It can give you that sick feeling in your stomach that perhaps the God you believe in isn't real, or worse, maybe the God you believe in is real, and he's exactly the evil tyrant Hitchens said he was. 

  1. Those who wrestle with these doubts look for answers. Since Hitchens was on point with his criticism, only the right answers will satisfy the seared consciences of true believers who are coming to grips with their shallow, ignorant faith in God. Believers, convicted by the Holy Spirit, will search for the right answers and, when they find them, have their faith strengthened, their resolve doubled, their passion and devotion to God increased manifold.

  1. This will result in a surge of interest in apologetics, good apologetics that use reason to back up their claims, not circles. More people will become apprised of the arguments for the existence of God, and understand why God is good and just in all that He does. 

  1. Inevitably, the sovereignty of God will come to the fore, and with it the age old question of "How can God be all powerful, all good, all loving, and yet allow evil to exist?" 

  1. Hopefully, most will see the weaknesses in the free will arguments, something which Hitchens was capable of poking holes in, and come to a Calvinistic (biblical) understanding of the sovereignty and fore-ordination of God, in answering the question posed above.

  1. A Sovereign God means a sovereign Savior- thus a monergistic understanding of regeneration will inevitably result, and amazing will be put back into grace. This will strengthen the saints, introduce them to reformed theology, and cause men to give God all the glory for their salvation. 

  1. Equipped with the Word of God, able to give a reason for the hope that lies within them, these believers will have now found the gospel in its full clarity and splendor for the first time! This will increase not only zeal for apologetics and defending the faith, but also for evangelism, proclaiming the faith to this lost and dying world. 

  1. Finally, dialogue between believers and unbelievers, theists and atheists, seekers and agnostics, will occur. The truth of God will be proclaimed and defended to the masses, and some souls will be saved, while others, offended by the sharp points of the double-edged sword of the Lord, will become embittered. In both cases God is glorified, His justice and mercy magnified, and the Kingdom of God will further infiltrate and conquer its foes. All because one smart atheist started asking the right questions.
P.S. Here is an interesting little video where Christopher Hitchens actually calls liberal "Christians" not Christians! He also gives a fairly good defense of the Christian faith.

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