Dec 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

I have written about the talent and genius-- and half-cocked contrarian-ness-- of Christopher Hitchens, here and here, and about his battle with cancer. He died last night, having lost that battle.

May the Lord have mercy on him, and may he-- somehow by the grace of God-- rest in peace.

A friend put it this way to me last night as we lamented: "When I heard, I cried for him, and for his soul." Me, too.

The obituaries and tributes in Vanity Fair and NPR, among others, are worth reading, but my favorite is the Christianity Today obituary by Doug Wilson. Wilson traveled with Hitchens as part of Hitchens's plan to promote his (absolute worst) book, God is Not Great. Their debates became a series of interesting articles in CT, another book (Is Christianity Good for the World?), and eventually the compelling documentary, Collision.

Read the whole obituary, but here is Wilson's close:
Christopher Hitchens was baptized in his infancy, and his name means "Christ-bearer." This created an enormous burden that he tried to shake off his entire life. No creature can ever succeed in doing this. But sometimes, in the kindness of God, such failures can have a gracious twist at the end. We therefore commend Christopher to the Judge of the whole earth, who will certainly do right. Christopher Eric Hitchens (1949-2011). R.I.P.
We do indeed.

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