A wonderful anniversary present to Mom and Pop Hitchens...

(Tim, w/thanks to Josh Congrove) Peter Hitchens has provided such a good set of reasons for the hope that is within him (and sadly, not in his brother, Christopher) that I abstain from comment and simply post the link. So many wonderfully wise and beautiful things here, I can't bear to mention only one.

Thank you, brother Peter. We will pray for your dear brother, Christopher.

(Peter's book, The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith, will be issued this coming Monday, March 15th.)

CORRECTION: The Rage Against God is now planned for release in early May.

Comments

I, too, was astonished by the wealth of wisdom and beauty in Hitchens's essay. But the passage below absolutely stunned me. I've read few things in contemporary Christianity that have such affective power:

"No doubt I should be ashamed to confess that fear played a part in my return to religion, specifically a painting: Rogier van der Weyden's 15th Century Last Judgement, which I saw in Burgundy while on holiday.

I had scoffed at its mention in the guidebook, but now I gaped, my mouth actually hanging open, at the naked figures fleeing towards the pit of Hell.

These people did not appear remote or from the ancient past; they were my own generation. Because they were naked, they were not imprisoned in their own age by time-bound fashions.
On the contrary, their hair and the set of their faces were entirely in the style of my own time. They were me, and people I knew.

...My large catalogue of misdeeds replayed themselves rapidly in my head. I had absolutely no doubt that I was among the damned, if there were any damned. Van der Weyden was still earning his fee, nearly 500 years after his death."

Wish you had a "Like" button on your blog:)

Anybody else besides me who have siblings who don't know Christ as their Lord and Savior?

And who are touchy/grumpy about it when the subject is broached?

Great read. Thanks for sharing.

Peter Hitchens is one of my favorite writers - though I read far too little from him. His "Abolition of Britain", was a poignant elegy of the decline of Britain framed by the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Diana, Princes of Wales.

Kamilla

"No doubt I should be ashamed to confess that fear played a part in my return to religion, specifically a painting: Rogier van der Weyden's 15th Century Last Judgement, which I saw in Burgundy while on holiday."

This got my art gears turning and meshing. Perhaps this generation of artists should be creating things like that and less "guess what I was thinking" paintings.

Peter Hitchens uses words with concise precision. Somehow it all comes across with warmth and humility.

Have a look at the painting itself (eg. it's on Wikipedia). Never let it be said that the visual arts can't make a positive difference in our ministry! :-)

(Yes, I *know* that it's meant to be through the preaching of the Word that we come to a knowledge of our sins, but don't be too surprised that God can use other means)

I very much appreciated Peter's articulation of several points, especially the essential dilemmas of both our mortality and (implicitly) the necessity of accepting axioms (postulary laws) before anyone can speak of "good" and "evil" at all. (Though these ought to be in the forefront of Christian minds, they are grossly under-iterated by Christians themselves in the culture at large.) It is a beautiful irony that God should appoint Peter to respond to his brother's attack on the church and her Groom.

"It is my belief that passions as strong as his are more likely to be countered by the unexpected force of poetry, which can ambush the human heart at any time."

I know my husband would like this line.

Thank you for posting this. It gives me hope for my cousin who grew up in the faith and unfortunately is today a big fan of Peter's brother. I continue to pray that the Lord will work in his life.

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