Understanding through Discussion

Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 88 (8929 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 08-24-2019 9:18 PM
24 online now:
AZPaul3, DrJones*, Hyroglyphx, JonF, Theodoric (5 members, 19 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Jedothek
Post Volume:
Total: 860,376 Year: 15,412/19,786 Month: 2,135/3,058 Week: 509/404 Day: 24/89 Hour: 0/1

Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Author Topic:   Hitch is dead
Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 13 of 226 (644239)
12-16-2011 10:41 AM

BBC on Hitchens
Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Modulous, posted 12-16-2011 1:38 PM GDR has not yet responded

Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 32 of 226 (644280)
12-16-2011 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Buzsaw
12-16-2011 12:14 PM

Re: Afterlife Surprises
Buzsaw writes:

He left an anti-God and anti-Christian, aggressively vocal, atheistic legacy up to the end.

Before he died he said he loved surprises. (ABE: Unfortunately and sadly for him,) as per the observable evidence of the existence of the God who he denied, I have to agree that his last surprise will be a rude awakening.

It appears to me that you have this all sorted out for God making Him somewhat redundant. It seems to me that you, and jar for that matter, should quit worrying about how God is going to deal with others, and just get on with what He wants of us. We are told clearly by Christ that we are not to judge and then by Paul as well. Paul in fact goes further in that his conscience isn’t clear and that he too will be judged saying that only God know what is in a man’s heart. There is no one on this board who knows the heart of Christopher Hitchens. As Christians we are to leave the judging of men’s hearts to God and all we are called to do is to pray for him.

Let's look at the scriptures.

Matthew 7 writes:

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

John 12 writes:

44 Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.47"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.

Romans 2 writes:

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

Romans 14 writes:

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.11 It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

1 Cor 4 writes:

4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

IMHO I think that your response on this thread makes my point that so called Biblical literalists actually aren’t reading the Bible literally at all, but only when they find it consistent with their pre-conceived ideas.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Buzsaw, posted 12-16-2011 12:14 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Buzsaw, posted 12-16-2011 10:30 PM GDR has responded

Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 48 of 226 (644304)
12-17-2011 2:20 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Buzsaw
12-16-2011 10:30 PM

Re: Afterlife Surprises
GDR writes:

It seems to me that you, and jar for that matter, should quit worrying about how God is going to deal with others, and just get on with what He wants of us.

Buzsaw writes:

Aren't you making a judgement, by implying that either of us are not?

I was expressing an opinion which is a little different than saying that you or anyone else is essentially condemned to hell.

Buzsaw writes:

The same man said a lot pertaing to judgement; some relative to good judgement and some to bad.

I haven't said that there won't be judgement but it isn't up to you or me to pronounce it. As I said, only God knows our hearts and so it is my opinion that we just leave it up to Him. Look at your quotes. None of them are talking about who is condemned to hell. They say that there is judgement and I trust in God to see that it well be truly just.

Buzsaw writes:

Mmm. In your judgement, your implication is that I'm not reading my Bible, in that I'm a Biblical literalist making a judgement about someone.

I have made it a practice of reading and studying my Bible, taking notes etc for over 60 years, from the time of my conversion at about age 10, including the four years in the Air Force.

I'm sure you know the Bible backwards and forwards but I do believe that your way of understanding it is mistaken. This isn't a judgement but it is my opinion that your way of understanding the Scriptures leads to a false understanding of the nature of God and His plans for us and His creation.

However, we are both guilty of extremely bad taste in discussing this issue in this thread. If you want to discuss it further go to the thread "A Problem With the Literal Interpretation of Scripture".

I disagreed fundamentally with Chris Hitchens take on Christianity but he was a gifted passionate writer who believed strongly in what he was doing. I enjoyed reading what he had to say. Whether I disagreed with him or agreed with him his writings were thoughtfully written and always left me thinking over what he had to say. I’ll miss opening my morning paper and reading his columns.

RIP Christopher Hitchens

Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Buzsaw, posted 12-16-2011 10:30 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 75 of 226 (644407)
12-17-2011 4:56 PM

Lament of a Christian Friend of Christopher Hitchens
The article that follows my brief take on it is from CNN. It also has links to some interesting videos.

One thing that comes out of this is that Hitchens was not just some ideologue who refused to look at all sides of an issue. I think that Christians could learn from many of his critiques of the church. I think that so often if one is to base their conclusions of what Christianity is about on the church it is no wonder that many reject it. Christopher Hitchens was very often spot on on his critiques even if IMHO he missed the fundamental truth of Christianity.

