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3.8 out of 5 stars78
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on 21 April 2009
This clear and very readable book charts Tony Flew's journey from strongly expressed atheism to a reasoned case for theism. With wit and good sense he explains and revisits his previous views and emphatically demonstrates his exemplary commitment to follow arguments and the truth wherever it leads. The text has a fair number of amusing anecdotes and personal reflections, and the ideas are neatly expressed and explored with persuasive insight. Flew is very strongly persuaded by many in the field of science who have variously presented views that suggest that the shape, nature and character of the totality of a meaningful reality that we expereince and explore presupposes a meaning and purpose that is transcending. Flew, following a probablistic line of reasoning, makes the case for a theistic rationale without special pleading or flights of mystical fantasy.
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on 20 June 2015
An amazing book by a lifelong atheist who reasons, finally, that "molecular biology" cannot be explained except as "a miracle": so, there is a God - this divine creater is the God acknowledged by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
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on 16 August 2013
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 one we are in got it right. Also, while evolution may explain the variety we see, there still is no clue as to how life itself originated or that the complexity of living things (DNA for example) arrived by chance mutation/selection. An infinite mind was involved.
God is alive and well , thank you - why are folks so determined to be on their own?
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on 10 October 2012
I found the book hard to get into. Not that the reading is necessarily hard going, but I found he rambles on and on about this and that. I simply could not get into the story. Maybe it's because he is old, I don't know. I listened to a debate he was in with William Lane Craig (who is a fantastic debater with a very sharp mind) from 1997. He rambled there too. Granted he was old even then but I am not impressed by this guy.

I'm sure the book has been disected in many reviews here, so I won't go into detail again.

That said, this book is a good conversation starter and is of obvious apologetic value to the Christian.
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on 18 February 2015
An honest book from and honest man who throughout his life lived by the motto "go where ever the evidence may lead you" and expectedly started to believe in God
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on 19 August 2010
Antony Flew may have been one of the 20th century's leading philosophers, but this account of his journey from atheism to deism is distinctly underwhelming. His case is basically argument from design, but he doesn't have any new perspective on this hoary old argument, nor does he address the equally hoary old objections to it. So just why *did* a distinguished philosopher who was the "world's most notorious athiest" argument-from-design compelling in 2004, when he had found it unconvincing for a big portion of the 20th century? On this, Flew's account is disappointingly silent.

The last part of the book is supposedly a discussion of whether "God" has communicated anything to humankind. Co-author Roy Varghese penned "Appendix A", but like his Introduction, it's just a series of pot-and-kettle attacks on Richard Dawkins and the vigourous evisceration of some rather obvious straw men.

"Appendix B" is billed as a "dialogue" between Flew and biblical scholar (and Anglican bishop) NT Wright on the historicity of the Resurrection. But Flew's side of this "dialogue" consists of exactly three one-line questions which absolutely anyone could have asked, while Wright's side covers 20 pages of text. Engagingly written though it is, Appendix B doesn't really have anything to do with the subject of this book, particularly as Flew himself seems ambiguous on whether or not it presents a compelling case for the Resurrection.

Flew also gives a last-minute, out-of-the-blue endorsement of Christianity. Where this comes from is anyone's guess, since it certainly doesn't follow logically from anything Flew discussed up to that point, and it's supported only by some handwaving that Christianity is the sort of religion an omnipotent being would come up with. I'll leave others to try make sense of that, because I certainly can't.

I don't doubt Flew sincerely came to believe in a distant, deistic kind of "God", but if you don't already find argument-from-design compelling, there's nothing new here which will incline you to share that belief.
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on 28 June 2013
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.
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on 27 October 2011
I am really only reviewing to counter the other disgraceful accusations on these pages that Flew was not the author of this book. As Flew, shortly after publishing this book, appeared on platform defending these views and wrote articles and conducted interviews explaining them, there can be no doubt that Flew moved to a deist view before he died.

This book is thoughtful and takes the reader through Flew's intellectual journey. Particularly interesting is his reassessment of some of his old arguments for atheism in the light of his new belief.
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on 3 January 2016
A definite must for any philosopher, whatever his/her religious convictions. Acually, the same goes for atheists, especially those who consider themselves to be very intelligent. Do not only read literature which merely confirms your atheist beliefs! (And this is from a Christian who has read both 'The God Delusion' and 'God Is Not Great'!)
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on 17 October 2009
In a spirit of generosity, I am giving this book 4 stars - somewhere around 3.5 stars seems more apt. The reason why its not an excellent book is that its of varying quality. The first third of the book which is a kind of memoir is not likely to be of great interest to those who have not followed Flew's career. However, I suppose it was necessary to some degree to explain why he changed his mind. There again, his change of mind seems to be down to one factor, the increasingly expanding science of cosmology.

For Flew, Cosmology radiates Mind, the very laws of nature woven into the fabric of the Universe shout aloud: "I have been created by a rational Supernatural Mind". The book is particularly good at answering the New Atheists, who, according to Flew, simply are not good at doing philosophy (well, thats cutting to the thrust of his argument): he sees them as impoverished positivists.

I particularly liked the point made about monkeys and typewriters - the idea that Monkeys if given enough time could by chance produce a sonnet of Shakespeare of indeed the complete works of Shakespeare. In term of chance, there is a 1 in 10 to the power of 80 chance of this happening i.e. which is more than the numbers of protons, electrons and neutrons in the whole world.

Anyway, so what are his basic arguments?

I) Nature obeys laws: why is this so, why is the whole Universe law abiding - is not law a manifestation of ratio - can ratio come from inanimate matter?

II) Life itself: why is it intelligently organised and goal driven - and how did life arise from matter. The very gentic code of human being speaks of MIND. Why did sexual reproduction arise - survival of the fitness is not an answer - it merely demands that we ask the question: why is nature purpose driven - why does it "care" where say Human Nature or Elephant Nature survives.

III) The very existence of the Universe and of nature - why does it exist at all? He notes the minute likelihood of us existing at all and further notes that to say that there may be many universes, does not answer the question at all - why are there multiuniverse and why would they obey rational laws

IV) Consciousness which is itself not explicable in terms of matter only i.e. Brain does not equal Mind.

The above reminds me of a comment Christopher Dawkins made in one of his books, namely that it was precisely because it is in Christianity that the world is seen as rational - Christ is the Logos - i.e. reason or mind, that it was in the context of the Western World that science itself burgeoned. There is no point doing scientific experiments at all if there is not an intrinsic logic to the world. Otherwise experiments would tell us nothing - it would all just be chaos.
The appendices are good - I thought NT Wright's arguments for Christianity were particularly rational!

Now, I don't believe for one minute that any of the above will convince Dawkins and Co or his many disciples because it seems to me that there is a strong volitional element to this. For me, the evidence of Mind is extremely strong to suggest a Creator but others will prefer to believe in utter blind chance - we appeared out of some cosmic soup, which itself spontaneously emerged out of nothing. Note here that with the Big Bang theory, Plato's theory of the Universe being eternal no longer seems valid on cosmological grounds. We are not pre-determined - we do have choices and I respect the choice of those who listen to the same evidence and say: "there is no God". I simply ask that they respect my choice and belief that the Universe proclaims the glory of God!
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