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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, November 26 2020

Answers from a famous ex-atheist about God

As scientific evidence increasingly indicated a theistic explanation for the existence of the universe Dr. Antony Flew, an Oxford professor, who had spent 50 years constructing arguments to support the atheistic point of view, admitted his explanations were untenable and went public about his acceptance of God’s existence.

by Mario Seiglie

Prior to his death in 2010, Dr. Flew wrote a book in 2007 titled “There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind” explaining why he had reversed his long-held position and admitted he had been wrong.

He mentioned the principle that guided his career was to follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how unpopular that may be. Originally he had thought the evidence backed an atheistic perspective, but from the 1980s on additional knowledge and evidence began to point towards a Creator God. Dr Flew then reluctantly determined he needed to reassess his beliefs.

In particular, he offered three lines of evidence that convincingly led him to his belief in God.

The Laws of Nature

Dr Flew admitted the evidence dealing with the laws of nature increasingly indicated a Superior Mind was operating at a cosmic level. “The leaders of science over the last hundred years, along with some of today’s most influential scientists, have built a philosophically compelling vision of a rational universe that sprang from a divine Mind…. “(p. 91).

“One of the most enigmatic aspects of the laws of nature is that these invisible forces act on matter and energy, but are not matter or energy themselves. For them to work, they had to be in place before matter and energy existed. To believe all these intricate laws that act in unison somehow appeared together at just the right time, with just the right force, without some organizing Intellect behind them, defies logic “(p. 96).

So, although it may not be well known, a number of cosmologists and physicists have admitted that the orderly laws of the universe point to something bigger and grander than the universe itself!

Life Originating from Non-Life

Dr. Flew’s second line of evidence for a belief in God has to do with the great difference that exists between life and non-life.

“The philosophical question that has not been answered in origin-of-life studies is this: How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self-replication capabilities, and ‘coded chemistry’?” (p. 124).

Although there is an increasing body of knowledge about how DNA and RNA work, scientists still don’t have a clue about how all these coding systems originated, which Dr Flew concluded do point to a Superior Intelligence at work.

He asked: “So how do we account for the origin of life? The Nobel Prize-winning physiologist George Wald once famously argued that ‘we choose to believe the impossible; that life arose spontaneously by chance.’ In later years, he concluded that a preexisting mind, which he posits as the matrix of physical reality, composed a physical universe that breeds life . . . This, too, is my conclusion. The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind” (pp. 131-132).

Did Something Come from Nothing?

Dr. Flew’s third line of evidence is the very existence of the universe.

“When I first met the big-bang theory as an atheist, it seemed to me the theory made a big difference because it suggested that the universe had a beginning and that the first sentence in Genesis (‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’) was related to an event in the universe . . . If the universe had a beginning, it became entirely sensible, almost inevitable, to ask what produced this beginning...” (pp. 135-137).

Thus the existence of a divine Creator is a certain fact of logic. As Scripture attests: “From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people [who would deny Him]” (Romans 1:20, The Voice).

Professor Flew died in 2010, but his example, as well as the irrefutable evidence he was compelled to examine, helps others resolve the question of whether God exists. And by answering in the affirmative, it is the natural starting point for one’s journey of faith in developing a relationship with the awesome God who made us!