I would have loved to have a chance to have lunch with him.

Here is the link to this article and the accompanying video.

CNN - Christopher Hitchens

By Larry Alex Taunton, Special to CNN

(CNN)– I first met Christopher Hitchens at the Edinburgh
International Festival. We were both there for the same event, and foremost in my mind was the sort of man I would meet.

A journalist and polemicist, his reputation as a critic of religion, politics, Britain's royal family, and, well, just about everything else was unparalleled. As an evangelical, I was certain that he would hate me.

When the expected knock came at my hotel room door, I braced for the fire-breather who surely stood on the other side of it. With trepidation, I opened it and he burst forth into my room. Wheeling on me, he began the conversation as if it was the continuance of some earlier encounter:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has effectively endorsed the adoption of Sharia law. Can you believe that? Whatever happened to a Church of England that believed in something?” He alternated between sips of his Johnnie Walker and steady tugs on a cigarette. My eyebrows shot up. “‘Believed in something?’ Why, Christopher, you sound nostalgic for a church that actually took the Bible seriously.”

He considered me for a moment and smiled. “Indeed. Perhaps I do.”

There was never a formal introduction. There was no need for one. From that moment, I knew that I liked him. We immediately discovered that we had much in common. We were descendants of martial traditions; we loved literature and history; we enjoyed lively discussion with people who didn’t take opposition to a given opinion personally; and we both found small talk boring.

Over the next few years, we would meet irregularly. The location was invariably expensive, a Ritz Carlton or a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. He disliked cheap restaurants and cheap liquor. In his view, plastic menus were indicative of bad food. I never ate so well as when I was with Hitch.

More than bad food, however, he disliked unintelligent conversation. “What do you think about gay marriage?” He didn’t wait for a response. “I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s like wanting the worst of both worlds.” He drank deeply of his whiskey. “I mean, if I was gay, I would console myself by saying, ‘Well, I’m gay, but at least I don’t have to get married.’” That was classic Hitch. Witty. Provocative. Unpredictable.

Calling him on his cell one day, he sounded like he was flat on his back. Breathing heavily, there was desperation in his voice.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, anticipating some tragedy.

“Only minutes ago, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.” He was almost gasping.

I didn’t know what to say. No one ever does in such moments, so we resort to meaningless stock phrases like, “I’m sorry.” Instead, I just groaned. I will never forget his response:

“I had plans for the next decade of my life. I think I should cancel them.”

He asked me to keep the matter private until he could tell his family and make the news public. Hesitatingly, I told him that while I knew that he did not believe in such things, I would pray for him. He seemed genuinely moved by the thought.

“We are still on for our event in Birmingham, right?” He asked. I was stunned. Sensing my surprise, he continued. “I have made a commitment,” he insisted. “Besides, what else am I going to do? I can’t just sit around waiting to die.”

“We are still on for our event in Birmingham, right?” He asked. I was stunned. Sensing my surprise, he continued. “I have made a commitment,” he insisted. “Besides, what else am I going to do? I can’t just sit around waiting to die.”

As time approached, he suggested a road trip from his D.C. apartment to my home in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Flying has become a humiliating experience, don’t you think?” He said. “Besides, I haven’t taken a road trip in 20 years and it will give us a chance to talk and for me to finally take you up on your challenge.”

Arriving in Washington some five months after his diagnosis, I was shocked by his appearance. Heavy doses of chemotherapy had left him emaciated, and hairless but for his eyelashes. His clothes hung off of him as though he were a boy wearing a man’s garments. He was, nonetheless, looking forward to our journey, having packed a picnic lunch and, predictably, enough Johnnie Walker for a battalion. After breakfast with his lovely wife, Carol, and his sweet daughter, Antonia, Hitch and I headed south on an eleven-hour road trip.

“Have you a copy of Saint John with you?” He asked with a smile. “If not, you know I do actually have one.” This was a reference to my challenge of two years before: a joint study of the Gospel of John. It was my assertion that he had never really read the Bible, but only cherry-picked it.

“Not necessary.” I was smiling, too. “I brought mine.”
A few hours later we were wending our way through the Shenandoah Valley on a beautiful fall morning. As I drove, Hitch read aloud from the first chapter of John’s Gospel. We then discussed its meaning. No cameras, no microphones, no audience. And that always made for better conversation with Hitch. When he referenced our journey in a televised debate with David Berlinski the next day, various media representatives descended on me to ask about our “argument.” When I said that we didn’t really argue, they lost interest.

