Atheism As Fashion Statement

Wednesday, April 15, AD 2009


Mr. Wilson first came on my radarscope when he wrote in 1990 what I perceived to be a fairly nasty biography of C. S. Lewis which I thought was actually much more about Wilson’s dislike of Christianity.  At the time of writing the book on Lewis, Wilson was an angry atheist.  He had been an Anglican, a Catholic, an Anglican, and then an atheist.  In 1991 he wrote a short volume, 53 pages, entitled Against Religion in which he declared that the love of God was the root of all evil.  An interview from his atheist days is here.

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8 Responses to Atheism As Fashion Statement

  • I actually liked his biography on Lewis. Yes, it is critical, but it helps one to look at Lewis in a different, non-hagiographical light (and even shows elements of that, too).

  • Wilson first laments how Britain has shorn itself of much of its Christian heretage, then goes on to proclaim that he’s now a Christian. This sounds very much like the “fashion statement” you deride atheism of being.

    Atheists have no illusions that theism or religion will be dying out any time soon, given the growing body of evidence suggesting its natural evolutionary origins. Religion itself evolves; one merely has to note the thousands of Christian sects to appreciate this fact.

    You wrote, “Wilson reminds us of one of the great strengths of Christianity. A habit God has of raising up champions for us among the opposition.”

    Is God similarly raising up opponents of Christianity from among its former champions? The number of such individuals is too numerous to count now. One of them, John W. Loftus, has written an exceedingly powerful and well-received book: Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity.

  • Robert, the answer to your question is no. God is not responsible for the delusion of atheists that matter and energy came into existence ex nihilo and certainly does not provide champions for that position. As with all examples of human folly, humans embrace atheism all by themselves.

  • To clarify my above comment, atheists have to believe in creation of matter and energy ex nihilo without God, unless they believe in some eternal source creating matter and energy out of nothingness which they do not call God.

  • Donald, I’m sorry, but I fail to see how the origins of the universe relates to my question whether God is raising up opponents to Christianity.

  • I answered your question Robert. God does not lead us into folly, rather quite the reverse.

  • Interesting to see Mr. Wilson pop up again! I read his Belloc bio from the ’80s and enjoyed it though it was erratic and not always reliable. (Some of that may have been due to his biases of the time.) Yet the book was sympathetic and he gave Belloc credit on some of the tough issues, like alleged anti-Jewish bigotry. At any rate, this is nice news, especially from the UK where things are a little bleak at the moment!

  • From Anglican to Catholic to Anglican to atheist to Christian once again – that’s quite a bit of hopping around. A.N. Wilson is a very good writer though, and I am glad to see he is back in the fold.

    The UK’s situation does sound bleak. I might get jumped on for saying this, but I wonder if a problem there is that the evangelical movement is much weaker than it is in the States (although the UK is evangelicalism’s home turf) and consequently, a predominately Protestant country is left with what would be called “mainline Protestantism” here in the States. It seems as though such weak tea no longer satisfies or inspires or even interests many Britons. I am sure there are good and holy Anglicans, but whenever I read anything Rowan Williams has to say I thank the Lord for Pope Benedict.