The Faith of Christopher Hitchens:
The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist

At the time of his death, Christopher Hitchens was the most notorious atheist in the world. And yet, all was not as it seemed. “Nobody is not a divided self, of course,” he once told an interviewer, “but I think it’s rather strong in my case.” Hitchens was a man of many contradictions: a Marxist in youth who longed for acceptance among the social elites; a peacenik who revered the military; a champion of the Left who was nonetheless pro-life, pro-war-on-terror, and after 9/11 something of a neocon; and while he railed against God on stage, he maintained meaningful—though largely hidden from public view—friendships with evangelical Christians like Francis Collins, Douglas Wilson, and the author Larry Alex Taunton.

In The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, Taunton offers a very personal perspective of one of our most interesting and most misunderstood public figures. Writing with genuine compassion and without compromise, Taunton traces Hitchens’s spiritual and intellectual development from his decision as a teenager to reject belief in God to his rise to prominence as one of the so-called “Four Horsemen” of the New Atheism. While Hitchens was, in the minds of many Christians, Public Enemy Number One, away from the lights and the cameras a warm friendship flourished between Hitchens and the author; a friendship that culminated in not one, but two lengthy road trips where, after Hitchens’s diagnosis of esophageal cancer, they studied the Bible together. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens gives us a candid glimpse into the inner life of this intriguing, sometimes maddening, and unexpectedly vulnerable man.

“If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we’d be living in a much better society than we do.” – Christopher Hitchens

Praise for The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

“Lively and loving, Taunton’s memoir of his surprising friendship could hardly be more enjoyably engrossing.” – Booklist

“With its unique combination of superb storytelling, intellect, and passion, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens achieves—and deserves—the rare status of instant classic.” – Brian Mattson for The Gospel Coalition

“Taunton’s smooth and accessible prose brings to life what seems to have been a dear and lively friendship between two thinkers at odds politically and religiously, but not intellectually.” – Publisher’s Weekly

metaxas

“Larry Taunton’s book, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens is so good that words fail me. It is that triple rarity, an astonishing tour-de-force of heart and mind both, and a bona fide page-turner. If it doesn’t keep you up late, you are already sleeping. Who dreamt anyone would ever get to see this side of the cartoon enfante terrible? Taunton’s unprecedented access to the ‘real’ Hitchens is a gift from the heavens — literally and literarily — to anyone wanting to know who he really was, that man behind the withering, glowering mien and fulminating blunderbuss voice. This indefatigably clear-eyed window into the soul of the great Hitch may break your heart with love for its subject, as it did mine, or it may make you wish to rent yourself in twain with rage, Rumpelstilskin-style. Either way, it’s quite a book. A triumph.”

– Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio host

Chris Matthews

“Beautifully written. You’ve got to read this book. Everyone should read this book. You’ll really get something out of it.”

– Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball

reid

“Every fan of Christopher Hitchens must read this elegant, honest, and beautiful tale of an improbable friendship between an American Christian and an English atheist. If you thought you knew ‘Hitch,’ you did not. Now, you will.”

– Paul Reid, bestselling author of The Last Lion, Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm

ravi

“Christopher Hitchens was a force to be reckoned with, whether one was a theist or an atheist. While I never met him, I know firsthand through friendships with those of other worldviews that ultimate issues can be discussed without compromise, yet without animosity, with gentleness and with respect. Larry Taunton traveled this road with Hitchens and reveals a man few knew: brash and confident in public, in quieter moments he wrestled with deep questions about ultimate truth that would not go away. In the end, Larry demonstrates that while arguments and debate have their place in winning the mind and heart, it is love that is the most powerful apologetic for the truth and beauty of the gospel. This book will surprise and challenge you—and I hope, open fruitful conversation among atheists and theists alike.”

– Ravi Zacharias, author and speaker

mattson

“Speechless. The combination of intellectual biography, psychology, sociology, philosophy, theology, storytelling with warmth and humanity – I actually believe this little book is an instant classic in the apologetic genre. All the potency of a Mere Christianity, only riveting. Marvelous work.”

– Brian Mattson, Senior Scholar of Public Theology for the Center for Cultural Leadership

David Horowitz

“The rich rewards readers of Taunton’s memoir will reap are an affectionate portrait of a remarkable man at the end of his life, drawn by a religious adversary with an open heart; an informed examination of Christopher’s relationships with his conservative father and liberal mother, and with his atheist-turned-Christian and radical-turned-conservative brother, Peter, along with thoughtful reflections on the way they each influenced Christopher and illuminate his complexities. Finally it is a testament of one man’s religious creed, and his view that grace is the core belief of a Christian faith. Each and all of these elements serve to make Taunton’s book a literary gem, which no honest reader could mistake for an ideological tract.”

– David Horowitz, bestselling author, editor, and founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center

Doug Wilson

I am concerned that I might exhaust my supply of superlatives. This book was written by a man who knows God, knows his Bible, knows the way the world works, and knew Christopher Hitchens. This book is simply outstanding. There, my first superlative. Larry Taunton meticulously makes his case and does so from the published works of Hitchens himself, his public statements, and Taunton’s eyewitness testimony. And as far as the eyewitness testimony goes, I can say that his account rings completely true. The man he traveled with and debated is the same man that I traveled with and debated… If we are going to talk at all about Christopher Hitchens with any degree of integrity, then it will take someone as fair-minded as Larry Taunton to do it… I can’t imagine anyone doing this better.”

– Douglas Wilson, theologian, pastor, author, and speaker

John Lennox

“A fascinating page-turner full of insight, sensitivity, balance and humanity. This deserves the status of a bestseller. Brilliant.”

– John Lennox, Professor of Pure Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, Oxford University

dewitt

“A riveting read that’s sure to spark the sort of controversy that was common to its central figure “the Contrarian.” It’s likely to expose many modern Free Thinkers as anything but, as it demonstrates that their patron saint of secularism was more open minded than they care to admit.”

– Dan Dewitt, Dean of Boyce College

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