Christopher Hitchens and Obstinate Unbelief
Christopher Hitchens is one of the most identifiable and outspoken atheists (non-theist) in the world today. His recent fight with cancer has given some hope that he would renounce his unbelief and turn to Christ by faith for the forgiveness of his sins. Many have sent letters persuading him to do this very thing. His response?
Under no persuasion could I be made to believe that a human sacrifice several thousand years ago vicariously redeems me from sin. Nothing could persuade me that that was true — or moral, by the way. It’s white noise to me.” (The NPR Story and Audio)
His rejection of Christ is not surprising to me. I’ve watched several debates he has participated in and I have read some of what he has written. He is an ardent unbeliever. What strikes me is that at least he has an understanding of what the gospel is. He understands that the biblical story of God and man and Jesus is that Jesus Christ came and lived and died as a substitution for the sins of those who would repent and believe. Hitchens understands the guts of the gospel and he disdains it so much that there is nothing that could persuade him. This is also striking to me. For someone who believes in evidence and reason, he is shut off to any evidence and reason that would redeem him from his sins. There apparently is no amount of evidence that could convince Hitchens that Christ died vicariously for him.
What’s my point? I suppose I just see a lot of irony in Hitchens rejection of Christ. Jesus Christ died so that Hitchens might believe and have life in His name. Hitchens is going to die having known the truth, and he will do it clinging to his belief in unbelief.
We should never underestimate the power of sin that consumes the human mind and heart.
Hitchens does have a brother (Peter) who is a Christian. I will continue to pray that God uses him to change his mind and turn to Christ. I know Christopher Hitchens would resent that of me. But I have been convinced that Jesus did die for me and others, and He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It would take the most certain evidence in the world to convince me otherwise.