The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Alex Taunton

In the introduction to the book Larry Taunton worries about exploiting his dead friend. And he should not have dismissed those concerns and written this book. It is the kind of manipulative, predatory, and piously insulting thing that gives Christians a bad name. He puts words in Christopher Hitchens' mouth and assigns him thoughts that he can't repudiate from the grave. The author seems to ignore the possibility that Hitchens just liked hearing people of conviction talk about their beliefs, and wasn't himself discovering he may share that faith. The notion that he might have just enjoyed debate is hardly considered. An intellectually curious person can want to learn more about faith, but still not feel it. Atheists are often just as intrigued as they are disgusted by people who believe in God. 

Taunton would have the readers of this book believe that Christopher Hitchens was afraid to tell people he was dabbling in faith in his last few months for fear of disillusioning his acolytes. This strikes this ardent lover of the work of Hitchens as absurd. He was about as shy and retiring as a gun. And he thrived on controversy. This is a man who wrote a book in which he called Mother Teresa a hypocrite and a fame whore. He ardently supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while his liberal contemporaries where aghast and convinced he'd lost his mind. And once on the Bill Mauer show when he was giving his hawkish thoughts and the audience began to gasp and turn on him, he didn't equivocate. He gave the audience the finger. 

The author claims that Hitchens metaphorically kept two sets of books, one set public and the other set private. And his tentative embrace of faith was something he kept private. It was something he only expressed to Larry Taunton when there were no other witnesses. This is very convenient for Mr. Taunton. 

Christopher Hitchens worried about someone crediting a deathbed conversion to him. So he inoculated his legacy with this statement, "The entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain. I can't guarantee that such an entity wouldn't make such a ridiculous remark. But no one recognizable as myself would ever make such a ridiculous remark." The author of this book claims he only said that to make his atheist friends happy. When did Hitch give a crap about making anyone happy?

As a person of faith, I would feel like a hypocrite if I didn't at least entertain the possibility that Christopher Hitchens towards the end of his life, facing the black implacable wall of death,  wanted to believe there was something on the other side of it. But I find it much more likely that Mr. Taunton wants to believe it, and he heard what he wanted to hear, and the thought he could sell some books by convincing his fellow Evangelicals that it is impossible for man to live a dissolute life without higher purpose and meaning, and die unrepentant without the crutch that is God. This is a very cynical book.