How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (and Evidences for the Resurrection)
The media seems eager to publish any reports of people losing faith in God, but I haven’t heard anything in the news about the famous Sir Anthony Flew’s about-face. Apparently release of his book “There Is
No A God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind ” was even delayed in the secularized country of Britain.
While his opponents (including Richard Dawkins) are claiming he is senile, he now says, “I simply had to go where the evidence took me. It’s Aristotle’s principle. Some of the principles from Intelligent Design were helpful, but the biggest argument was Aristotle’s cosmology.” [ref]
While Anthony Flew has made a complete reversal of his beliefs, he still objects to the central claims of Christianity, namely, the divinity of Jesus Christ and the resurrection. Anthony Flew used to disagree with Christian professor and apologist, Dr. Gary Habermas, over the existence of God and Anthony Flew has now changed his mind. Will Flew ever concede that Habermas’ evidence for the resurrection is just as compelling? The apostle Paul claimed that Christianity was dependent upon historical facts:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins
(I Cor. 15:17).
Paul also invited investigation into the historical events of Christianity by citing living witnesses:
3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures
5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time
(I Cor. 15:3-8).
So, even with all the efforts of people like Bart Ehrman to undermine the reliability of the Bible, is there still compelling historical evidence for the resurrection? I would like to invite you to take some time to watch a lecture given by Dr. Gary Habermas to college students at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 11, 2007.
In this lecture Habermas presents historical and textual evidence for early, eyewitness resurrection reports. He does not start with the premise that the Bible is true, therefore the resurrection must be true. Instead he uses the minimal facts argument – using only evidences that 95% of critics concede. Taking these minimal sources of evidence he argues persuasively for the reality of the resurrection. Once a skeptic himself, Habermas is now a seasoned defender of the faith who did his doctoral dissertation on the topic of the resurrection at a secular university. He engages and debates regularly with skeptics. I think you will benefit from making the time to watch the following lecture (it’s about an hour and a half). He spends about the first half presenting his case and then he responds to students’ questions in the last half. This is not an exhaustive argument but will provide a good launching point for further investigation.
Another video I would recommend is the new Lee Strobel documentary “The Case For Faith.” I saw it on the shelf at my local video store this week and rented it. In this video Strobel interviews Christians and Biblical scholars who respond to emotional objections to Christianity by answering the two frequently cited objections: “Why is Jesus the only way to God?” and “How could a loving God exist if there is evil and suffering in the world?” I liked everything about this video except for the brief interviews with Rick Warren. I’m not sure why he was interviewed for this. I guess because he is a big name.