Tag Archives: Christopher Hitchens

Peter Hitchens, brother to acerbic atheist Christopher, came back to Christ

peter and christopher hitchens

To inaugurate his atheism, 15-year-old Peter Hitchens burned his Bible outside his Cambridge boarding school in 1967 in front of a group of curious and enthusiastic fellow students.

The desecration turned out to be anti-climatic. The Bible didn’t catch fire in the hoped-for dramatic fashion. As a matter of fact, the thick stack of paper pages were poor kindling and the wind put it out. Only with much coaxing and much patience did it partially burn. His friends, eager to gawk at the anti-God defiance, lost interest and drifted away.

Today, Peter Hitchens, has come full circle. After enlisting with Troskty communists and championing atheist causes, he is now back to Christianity. His older brother Christopher, a media darling and atheistic provocateur with a best-seller God is Not Great, never came back to faith.

Peter-HitchensThe brothers faced-off in a 2008 debate in Grand Rapids over the existence of God. Peter had answered his brother’s jeers against God with his own book, The Rage Against God. The spirited debate was watched keenly: It was more than a clash between two Titans of undisputed intellect from polar extremes; it was two fiercely feuding brothers.

Christopher died in December 2011 from esophageal cancer, a condition provoked and exacerbated by hard drinking. At 64, younger brother Peter maintains good health, still cycling on public roadways at some risk to life and limb.

Peter’s journey back to God started after the young English gentleman, born of a British Naval officer, became a full-fledged activist from the left who clashed with police and got arrested for breaking into a fallout shelter.

By his own admission, Peter was a foul-mouthed juvenile delinquent who mocked his elders and anyone perceived to be weak. He raged against police and experimented amply with drugs. He was a card-carrying member of the Trotskyist International Socialists from 1969 to ’75.

“There were also numberless acts of minor or major betrayal, ingratitude, disloyalty, dishonor, failure to keep promises and meet obligations, oath-breaking, cowardice, spite or pure selfishness,” admits the UK Daily Mail columnist.

“I have passed through the same atheist revelation that most self-confident British members of my generation — I was born in 1951 – have experienced,” he says. “We were sure that we, and our civilization, had grown out of the nursery myths of God, angels and Heaven. We had modern medicine, penicillin, jet engines, the welfare state, the United Nations and ‘science,’ which explained everything that needed to be explained.” Read the rest: atheist testimonies.

*Note: I don’t own the images’ rights, and I’m not making any money on them.

*Second Note: This is the second time I publish Peter Hitchens’ testimony. The prior version was a reprint from the UK Daily Mail. This one was written by my journalism student at the Santa Monica Christian high school Lighthouse Christian Academy.

Bitter death

Frederic Henry

Frederic Henry in the movie version

You never had time to learn. They threw you in and told you the rules and the first time they caught you off base they killed you. Or they killed you gratuitously like Aymo. Or gave you the syphilis like Rinaldi. But they killed you in the end. You could count on that. Stay around and they would kill you.

— Frederic Henry in A Farewell to Arms

All the existentialists and atheists have to offer is a dismal outlook. Hemingway’s message: have as much fun as you can in life, enjoy selfish pleasures, but in the end death is cruel and capricious.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

This is a far cry from the Christian cosmovision. Our sins have separated us from God, but we can repent and run to God’s mercy. If we do, we are no longer subject to an arbitrary and harsh life and death. God protects and sustains us. And when we die, we go to Heaven, where we continue to enjoy joy — not the fictitious joys sinners continually try in vain to grasp.

Frederick Nietzsche

Frederick Nietzsche

It amazes me that people can read Hemingway and not turn to God. They embrace his hopelessness and rail against God. His message led him to commit suicide at 61. The Bible says: You will know the tree by its fruit. In other words: Before you buy into someone’s message, see if it worked for that person, at least.

Frederick Nietzsche went insane. Christopher Hitches died of alcoholism-induced cancer. He confessed that he was so bored of people that he kept himself drunk. Jean Paul Sartre took speed to stay up for days and not have to take a break in his writing. The list goes on.

Extraordinary joy

the work of God in Guatemala

Elder, at right. A big 13-year-old (for Guatemalans).

Christopher Hitchens couldn’t get by without alcohol. He said it helped him cope with boring people. I guess pretty much everybody in his life was boring. He was too intelligent. Why is heroized?

I find exquisite joy in saving souls. I have no need for chemical-induced happiness. Elder is the latest.

When I went to Guatemala, he pretty much came to every service, outreach and discipleship. This is new for him.

CFM

I was impressed with how simply kind he was.

Typically, the Liceo Bilingue La Puerta yielded one soul for year. By some measure, that’s pretty slim harvest, a gargantuan amount of work for just one soul out of a school of 150 kids. But if you consider that the one soul each year stays through all the years, it’s not bad. It’s not easy to save souls, even in Guatemala.

But now things seem to be picking up. Elder wasn’t the only one. There were three or four kids coming into the fold.

Before my atheist friends rankle, keep in mind that he who comes to church gets out of drugs, alcoholism, wife-beating, marital unfaithfulness, and — frequently — poverty as well.

It is exquisite joy to see all that. The Bible says that all the angels in Heaven have a party — for just one soul. Me too.