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There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind [Paperback]

Antony Flew , Roy Abraham Varghese
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Nov 2008

In There Is a God, one of the world's preeminent atheists discloses how his commitment to "follow the argument wherever it leads" led him to a belief in God as Creator. This is a compelling and refreshingly open-minded argument that will forever change the atheism debate.


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There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind + The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief + God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (15 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061335304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061335303
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“A clear, accessible account of the ‘pilgrimage of reason’ which has led Flew to a belief in God.” (John Polkinghorne, author of Belief in God in an Age of Science)

“Antony Flew’s book will incense atheists who suppose (erroneously) that science proves there is no God.” (Ian H. Hutchinson, Professor and Head of the Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT)

“Towering and courageous... Flew’s colleagues in the church of fundamentalist atheism will be scandalized.” (Francis S. Collins, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of God)

“A very clear and readable book tracing his path back to theism, revealing his total openness to new rational arguments.” (Richard Swinburne, author of The Existence of God)

“This is a remarkable book in many ways.” (Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions)

“This is a fascinating and very readable account …” (Professor John Hick, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences, University of Birmingham)

“A stellar philosophical mind ponders the latest scientific results. The conclusion: a God stands behind the rationality of nature.” (Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box and The Edge of Evolution)

“Antony Flew not only has the philosophical virtues; he has the virtues of the philosopher. Civil in argument, relentlessly reasonable….” (Ralph McInerny, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame)

“A fascinating record …it will come as a most uncomfortable jolt to those who were once his fellow atheists.” (Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University)

“Flew’s exposition will be a source for reflective inquiry for many, many years...” (Daniel N. Robinson, Philosophy Department, Oxford University)

“Flew couldn’t be more engaging and remain an analytic philosopher...” (Booklist)

“In clear prose and brief chapters, Flew explains the four lines of evidence that convinced him....An intellectual conversion of great significance.” (Denver Post)

“The most lucid and penetrative pieces of philosophical theology to appear in years, altogether brilliant.” (The Catholic Herald)

“A most valuable and readable overview of the many evidential changes of landscape that 20th century science is furnishing to the oldest question in Western civilization: Is there a God?” (American Spectator)

About the Author

Philosopher and former atheist Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his 1950 essay "Theology and Falsification," which became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last half century. Flew has published over thirty books, including God and Philosophy, The Presumption of Atheism, and How to Think Straight. He spent twenty years as professor of philosophy at the University of Keele and has also held positions at Oxford, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Reading. He now lives in Reading, England.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Flew over to the other side... almost. 27 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
While the designation of Flew as `the world's most notorious atheist' might be talking him up somewhat, the book charts the eminent philosopher's journey from arguing for atheism to a deistic position. It discusses his previous arguments for atheism and the rebuttals his oponents made, and moves on to the contemporary arguments that persuaded him to change his mind, and the ones the didn't.

It's important to note that there has been some controversy with this book. While Flew had already made his change of mind public several years earlier, some felt that Varghese had taken advantage of an old man in mental decline (most notably Mark Oppenheimer's piece in the New York Times). The criticisms have been roundly debunked by a number of people who knew Flew, and indeed, Flew himself offered this clarification:

"I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: "My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I'm 84 and that was Roy Varghese's role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I'm old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.""

While I don't feel the need to defend the legitimacy of the book against the ad hominem attacks, I was keenly aware of these accusations while reading the book. I noticed a distinct difference between the main text of the book and the appendix attributed specifically to Varghese, and for these reasons, I will continue with the view that the positions put forward are the thoughts of Flew unless specifically stated otherwise.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There is a God, but which God 28 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There has been much said about the authorship of this book. Some have attempted to undermine the book by claiming that it was all or mostly written by Varghese, with Flew in a confused state of mind. Flew himself denied this. It also becomes clear in the style of writing as an essay from Varghese is included in the Appendix. It is the inclusion of this poorly thought out and scientifically illiterate essay at the end that has resulted in this book getting 4 stars instead of 5. The crass nature of this appendix contrasts with the rest of the book greatly.

The main body of the text is a marvelously honest account of the thinking of a great mind. Detailed philosophy has been as accessible as I ever seen it. The arguments are fine and concise. Each chapter could be expanded into a book in itself, and could certainly be the basis for a debate.

However, be under no illusion: this is not a Christian book. While passing references are made to Christianity, and indeed the second appendix is a typical tour-de-force that we have come to expect from Tom Wright, Flew (at the time of his death) was a Deist, not a Christian. This book is very much focussed on ontology.

Given his earlier position in life as an atheist it is good to see the inclusion of many atheistic arguments contained in this book. These are not straw men, as you may find in many other anti-atheistic writings and present the unbeliever with ammo and the believer with food for thought. Likewise, the second half of the book reverses the roles.
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257 of 293 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Following the evidence 28 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover
After fifty years as a leading non-theistic philosopher, whose challenges to theistic thinkers did much to shape the debate about God, Flew declared himself convinced of the existence of a God (although not of any particular religious tradition) in 2004, thereby sending shock-waves through the atheist community.

Unfortunately, several prominent atheists responded to Flew's apostasy with ad hominem assertions about his losing his marbles in his dotage (yes he is getting slower and forgetful, especially of names; but his solo interviews and writings seem lucid, and his arguments should be taken on their own merit), or about his hedging his bets with respect to the afterlife (despite the fact that Flew doesn't believe in an afterlife!).

Part autobiography, part theistic apologetic, Flew's 'last will and testament' There Is a God (written with Roy Abraham Varghese) is a fascinating read that deserves wide circulation and careful consideration.

Flew summarised the reasons for his change of mind in an exclusive 2007 interview with Benjamin Wiker:

'With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a `lucky chance.' If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over... I would add that Dawkins is selective to the point of dishonesty when he cites the views of scientists on the philosophical implications of the scientific data.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware
I bought this book on Kindle. Unfortunately Amazon do not tell you that you will not get the appendices which are referred to throughout the text and which are over 30% of the... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Donal M
5.0 out of 5 stars It was fantastic book. It educates me
It was fantastic book. It educates me.
And also has scientific therapy.
Now i understan what atheist is ?
Published 1 month ago by Mohammed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Imhappycustomer
Published 1 month ago by Virginia Lynes-lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars world leading atheist's story of what changed his mind .
This book tells the story of Anthony Flew's journey from atheism to belief in God. What could change so great a philosophical mind? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Expect a Proof
This so called convert to deism presents some of the arguments for and against the existence of God but each section finishes with some sort of 'leap of faith' statement such as... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Book
The mean spirited ranting of antitheist Richard Dawkins has practically converted me to theism after years of considering myself an atheist, I don't like extremists of any kind... Read more
Published 2 months ago by M P Crouch
5.0 out of 5 stars Flew Flying High
I don't feel qualified to offer a detailed analysis, especially when others here have already done it better than I could. Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Science has not disproved God...!
Excellent alternative understanding to the prevailing view(s) that the Universe came out of nothing, or that billions of Multiverses are an adequate explanation for why just the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by R E S Tripney
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Subject
This book sparks much debate in whether there is a god or not. Strange read from a man who was adamant that god did not exist.
Published 14 months ago by Chrismack
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
The story of Anthony Flew, his life and how he got to believe in God is very good. The appendices are also very insightful. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bookman
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