Former atheist, journalist Peter Hitchens writes book on Christian conversion
British columnist and former atheist, Peter Hitchens, has written a book about his conversion to Christianity.
Hitchens, a London Mail political columnist and former Marxist revolutionary, has penned “The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith.” The book has a different subtitle in the U.K., namely Why Faith is the Foundation of Civilization, the Washington Times said.
A Cain and Abel scenario has unfolded with Hitchens’ new faith. His older brother Christopher, who remains an atheist, and he have had heated public debates. Christopher has authored the tome God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, CBN News said.
Both brothers were raised in a Christian home with a devoutly Baptist grandfather. Their paternal grandmother, whom they never met, was Anglican. Peter said they had “an extremely religiously conscious household,” CBN News said.
Both brothers became Marxists but today Peter considers himself a conservative member of the Church of England. He attends a small church that still uses an “old prayer book,” the Washington Times said.
The brothers are estranged. Peter suggests that his brother is a “repressed seeker”. He hopes his brother “might one day arrive at some sort of acceptance that belief in God is not necessarily a character fault – and that religion does not poison everything,” the Washington Times said.
Peter said that when he was an atheist, “We were full of our own righteousness. We knew what was right. We knew we were right. We knew we were good. We defined our own goodness,” CBN News said.
He had no Christian friends at the time. “There is a lot of scorn in revolutionary socialism. There’s a lot of scorn for the people who aren’t up for it. There is a lot of scorn for the people who are opposed to it. There’s a feeling that you are the vanguard and you know best, and everyone else is ignorant and stupid,” CBN News said.
“You see that scorn in the new atheists, in the way they treat their opponents – not with any kind of respect at all. They still act as if Christianity is a kind of stupid aberration that only an idiot could follow,” CBN News said.
Peter’s return to Christian faith took place in stages through the years. There was a time he remembers distinctly when he genuinely felt a fear of God though he was still an atheist. He was looking at Rogier van der Weyden’s painting, The Last Judgment, depicting the terror of Hell. ”One of them was actually vomiting with fright,” Hitchens told CBN News.
At that point, Peter feared for himself. “One of my reasons for my change is that I am scared. But then again, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Ironically, after the CBN interview it was learned that Christopher Hitchens had been diagnosed with cancer, CBN News said.
The Washington Times has speculated, “If Christopher turns out to be right, he won’t be able to tell his brother, “I told you so.” And if he’s wrong, well, he probably won’t be in any mood to admit it.”