Francis Collins writes a remembrance of Hitchens that is full of common grace. I know it is tempting for all believers to end any obit of Hitchens by the epithet, “and now he is in hell.” Why does my tribe have to do this? Does Jesus lose out for some reason if we don’t attach these words? Do we become less consistently Christian if we do not use these words? Do we perceive of ourselves as less loyal to Christ?
I applaud those who keep faithful to the hard sayings of Jesus. Many Christians forget that it was Jesus who put hell on the map. Yes, this great teacher of love taught an ultimate separation, a broad road leading to destruction and a narrow road leading to life. How conveniently this is left out in so many of our pulpits.
Nevertheless, as Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice:
“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”
There is a time to wound, as a faithful believer must do. But “showing our stuff” at the expense of someone else’s loss is out of bounds.
Here is the article.