John W. Loftus, the author of the blog Debunking Christianity recently wrote a post titled “Two Questions From the Grave, by Antony Flew and Carl Sagan” in which he presented two stories, one by Antony Flew and the other by Carl Sagan.
Antony Flew, in his famous article, “Theology and Falsification,” began the article with the “Parable of the Invisible Gardener”, in which he asked a question about the existence of God:
At last the Sceptic despairs, “But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?” . . . What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or the existence of, God?
To be fair to Flew, his question was asked before the grave, since he wrote “Theology and Falsification” in 1950.
Even before the grave, Antony Flew found the answer to that question. Before he died, Flew wrote: “There Is A God.”
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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Studies on Antony Flew
1. Antony Flew: There Is A God
2. From Atheism to Theism: A Journey Toward God
3. The Origin of Life and the Existence of God
4. The Big Bang Theory and the Existence of God
5. The Laws of Nature and the Existence of God
6. There Is a God: A Postscript
7. Betting on the Existence of God
9. An Interview with Antony Flew
Every shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! I am so glad that I have no doubts!
Amen for that. Believers in Christ have no doubt. We know that God exists and that he blesses those who seek him.
It is easier to make an argument when one is selective with the evidence.
I had never heard of the blog or the author before your post. A perusal of his site’s posts and responses reveal he is preaching to the choir. Condescension in an argument is not persuasive. Trimming the facts to fit one’s argument even less so.
John used to be a minister of the gospel, but now he is an atheist. It is sad that like Demas, he has deserted the faith (2 Timothy 4:10). The conversion of Antony Flew is an embarrassment to atheists. Have you read my other posts on Flew?
I followed the link to Flew’s book in your OP and it is dated 2008 with a statement that fuller treatment was coming. I looked through your categories but am unable to find anything more. Is it possible some posts got lost in your recent transition to your new site?
The links moved to WordPress and need to be updated. Give me a day or two and I will post a list of all the links to Flew. Thank you for your patience.
Reading about Flew made me wonder what would the atheist world do if Dawkins pulled a Flew and came out with “The Root of All That’s Good: God Does Exist, and Why I Changed My Mind.”
I think there would be a lot of angry and upset atheists out there. 😛
You are right. When Flew was about to announce his conversion, many atheists tried to convince him not to convert. They believe his conversion would be detrimental to their cause. You should read my post: Richard Dawkins: How I Changed My Mind.
“At last the Sceptic despairs, “But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?” . . . What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or the existence of, God?”
This old chestnut LOL. It can be approached in so many ways. There is Exodus 33.20 – taken with Isaiah 6.5 (“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”) God is Holy, IOW, “separate from” creation. The ancients were wiser than many today – for they had stories & ideas to the effect that to see God or the gods was fatal. The Sumerians believed the gods were clothed with a “halo” of awe-inspiring “terrifying splendour”. But so many today saunter up to God as though He were just another “attraction” to be poked and prodded and analysed, rather than adored – they do not realise that God is dangerous, as well as good; for they do not admit He is good. They don’t realise that God cannot be “boxed in” by man, that a God of grace cannot be. They want God to be other than He is. So they are asking for what has no being.
The sceptic has things back to front. It is not God Who is dubious, barely existent, all but fictional, invented – that is man. God is too solid to be tolerable (as C. S.Lewis brilliantly made clear, many times). Man is the invention – God is the Reality. More than that, only God is Real. All creatures are real to the extent that they are God-like. It is man, the sinning animal, homo peccans, who is not credible, good or worthy of trust. God’s Love cannot be disproved – it is God, and so it is the measure of reality.
Or there is God as Creator. He is not created, so He is not an object in the universe. He is not a thing, but “no-thing”: He “exceeds” all creatures, far more than a novelist “exceeds” the characters he has invented. There is no likeness between the God Who is like nothing He has made, to whom nothing can be compared that has been made, Who is Unique, Incomparable, Infinitely free of all limitation; and the “nothing” that is less real than the lowest of created beings. The sceptic can’t see there is a difference between nothingness, & Infinite Fullness of Life. 😦 His scepticism makes him ask for God on conditins that suit him, & not God. AS Cardinal Newman wrote
Your words are true, but they will not convince many secular people. The reality of God is seen in his creation, but people who do not believe the existence of God will never agree that the laws of nature require an intelligence beyond human intelligence.
Thank you for your comment.
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