Sunday, March 06, 2011

A list of former atheists

Oh wait. There are no ex-atheists.

25 comments:

Gimli 4 the West said...

add Gimli

bossmanham said...

Nice.

B. Prokop said...

Add Fred Hoyle. British cosmologist; came up with the term "The Big Bang".

Fierce and vocal atheist for decades. Embraced theism late in life, after being convinced that Intelligent Design was the only rational belief.

(Also a great writer. Might I recommend "The Black Cloud".)

Edward T. Babinski said...

Exactly how many biblical scholars are on the list?

Not only biblical scholars, but entire institutions of higher biblical learning, like Harvard, Yale and Princeton seminaries.

The movement toward moderation, liberalism, questioning more, took place in the world's most advanced centers of biblical study around the world.

The movement when it comes to advanced biblical studies and comparative religion seems to me to be in the direction of views growing more moderate, more liberal, more mystically inclusive, or more questioning/agnostic/atheistic.

I see Dulles is on the list, quasi universalist. And he also was raised Presbyterian, so he had a grounding in hell I suppose, yet his trajectory appears to have been toward universalism.

C. S. Lewis who is also on the list admitted his spiritual mentor was a universalist, and Lewis includes him in his novel The Great Divorce, along with the words of a Catholic mystic who believed hell would one day be empty.

Edward T. Babinski said...

To continue from above.

During the last decade or so a lot more Evangelicals have moved in the direction of interpreting Genesis 1 as temple mythology or some other non-historical manner.

During the last century a lot of Evangelicals have also moved toward the view known as Markan Priority as the most likely solution to the synoptic problem. Formerly the only acceptable Evangelical views were Matthean Priority or Independent Gospel composition.

Evangelicalism is being dragged kicking and screaming toward accepting the results and consensus of modern day biblical scholarship.

Crude said...

The movement when it comes to advanced biblical studies and comparative religion seems to me to be in the direction of views growing more moderate, more liberal, more mystically inclusive, or more questioning/agnostic/atheistic.

Or a more conservative, more traditional, more orthodox perspective, if you look at the views of the Church fathers. You're trying to play off any move away from utter YEC perspective as "on the road to atheism". From this Catholic's perspective, that's hilarious.

If merely questioning consensus = a move towards atheism, then ID proponents and YECs have downright atheistic attitudes towards evolution.

Evangelicalism is being dragged kicking and screaming toward accepting the results and consensus of modern day biblical scholarship.

And modern day scholarship was "dragged kicking and screaming" from previous positions, including in some directions that are more conservative or affirming of a conservative viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

I always get a kick out of Ed standing by with his cut and past reponses to any thing that bothers him, so he can make it look like he has made a detailed reply.

After a while, you see the same responses, or cut up variations therof, in other venues.

Go for it Ed!

You will fool some of em!

James

B. Prokop said...

This just occurred to me over my morning coffee:

Atheists are fond of the (false) slogan, "We are all born as atheists". But if that were indeed the case, shouldn't everyone of the tens of billions of believers in God throughout history be on that list?

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Eta Linnemann is a good example of a Biblical scholar who completely repudiated literary dependence in favor of the independence view.

B. Prokop said...

Maybe that should read "every one of the tens of billions..." (???) They both seem correct, depending on how one reads it.

Anonymous said...

"Evangelicalism is being dragged kicking and screaming toward accepting the results and consensus of modern day biblical scholarship."

This is appropriate. Evangelicalism shouldn't follow the latest fads and fancies, it should assess views thoroughly and properly before acquiescing.

Walter said...

Eta Linnemann is a good example of a Biblical scholar who completely repudiated literary dependence in favor of the independence view.

"Completely repudiated" is a mighty bold claim. Linnemann's position seems pretty fringe to me, and I don't think her work is the last word on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Walter,

I meant she personally repudiated the idea, I didn't intend to say anything about the viability of her views. I took the discussion here to be about consensus.

unkleE said...

Eminent astronomer, the late Allan Sandage, was another later-in-life convert to either theism or christianity.

Anonymous said...

Richard Smalley

Anonymous said...

Other former atheists are Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Sartre, O'Hair, Pulliam, and all the other atheists who have passed on.

They now believe.

John W. Loftus said...

1) If anything else look at the trends.

2) Why the gods aren't winning.

Keep in mind that given the number of people who have left the fold Christians are responding by claiming they were atheists before they converted, like Lee Strobel and David Wood, but they were not intellectual atheists, but rather practical atheists, as are many Christians today.

And we need to separate between the atheists who became Christians from the atheists who became inerrancy believing conservative Chritsians. I doubt very very much there would be many of the types of total conversions.

Anonymous said...

Also Al Mohler rescued the Southern Baptists from their decline into liberalism. The tide is turning.

Joel said...

Craig Keener went from an atheist ancient historian to an evangelical New Testament scholar.

Crude said...

"Practical atheism" is a lark. Most people are practical theists - a person who believes in God, believes in objective goods, believes in objective purpose, etc, but does not go to Church is not a 'practical atheist'.

On the flipside, "intellectual atheist" is an oxymoron to any person who insists an atheist is a mere lack of God-belief. There's nothing to be intellectual about. But then again, that's always been so much BS.

Atheism is in bad shape, and you can tell how bad it is when atheists try to count people who believe in 'some kind of world spirit or life force', deists, and more liberal believers in God as some kind of atheism.

BenYachov said...

Let us not forget ex-Atheist philosopher Edward Feser!

GREV said...

"but rather practical atheists, as are many Christians today."

Actually, John is correct here. As a Pastor of 21 years now I see a lot of evidence of this. Believe in God but live like God really does not matter.

I believe it was the late Klaus Brockmuehl (sp?), a professor at Regent College who brought the term into wide usage in the early 1980's.

BenYachov said...

GREV,

Loftus is equivocating the term "Atheist" here like most New Atheists do. It's irrational and confusing.

When it suits them for the Fundie New Atheist the term "Atheist" either means "lack of belief in any gods" or the positive belief "there is no God" or a synonym for Agnostic.

Here in the case of people who believe in the existence of God but live like God really does not matter. He is equivocating the term "Atheist" with "impious".

So when he claims "Atheists" are winning it is not at all clear which type of "Atheists" are winning since he conflates them all when convenient.

It's all Sophistry.

GREV said...

Ben:

Your comments are relevant but my point was and remains many Christians do live like pratical atheists.

And they need to repent of this. Period. Regardless of how someone uses the term.

BenYachov said...

>And they need to repent of this. Period. Regardless of how someone uses the term.

Amen!