Wouldn't you know it? David and Goliath are alive and well -- though their weapons this time are not swords or spears, but words.
Christopher Hitchens is an anti-theist and Douglas Wilson is a Christian pastor. Hitchens is an intimating giant. He is articulate and has an astonishing vocabulary. Ironically, he got the vocabulary in Christian England. Doug Wilson says, "Someone with a large vocabulary is never without a rock to throw, so long as he has a mind to throw it." Christopher throws rocks at God and his people. And Doug Wilson has stood up and says "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
These men spent three days together at various venues debating publicly whether Christianity is good for the world. You can watch the record of that in the movie "Collision."
Hitchens thinks that we have to "reject outmoded concepts. We have to get rid of the idea that there is a God in Heaven, telling us the difference between right and wrong." In the past, before we knew about germs, we needed God to explain sickness. Now we know better. And we don't need an idea of a God in order to keep people good because people all have a innate sense of right and wrong. In fact, says Hitchens, it is more noble to do something because we wanted to than because we were told to.
In reply, Wilson slings a well-aimed stone: Without God, who defines right and wrong?
Hitchens has many opinions of what is right and wrong. And he is right about many of them, thanks to his nurture in Christian England. In fact, Wilson says Hitchens would make a good Puritan. But if there is no God, if above us there is only sky, and we are a series of chemical reactions, there is finally no basis for right or wrong. And what today is called wrong, will tomorrow be called right. Hitchens is borrowing from the Christian worldview when he asserts there is right and wrong. He is not being consistent with his evolutionary worldview.
Hitchens calls Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "simply evil." In answer, Wilson says "If there is no God, then Hussein, Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmininejad have no God. But if they have no God, then it follows that Hitchens is not their god either. And if Hitchens is not their god, why should they care what he calls them? There is no god, and Hitchens is not his prophet."
Further, Wilson says of Hitchens, "his indignation is a floating indignation because it is not anchored to anything outside man. And like all such things that float on the surface of turbulent ocean currents, in a couple of generations that indignation is likely to be a long way away from here"
Hitchens is himself inconsistent -- repulsed by the idea of a pregnant woman being kicked while lying on the ground but defending the killing of that same baby while the woman lies on a table at the local abortion clinic. Wilson calls him on this in the movie.
Peter Hitchens is the only brother of Christopher Hitchens. Peter was also an atheist, but is now a Christian. In his book The Rage Against God Peter tells us that consciously or unconsciously, the atheist is one because he wants to do what he wants to do when and how he wants to do it. Psalm 10:4 says "In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'
Peter also explains that influential atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens live in the afterglow of the Christian west. Their morality is still largely informed by it. But the morality of future generations will not be, and the darkness that they are calling forth is beyond what they could imagine. The London riots -- five days of random, wanton violence and destruction -- give a little window into what may be coming. When asked why they participated, two girls answered, "It is the government's fault. We did it to show them that we could."
Christopher Hitchens is presently dying from esophageal cancer. He is using a treatment designed by evangelical scientist Francis Collins, but prospects are not good. Pray for his salvation.