Former atheist writes book

Well known, former atheist, Anthony Flew, has written, There Is A God. Scheduled for release November 1st.

I have no link at this time. It’s nice to know God reaches out to everyone, and continues to do so until our last breath.

God bless,
Ed

Hooray you recognize atheists can change their mind, they aren’t all like Richard Dawkins. :thumbsup: :smiley:

The new Antony Flew book cover (tentative cover probably)

Book description of new Flew book with interview by McGrath on Dawkins here

Phil P

Coming to the faith is not a purely intellectual process. First, there is the hearing of the Gospel. Then, as Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. Once you admit you are sinner and sincerely want Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He will come into your life and the Holy Spirit will dwell within you.

“Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.”

This is more a change of heart than a change of mind.

God bless,
Ed

Thank you for posting this. I always find conversion stories inspiring.

Thanks for the link. It appears to be worth reading.

Let’s be honest here though, he’s not a Christian–in fact, he emphatically denies believing in anything resembling the Christian conception of God. He denies any sort of revelation or “transaction” (his word) between God and humans, and he denies any sort of afterlife. He says he’s a deist now, believing more in the sort of God that Spinoza or Einstein believed in.

Good point. I’d just like to point out that he, regardless of his past atheism, is at least looking in the right direction now. I pray that at some point between now and the day he dies that he sees the whole truth. I know this is not a commitment to Christ.

God bless,
Ed

I really do want to know, and have always said as much…what does it feel like to Believe? I have never been a theist, not have I ever had any convincing reason to be one, except in the sense I might lie to avoid persecution.

What does a convert from nontheism feel? Is it like a huge needle of smack? Is it ecstasy and reassurance to the grave and far beyond?
Why do you do this? I know, I’m snide at times…but I mean the questions with total sincerity…what is it you feel? What do you know or think you know? And why does that make everyone else that doesn’t perceive that revelation horribly wrong?

Why won’t anyone tell me? Am I just not in the club somehow? Is it a racial thing? No one SAYS!!!

Definitely looking forward to reading this one. :slight_smile:

That’s kind of hard to answer for me. I have always believed. I went through a brief time of “almost agnosticism,” but then I prayed a lot for faith, and came back to the Church, which solved that problem. I had fallen too far from God.

I’m naturally a skeptic. I roll my eyes at a lot of things, but never God. For someone who does not believe, and wants to believe, they have to completely open themselves to God. They must pray, attend church, read, talk with others, etc. God will reveal Himself to you, whether it’s through a shout or a whisper. I’ve never witnessed a miracle, never been “hit over the head” by God. I go through “dry spells” when I don’t feel Him as much but know He’s there through my faith, and other times where I feel Him all around me and want to shout from the rooftops.

I’ll give it a shot since I was once a very firm, devout believer for quite some time before I started to find myself becoming an agnostic despite my best efforts to fight it off.

Overall, it’s hard to describe because you feel different at different times.

Sometimes you feel a nice sense of security about your future, both in this life and after death. You believe that God is watching out for you and that nothing will happen to you without his consent. Most people believe they are going to be happy with God forever in heaven. This can be very comforting when times are not so good because you “know” that there is value in suffering through difficult these difficult times and that in the end you’ll be with God forever (although the Church teaches that you can’t know for sure that you’ll go to heaven–you can’t even know for sure that you’re in a state of grace at any particular time).

The best times are when you experience a very relaxing peace. This experience can arise at different times and places, but I often found that sitting in a dimly lit, quiet church or chapel was the most common time to feel this. I wasn’t necessarily even praying as much as I was just “experiencing” God. I still enjoy sitting in a quiet room from time to time just to clear my mind and relax.

At times it can be hard when you have those “dark nights” that we recently heard about Mother Theresa experiencing (although I thought it had been common knowledge for a long time that she had experienced these dark nights for years and years). These are the hardest times when you feel compelled to pray or go to Mass, even when you don’t get anything out of it.

Sometimes it can be a real drag to be a believer… such as when your faith requires you to accept certain things that you don’t want to accept because they’re inconvenient or just don’t compute. I experience the former on occasion throughout my life as a Catholic and the latter as I started to drift towards agnosticism.

Sometimes you feel very guilty and dirty when you know you’ve done something that your religion says is wrong. Other times you experience a pleasant sorrow for your sins and thankfulness for God’s mercy.

I can’t describe all the feelings I’ve ever had because there are just too many, and putting them into words is difficult, especially since I’m not a very good writer. I hope that I’ve given you some insight though.

