Friday, 16 December 2011

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Christopher Hitchens, the well-known and outspoken atheist, died on Thursday night at the aged 62,  having battled for 18 months with esophageal cancer. In his final months he publicly said that he would not have a 'death-bed conversion' and if anyone should hear such a report they ought not to believe it. Hitchens suspected that rumors would circulate of a deathbed conversion, and even feared that he might actually call out to God. Therefore, he said that if anyone heard of such a thing, it would not be the real Christopher Hitchens. As far as we know, Hitchens died without turning to Christ.

A couple of Christians have written thoughtful obituaries of Hitchens. You can read them by clicking the links below:
Particularly striking is this paragraph from Wilson's obituary:

Christopher knew that faithful Christians believe that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that the Judgment. He knew that we believe what Jesus taught about the reality of damnation. He also knew that we believe—for I told him—that in this life, the door of repentance is always open. A wise Puritan once noted what we learn from the last-minute conversion of the thief on the cross—one, that no one might despair, but only one, that no one might presume. We have no indication that Christopher ever called on the Lord before he died, and if he did not, then Scriptures plainly teach that he is lost forever. But we do have every indication that Christ died for sinners, men and women just like Christopher. We know that the Lord has more than once hired workers for his vineyard when the sun was almost down (Matt. 20:6).