Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Anthony Flew's Theism: The Intellectual Dishonesty of Atheist Websites

I find it extremely amazing that some atheist websites will distort the truth to preserve their position. I do not know if they are deliberately lying or if they are merely mistaken. However, one website says that Anthony Flew, formerly an avowed atheist, has not become a theist. In particular I will quote from the atheist site of Austin Cline, who refuses to believe that Flew has claimed to have become a theist or deist of sorts:

  • In the end, Flew doesn't claim to be either a theist or an atheist here. He says that theists may find some confirmation in some of the arguments used by some people. Even if we ignore the fact that he himself seems to have refuted some of those arguments in a very old book, there is an apparent absence of a "we" in those statements. Flew doesn't claim to find any comfort or confirmation of any beliefs in those arguments, so it would be hard to describe him as a theist. Perhaps he is hopeful; probably he is agnostic. But a theist? http://atheism.about.com/b/a/170090.htm

Atheists like Cline prefer to parse what Flew said in his revision of his old book, which now has a new introduction. Flew specifically says that naturalistic science has yet to produce a satisfactory answer for how life could spontaneously generate from inanimate matter, though scientists are working on that problem. The short of it is that they have not yet produced an empirical explanation with a working model. If so, they should be able to simulate this experimentally. After all, if life can be produced spontaneously from inanimate matter, surely an experiment could be reproduced approximating the conditions for this?

However, to refute Mr. Cline's contention that Flew is not a theist, let us quote Mr. Flew directly in his interview with Gary Habermas:

  • HABERMAS: Tony, you recently told me that you have come to believe in the existence of God. Would you comment on that?

  • FLEW: Well, I don’t believe in the God of any revelatory system, although I am open to that. But it seems to me that the case for an Aristotelian God who has the characteristics of power and also intelligence, is now much stronger than it ever was before. And it was from Aristotle that Aquinas drew the materials for producing his five ways of, hopefully, proving the existence of his God. Aquinas took them, reasonably enough, to prove, if they proved anything, the existence of the God of the Christian revelation. But Aristotle himself never produced a definition of the word “God,” which is a curious fact. But this concept still led to the basic outline of the five ways. It seems to me, that from the existence of Aristotle’s God, you can’t infer anything about human behaviour. So what Aristotle had to say about justice (justice, of course, as conceived by the Founding Fathers of the American republic as opposed to the “social” justice of John Rawls (9)) was very much a human idea, and he thought that this idea of justice was what ought to govern the behaviour of individual human beings in their relations with others.

  • HABERMAS: Once you mentioned to me that your view might be called Deism. Do you think that would be a fair designation?

  • FLEW: Yes, absolutely right. What Deists, such as the Mr. Jefferson who drafted the American Declaration of Independence, believed was that, while reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings. http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

Surely this direct quote from Flew should satisfy Mr. Cline and his cronies? I guess not since they are still trying to backpeddle and spin the issue so their atheist allies will not know the whole truth of the matter. I am continually amazed at how far some people will go to save face.

However, let me briefly return to the point about life arising spontaneously from inanimate matter. While Lee Strobel is no scientist, he did interview several scientists in his book, The Case For A Creator, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004). He notes especially that Stanley Miller's famous experiment in 1953 was supposed to prove how life could generate from a primordial soup. Miller sought to reproduce the conditions of the atmosphere at the time in earth's history when life was supposed to have first appeared. Unfortunately, his experiment was later found to inaccurately reproduce the chemical composition of the atmosphere of that time period, which calls into question his results. And even if we do accept his results, he only was able to produce certain organic molecules by reproducing lightning or electrical stimulation. Miller was able to produce amino acids but only with an inaccurate atmosphere. If we introduce an accurate atmosphere, the result is something closer to formaldehyde.

In an interview with Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2000), Strobel asks pertinent questions:

  • Strobel: I asked the next logical question: "What happens if you replay the experiment using an accurate atmosphere?"
  • Wells: "I'll tell you this: you do not get amino acids, that's for sure," he replied. "Some textbooks fudge by saying, well, even if you use a realistic atmosphere, you still get organic molecules, as if that solves the problem."
  • Strobel: Actually, that sounded promising. "Organic molecules?" I said. "I'm not a biochemist, but couldn't those be precursors to life?"
  • Wells: Wells recoiled. "That's what they sound like, but do you know what they are? Formaldehyde! Cyanide!" he declared, his voice rising for emphasis. "They may be organic molecules, but in my lab at Berkley you couldn't even have a capped bottle of formaldehyde in the room, because the stuff is so toxic. You open the bottle and it fries proteins all over the place, just from the fumes. It kills embryos. The idea that using a realistic atmosphere gets you the first step in the origin of life is just laughable.
  • "Now it's true that a good organic chemist can turn formaldehyde and cyanide into biological molecules. But to suggest that formaldehyde and cyanide give you the right substrate for the origin of life," he said, breaking into a chuckle, "Well, it's just a joke."
  • He let the point sink in before delivering the clincher. "Do you know what you get?" he asked. "Embalming fluid!" (Strobel, page 38.)

To put it mildly, the materialists and the atheists have put on a bluff for the public and have swayed minds. However, most of their "evidence" is interpreted in highly speculative ways and there is little "hard" empirical science to substantiate the speculative theories.

I find it amazing that even Anthony Flew is finding the argument from design convincing enough to cause him to switch from a negative atheist position to one of deism, as he himself openly says in his interview with Gary Habermas, quoted above. Let the atheists spin all they want but the fact remains that out of his own mouth Flew says that he is now a deist. As further proof, please see this article from a British online newspaper, The Times Online: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article402187.ece

May God have mercy!


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