OK, Im sure your familiar with the song amazing grace?
The part that says “my eyes were blind and now I see”

well I had heard that before and thought it nice. but like Irish Becca said you open up to God, not unlike you would a friend. As I started to understand things of God, or look at things from His perspective, you really start to notice things you didnt before. And cant believe you didnt see it, so much more is noticed. It is why he wrote the eyes were blind. Thats how I feel about how I was.

There are moments of decision which move quickly and one feels weight lifted, truly freeing. It is a mix, we pick through our faith and constantly learn. Like the song said, we still havent found what were looking for, because theres always more to find. And as I find there is more freedom felt.

When you are free, you feel that assurance you were asking about. Not that I have it and others dont, but I want them to see the larger picture, to know that they would be able to be free to see more than they thought too. I dont want to put across its all up as those before me said its a mix, life is a mix of good and bad. Trying to maintain your confidence in the bad is hard.

When I found myself there, one thing I found was it was ok to ask why, and if I wasnt so angry Id even find answers, they may of not been what I wanted, but the freedom in these cases to ask at least, brought that assurance.

dont know if this helps either, will try to clear up anything if you like. :slight_smile:

Edwest,
Thanks for the information on the book. I am always looking for new books to read. I really love the books on conversion (as I am a convert myself).

I very much thank you who did your best to answer - I likely cannot see things the way you do (or did, in Benedictus’ case) but it interests me greatly. The divisiveness of these matters is of great concern to me!

And truly:

[quote=Benedictus]The best times are when you experience a very relaxing peace. This experience can arise at different times and places, but I often found that sitting in a dimly lit, quiet church or chapel was the most common time to feel this. I wasn’t necessarily even praying as much as I was just “experiencing” God. I still enjoy sitting in a quiet room from time to time just to clear my mind and relax.
[/quote]

I think I know this feeling very well, yet have never felt any need of real impulse to ascribe it to anything supernatural. I feel it very often, but in ecstasy and in contemplation (to use Catholic-ish terms).

[quote=Benedictus]Sometimes it can be a real drag to be a believer… such as when your faith requires you to accept certain things that you don’t want to accept because they’re inconvenient or just don’t compute. I experience the former on occasion throughout my life as a Catholic and the latter as I started to drift towards agnosticism.
[/quote]

Well yeah, accepting the inconvenient or not-readily-apparent is always a drag. That’s true for those of us without religion too (ask any theoretical scientist, religious or otherwise! :stuck_out_tongue: ) When I was learning basic mathematics, calculus was a hassle for me, since I did not understand the basis for its derivation. My teacher told me ‘just accept it, you’ll get it later on once you have the tools’ but noooo, I wasn’t having any of that. So she stayed after school (and I skipped work) until sundown and made me work it out the hard way. Sure wasn’t convenient, and it sure wasn’t apparent to me before I ‘did the math’, but they WERE intelligibly communicable and clearly demonstrable, and after that I aced the course. I don’t need to have faith in mathematics, I know it works and can show it - but okay, similar if not congruent, yes?

You have given me some insights, and again, I thank you for your kindnesses. I hope I can return the favor to theists who think we’re all frightful monsters. If it helps, not all nontheists ‘deny’ the supernatural, in fact, I’d say most don’t (plenty of us tend to the strong-agnostic/weak-atheist stance, which means ‘we don’t know and don’t have a reason to conclude either way, and in the meanwhile, we have plenty of other things to worry over’).

The author of this book, however, sounds pretty flakey though.

Nepenthe

well glad we gave you any insight. I did think of something else reading your post. One of the things that used to bug me and stir the same feelings was the thought of God asking us to praise Him in all things. It annoyed me to no end, I couldnt get why ask to do the dance of joy in a miserable situation.

So I challenged God in prayer and it took some time to get it but praise isnt for God its for us. I’ll explain, everytime someone is depressed shrinks say to work it through, get outside the situation, think of other things. Well when God said praise Me, thats what He had in mind, if we praise Him we think of God, which steps us outside the situation, lets us think so we can work it through.

Praise here wasnt for Him, it was His way to get our attention, so we could be healed or whatever was needed. So I finally saw God wasnt being mean, as I thought but actually had our well being as a goal. When I understood that it made all the difference.

:slight_smile:

Give him time, lad, give him time. And pray for him. He’s on a journey.

I don’t think atheists are terrible monsters. A friend of mine went through a period of atheism. His wife, who recently converted to Catholic from Lutheran, prayed for him. I prayed for him. He wasn’t tossed out of the house. I didn’t stop coming over.

Now, he’s an usher at a local Church.

I’m not telling atheists they are wrong, I am telling them that there is a God.

God bless,
Ed

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