Friday, 15 October 2010

Can Civilization Survive Without God?

I offer the following in lieu of my regular Monday post this week, which obviously did not happen, due to pressures of pastoral ministry - somewhat ironic given my recent post on stress among clergy!

Here's an excerpt from a report in The Christian Post on the most recent debate between the brothers Hitchens, this time on 'Can Civilization Survive Without God?' Click on the post title to read the whole article. Perhaps a transcript is already available somewhere on the 'net or maybe even some clips on You Tube? (Update: Video clip available below). I've recently read Peter Hitchens's book, The Rage Against God, and may post a short review soon.

I also take this opportunity to welcome to a couple of new followers to the blog and other new readers who have contacted me by e-mail privately; normal service should resume soon, d.v.

Hitchens Brothers Take Opposite Sides in Civilization, God Debate
By Michelle A. Vu|Christian Post Reporter
Famed atheist Christopher Hitchens and his lesser known atheist-turned-Christian brother Peter Hitchens debated Tuesday over whether a civilization can survive without God.

Christopher, the elder of the two Hitchens, argued that civilization can survive without God and noted that millions of people in modern societies today are living in a post-religious society. He began his talk by discussing the word “Christendom,” or the Christian world, which has since disappeared.

“It’s hard to argue that they (people who live in post-religious society) lead conspicuously less civilized lives than their predecessor,” said Hitchens, author of the book God is Not Great, at a luncheon hosted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington.

But younger brother Peter, who is a practicing, conservative Anglican, pointed to a decaying society in the post-Christian world. In particular, he noted that the neighborhood in England he grew up in is now overrun by gangs. The younger Hitchens contended that the deterioration of British society is partly due to the decline of Christianity in the country.

“The extraordinary combination … of liberty and order, seem to me to only occur where people take into their hearts the very, very, powerful messages of self-restraint without mutual advantage, which is central to the Christian religion,” said Peter, who is a respected British journalist and author of the book The Rage Against God.

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