L’AFFAIRE FLEW

Was Tony Flew’s “conversion” book ghost written by a religious apologist? It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Pious frauds and forgeries have a long history, dating back at least to the Donation of Constantine. But, really, what does it matter if Flew did convert to some form of deistic belief? Many atheists, including yours truly, were once devout Christians. Of course, being less famous than Flew, we have less propaganda value, but the fact remains that conversions go both ways. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there are more net conversions from atheism to theism or deism than going the other way. What would that prove? Nothing at all. The spectacle of Habermas, Varghese, and their ilk parading Flew as their prize captive is both meretricious and pathetic. Maybe the fact that they are so desperate to score a PR coup over atheism shows what a bad light has recently been cast on their brand of religion (see my earlier post reviewing Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming). Besides, Flew most definitely did not become a Bible-believin’, hosanna-singin’, born-again fundamentalist. Flew, in their book, is still a hell-bound sinner. If one of their own, J.P. Moreland, say, were to convert to a deistic position such as Flew’s, then Habermas, Varghese, et al. would join their voices in a chorus of condemnation to hiss him as an apostate.

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