Thursday, May 17, 2012

Peter Hitchens Once Set Fire to His Bible

Our backyard, by the river

A few months ago I picked up Peter Hitchens's book The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith some time ago. Peter is a writer for the U.K.'s Mail Online. He's also the brother of the recently deceased vocal atheist Christopher Hitchens. I'm just now getting to Peter's book.

He's going to explain how he turned from atheism to Christian theism.

Then, he writes: "I then intend to address the fundamental failures of three atheistic arguments. Namely, that conflicts fought in the name of religion are always about religion; that it is ultimately possible to know with confidence what is right and what is wrong without acknowledging the existence of God; and that atheist states are not actually atheist." (p. 11)

I'm familiar with his first two points, and will be interested in seeing how he develops them. I don't know what he's up to re. point 3.

Peter writes: "The difficulties of the anti-theists begin when they try to engage with anyone who does not agree with them, when their reaction is often a frustrated rage that the rest of us are so stupid. But what if that is not the problem? Their refusal to accept that others might be as intelligent as they, yet disagree, leads them into many snares." (p. 12)

Peter, like Christopher was, is a very good writer. Look how he begins Chapter 1: "I set fire to my Bible on the playing fields of my Cambridge boarding school one bright, windy spring afternoon in 1967. I was fifteen years old." (p. 17)

I think I'm hooked.