The brother of famous atheist Christopher Hitchens is a committed Christian who says faith is absolutely reasonable.
British journalist Peter Hitchens believes faith is reasonable, and that's no small feat. The brother of God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens embraced atheism as a teenager and flamboyantly burned his Bible when he was 15.
But at age 30, while in Brussels on vacation, he saw Rogier van der Weyden's 15th century painting The Last Judgment and saw himself in its images of sinners headed toward hell. That began a slow journey to his childhood faith. Now part of the Church of England, Hitchens has made it his aim to puncture the "arrogant, self-satisfied superiority of the modern anti-theist.â€Â
In his newly released memoir,Â The Rage Against God, he challenges three popular atheist arguments: that conflicts fought in the name of religion are always about religion; that it is possible to confidently know right and wrong without acknowledging the existence of God; and that atheist regimes are not truly atheist.Â
He says he can't argue points of faith like a theologian. "What I can do is say, the one thing of which I'm certain is that there is a good, firm, reasonable case for belief in God and in the resurrection, which any thinking human being can, if they wish, accept,â€ he toldÂ Charisma.
Hitchens debated his brother in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008, and found the college-age audience more sympathetic to atheism than he expected. The debate grew heated at times, and though the brothers "aren't friends,â€ Hitchens said their "diplomatic relations are good.â€
A conservative commentator, Hitchens says Christianity is under attack in Britain, pointing to Christian nurses who have been told they can't pray with patients or wear a crucifix to work, and adoption agencies forced to place children with same-sex couples.
Yet he believes religion will experience a revival in Europe, possibly as Western societies lose their economic clout and it becomes harder for people to assume all problems have material solutions. But the beneficiary of that revival could be Islam, he says, "particularly if Christianity doesn't fight its corner now."
"I think it's one of the paradoxes of the anti-God campaign,â€ he said. "They devoted a lot of effort into trying to drive Christianity out of the center of public life, and they may just have ... cleared a space for Islam, which will be much more hostile to them and which has absolutely no interest in any of the anti-theist arguments."
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