In case you weren’t aware, one of the “four horsemen” of the new atheist movement, Christopher Hitchens, was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  Despite undergoing chemotherapy for his condition, Hitchens has managed to write a superb Vanity Fair piece on the “Topic of Cancer.”

You might also want to check out Anderson Cooper’s recent CNN interview with Hitchens.  Among other things, they discuss the prospect of a potential deathbed conversion.  Not surprisingly, Hitchens rules out the very possibility of recanting on his atheism, even if his demise is imminent.

Hitchens makes note of the fact that many people are praying for him.  He can certainly count me among that throng.  I am hopeful that he, too, will find the divine grace and forgiveness we all so desperately need.

7 Responses to “An Atheist to Pray For”

  1. Paul D. Adams


    Oh that Hitchens would be found by God so that magnificent power, matchless grace, and splendid glory possessed and expressed by Him alone be put on display for all to see. Come Lord Jesus, Come!

  2. Austin


    He can count me in among that throng also. What a great day of rejoicing that would be if Hitchens were to experience a miracle that would lead him to Christ. But, if Hitchens remains ardent in his denial of his Maker, then cancer will seem like a bugbite compared to an eternity separated from perfect love.

  3. Louis


    Wow, how compassionate you all are! Who gives a damn if the man lives or dies or suffers immensely in the process? All that matters is whether he recants his atheism and intellectually assents to the truth of Evangelical Christianity in the midst of his misery. Glory!

  4. Austin


    Louis, that “miracle” I was referring to was the healing of cancer by any available means. But that does not change the point that hell is far worse than a cancer.

  5. Austin


    Accidentally pushed “post comment” before I was done lol.

    That does not change the point that hell is worse than a cancer. Are we compassionate to say “We would like to see the cancer healed, but then to suffer unimaginable pain for all eternity”? Although you would deny hell exists (those who deny hell’s existence only believe it when they arrive there, when it is too late), that does not change the fact that the Christian stance is hell does exist, we are obligated to want to see as little people headed there as possible, just as obligated to deny it. Or would it be more compassionate for us to say (as I think we both do, and if we didn’t word it well, I apologize for my part) “We want to see the cancer healed AND to spend eternity in a place of unspeakable joy and pleasure.”

    If Christianity has the possibility of being true, it is far more compassionate to want the latter view. But even if the cancer is not healed, it is still more compassionate to see Hitchens convert to Christianity where he is guaranteed entrance into heaven (a place of no sickness, no pain, no suffering) then to leave him to a place of eternal suffering. Cancer lasts only a period of time; eternity is beyond time.

  6. quedula


    Prayer is like a rocking chair – gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere. It certainly won’t get the Hitch anywhere . . .

  7. Austin


    @ quedula – Cute axiom, but as I have experienced in my personal life, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve seen things happen through prayer that just rocked my world.


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