Stephen Hawking - How Should We Respond to the Death of the Well-Known Atheist? | God TV

Stephen Hawking – How Should We Respond to the Death of the Well-Known Atheist?

We oppose Stephen Hawking's atheism, but can admire his tenacity to rise above impossible obstacles

Stephen Hawking – How Should We Respond to the Death of the Well-Known Atheist?
Stephen Hawking – How Should We Respond to the Death of the Well-Known Atheist?

Stephen Hawking on God

Prof Hawking is known for many quotable quotes. Writing about his death The Independent says that “he dismissed the comforts of belief in the afterlife, and said that he expected nothing to greet him after he died. ‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,’ he said. ‘There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark’.”

As believers, we know this is not the case. What we believe in is not fiction, but a very real, down-to-earth relationship with God, whereby we can be assured of our eternal future. Another of Prof Hawking’s quotes provides some hope he may have found this out for himself before it was too late. “God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator,” he said in a CNN interview. “The scientific account is complete. Theology is unnecessary.”

I hang on to those three words. Prof Hawking’s first-wife Jane is a Christian and she must have prayed for him, for years. He did at least acknowledge that God may exist. My hope is that he discovered that God does indeed exist, even if it was in his dying moments and that he surrendered his life to Jesus. He wouldn’t have even needed his voice synthesiser to articulate the words,  ‘Save me Jesus’.  They could just have come from his heart. I am convinced that in keeping with Scripture, anybody who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13). That is what happened to the thief on the Cross. And Jesus told him, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

How Should We Respond to Prof Hawking’s Death

The obvious answer is with compassion for his family, including Jane who is a believer.  We should also show our respect for his courage. It is also a time to affirm our own beliefs in God. Several Christian leaders have been quick to do this in the media.

British Christian leader, Krish Kandiah who is often seen on GOD TV said: “Sad to hear about the death of #StephenHawking he was living proof that greatness comes in all shapes and sizes and that disability is no barrier to genius.”

Justin Brierley, who hosts a radio series that puts Christians up against atheists each week for robust debate, made an appropriate tweet shortly after the announcement of Prof Hawking’s death which provides an appropriately-worded conclusion for this post:

“Whatever he eventually made of the God question, there’s no doubt that we’ve lost one of the most brilliant minds who helped us to make sense of the world we live in #RIPStephenHawking.”

Justin is the Theology and Apologetics Editor for Premier and presenter of the Unbelievable radio series. He has written a book entitled, Why After 10 Years of Talking with Atheists, I am still a Christian.  If you would like to learn how to interact better and debate with your atheist friends, I highly recommend Justin’s podcast.

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