But that was the truth. It was a civilized, rational discussion. I did my best to move through the prologue verse by verse, and Christopher asked thoughtful questions. That was it.
A bit put off by how the Berlinski event had played out, Hitch suggested we debate one another. Friend though he was, I knew that Hitch could be a savage debater. More than once I had chaired such engagements where Hitch went after his opponents remorselessly.

Hence, I was more than a bit anxious. Here he was, a celebrated public intellectual, an Oxonian, and bestselling author, and that is to say nothing of that Richard Burton-like, aristocratic, English-accented baritone. That always added a few I.Q. points in the minds of people. With hesitation, I agreed.

We met in Billings, Montana. Hitch had once told me that Montana was the only state he had never been in. I decided to complete his tour of the contiguous United States and arranged for the two of us to meet there. Before the debate, a local television station sent a camera crew over to interview us.

When he was asked what he thought of me, a Christian, and an evangelical at that, Hitch replied: “If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we'd be living in a much better society than we do.”

I was moved. Stunned, really. As we left, I told him that I really appreciated the gracious remark.

“I meant it and have been waiting for an opportunity to say it.”
Later that night we met one another in rhetorical combat. The hall was full. Christopher, not I, was of course the real attraction. He was at the peak of his fame. His fans had traveled near and far to see him demolish another Christian. Overall, it was a hard-fought but friendly affair. Unknown to the audience were the inside jokes. When I told a little story from our road trip, he loved it.

The debate over, I crossed the stage to shake Christopher’s hand. “You were quite good tonight,” he said with a charming smile as he accepted my proffered hand. “I think they enjoyed us.”

“You were gentle with me,” I said as we turned to walk off the stage.
He shook his head. “Oh, I held nothing back.” He then surveyed the auditorium that still pulsed with energy. “We are still having dinner?” he asked. “Absolutely.”

After a quick cigarette on the sidewalk near the backstage door, he went back inside to meet his fans and sign their books.
There was something macabre about it all. I had the unsettling feeling that these weren’t people who cared about him in the least. Instead, they seemed like a bunch of groupies who wanted to have a photo taken with a famous but dying man, so that one day they could show it to their buddies and say, “I knew him before he died.” It was a sad spectacle.

Turning away, I entered the foyer, where 30 or so Christians greeted me excitedly. Mostly students, they were encouraged by what had happened onstage that night. Someone had spoken for them, and it had put a bounce in their step. One young man told me that he had been close to abandoning his faith, but that the debate had restored his confidence in the truth of the gospel. Another student said that she saw how she could use some of the same arguments. It is a daunting task, really, debating someone of Hitchens' intellect and experience, but if this cheery gathering of believers thought I had done well, then all of the preparation and expense had been worth it.

The next day, the Fixed Point Foundation staff piled into a Suburban and headed for Yellowstone National Park. Christopher and I followed behind in a rented pick-up truck. Accompanied by Simon & Garfunkel (his choice), we drove through the park at a leisurely pace and enjoyed the grandeur of it all.

The second chapter of John’s Gospel was on the agenda: The wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. “That is my favorite miracle,” Hitch quipped.

Lunching at a roadside grill, he regaled our staff with stories. Afterwards, he was in high spirits.“That’s quite a - how shall I put it? A clan? - team that you’ve got there,” he said, watching the teenage members of our group clamber into the big Chevrolet.
“Yes, it is,” I said, starting the truck. “They enjoyed your stories.”
“I enjoy them.” He reclined his seat and we were off again. “Shall we do all of the national parks?”

“Yes, and maybe the whole Bible, too,” I suggested playfully. He gave a laugh.
“Oh, and Larry, I’ve looked at your book.” He added.
“Well, all that you say about our conversation is true, but you have one detail wrong.”
“And what is that?” I feared a total rewrite was coming.
“You have me drinking Johnnie Walker Red Label. That’s the cheap stuff. I only drink Black Label.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Larry Alex Taunton.

Edited by GDR, : typo

Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 78 of 226 (644413)
12-17-2011 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by hooah212002
12-17-2011 5:59 PM

You'll have to do better than that. Just read the following quote from Hitch in post 75.

Christopher Hitchens writes:

“You have me drinking Johnnie Walker Red Label. That’s the cheap stuff. I only drink Black Label

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by hooah212002, posted 12-17-2011 5:59 PM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5

Message 141 of 226 (644960)
12-21-2011 9:29 PM

A moving testimony by his brother.

Pater Hitchens

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:

Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019