The Story of Alister McGrath



Last week we looked at the story of Antony Flew and his journey away from atheism. Flew never made it all the way to becoming a Christian, however he did espouse that there is some intelligent creator of the universe. Today I would like to look at another story of an atheist who became a Christian. Like Flew, he became a significant voice in the arena of apologetics. However, unlike Flew, his voice rang out from a Christian perspective. He has written numerous books on this subject.

Alister grew up in Northern Ireland during times of civil unrest between protestant and catholic adversaries. He describes it as quite frightening. During his days of university at Oxford, he had concluded that science had the answer to all of the questions. Therefore, there was no need for the existence of God, end of discussion. “Look at all of this religious violence.” He thought that no religion would lead to no violence. At that point, he describes himself as an aggressive atheist, trying to convince everyone that all forms of religion are evil and bad.


As he was engaged in scientific discovery, things started to change. When he looked at the evidence of design characteristics repeated over and over in his field of study, he realized that his arguments for atheism were not nearly as strong as he thought they were. He also found that he had a somewhat warped view of Christianity. Instead of being boorish, he became fascinated at how robust and interesting Christianity could be. This new worldview reflected vitality in explaining how the world really is.

Alister loves science and reason however, he discovered that total reliance on these things can actually lead to imprisoning the mind. Through Christianity, he found a broad expanse beyond the boundaries that he had placed upon himself.

To see the 11 minute video where Alister describes his journey to faith and also compassion for atheistic thinkers click the link below.

Alister McGrath - from atheist scientist to Christian theologian