Christopher Hitchens Dead at 62

“Christopher Hitchens joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in November 1992 and wrote regularly for the magazine until 2011. In May 2011, he won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary for a series of columns on his having cancer. In recent years, Hitchens was a contributing editor to The Atlantic, where he wrote a monthly essay on books, and a regular columnist at Slate. From 1982 to 2002, he wrote a biweekly column for The Nation. Throughout his singular career Christopher Hitchens wrote written for The New Statesman, the London Evening Standard, London’s Daily Express, Harper’s, The Spectator, and The Times Literary Supplement, among others. His books include The Trial of Henry Kissinger (Verso, 2001), Letters to a Young Contrarian (Basic, 2001), God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Twelve, 2007), Hitch-22: A Memoir (Twelve, 2010), and Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens (Twelve, 2011), a collection of his later essays.” – Taken from http://www.vanityfair.com/contributors/christopher-hitchens

I’ll try and be brief. Christopher Hitchens spent a lot of time debating representatives of various religions. He was open about his atheism. I first heard of him years ago when he debated William Lane Craig. My first impression of him was that he was very likeable. He was very well read, well spoken, and seemed to be pretty intelligent. He didn’t hold back when he addressed a subject. I remember watching him debate Doug Wilson on the Collision DVD, and was intrigued by how he had debated Doug venomously, and yet seemed to get along greatly with him outside of the debate. I remember hearing audio of him speaking of his past, and having grown up around Christianity and learning it. And I remember hearing him speak of how he eventually rejected it. He would go on to author the book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I remember Doug explaining the story of “the good samaritan,” and Hitchens looking surprised and seemingly moved by it.

I remember getting really excited when I heard that he was going to debate James White. But then it was postponed. Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer . It really shocked me. I’m sure a lot of professing Christians celebrated that the voice that once boomed against Christ was now crippling under the grip of cancer. I didn’t. It  was sad. There was no doubt in my mind that it was God’s doing. Everything is God’s doing. But it was still sad for me. It was sadder still to hear him continuously reject God. He had warned everyone that even if he started saying that he had come to believe in God, it would only be the disease speaking. It wouldn’t have been genuine. Earlier this week I read an article about Hitchens. The article had a current photo of him. It knocked the wind out of me. He looked like he had wasted away. And now, at the age of 62 years, Christopher Hitchens is dead. He had been at a Texas hospital, and got pneumonia.

Hitchens became prey to that which claims everyone – that thing that many try to escape. Death. As his body became weaker and weaker, it was a thunderous testimony to what Chris railed against the most. It is the truth that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Everyone is not just born in sin, but conceived in it. We are all born with a nature that is enslaved to sin. And as a result of that sinful nature, we die physically and are dead spiritually. Death is an enemy. People run from it and they hate it. They have been created in the image of God, and although it has been marred by sin, they still know that death is an enemy. And we can really see this when atheists like Hitchens use death as an argument against God. And they use suffering as an argument against God. “How could there be a God when there is suffering and death in the world?” they ask. But for the atheist, death should just be a part of life. How can it be an offensive thing? For them, we are just raw materials without transcendent meaning. There is no reason to bring up arguments about suffering or death.

It is a sad thing to see someone die who hated God the way Hitchens did. I will remember him for being well spoken, intelligent, and witty. Most of all, I will remember how my own beliefs had been challenged and sharpened by his arguments. Yesterday the world lost a giant of a man, humanly speaking. In his passing, we should be reminded of how even the greatest of men on earth will be layed low. We should remember the holiness of God that will force everyone to their knees. We should remember that any voice that should raise itself against God will be silenced one day. Most of all, we should remember that one day we will all stand before Christ and He will judge us according to deeds. If you should attempt to stand and be judged by your own deeds, you will undoubtedly receive their just due, which is hell. If you should be clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ, you will receive the reward for His faithfulness, which is eternal life.

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