Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A. N. Wilson Returns to the Faith

I first heard of English writer and critic A. N. Wilson on an edition of the Mars Hill Audio Journal several years ago. He had professed at one time to be a believer, but by the early nineties he had decided that Christianity was lacking in evidence, and had come to consider himself an atheist. It seems that he has now left his atheism behind, and is making, according to him, a slow return to faith:

His citation of Mahatma Gandhi is questionable, as Gandhi wasn't a Christian. And he expresses the idea in the article that the Flood and Noah's Ark are fictional, which contradicts Scripture clearly. Nonetheless, I think it's reasonable to say he's definitely in a better position than he was when he claimed to be an atheist. Hopefully, his faith is sincerely in Jesus Christ.

I especially find his reference to aesthetics interesting. He was never a fully convinced atheist, it seems, and he found a beauty in music and literature created by believers that was unmatched in the works of atheists. This is something I wish Evangelicals would give more thought to, as Evangelical aesthetics have a tendency to be especially ugly. If there were a way to find out for sure, I think we would find that the church loses more people due to aesthetics than we realize. Take the aforementioned Jeffrey Steel, for instance, as he himself cited aesthetics as a beginning factor that led him to Rome.

Along with Steel, Wilson could certainly use our prayers. Whereas he seems to have a ways to go, he is still an example that should give us hope. So long as a person has breath, there is hope for them, for the arm of the LORD has not been shortened, that it cannot save (Isaiah 59:1).

HT: Chuck Colson -


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