Franklin Graham, Ken Ham, Christopher Benek and Ray Comfort share their reaction to the death of outspoken atheist and physicist Stephen Hawking.
Hawking, who preached that science was a more "convincing explanation" for the existence of universe than a belief in God, died Wednesday at age 76, the University of Cambridge announced.
Upon hearing of his death, many celebrities and public figures celebrated Hawking for his scientific teachings. NASA remembered the Cambridge University Physicist and best-selling author for "his theories," saying on social media they unlocked a "universe of possibilities."
Some renowned evangelicals are using Hawking's passing as an opportunity to share with others why they disagreed with his stance on faith and God.
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President of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin Graham, took to Facebook to say that he wished he'd had the chance to discuss God with Hawking before his death.
"I wish I could have asked Mr. Hawking who he thought designed the human brain. The designers at HP, Apple, Dell, or Lenovo have developed amazing computers, but none come even close to the amazing capabilities of the human mind. Who do you think designed the human brain? The Master Designer — God Himself," Franklin wrote. "I wish Stephen Hawking could have seen the simple truth that God is the Creator of the universe he loved to study and everything in it."
The evangelist then quoted Nehemiah 9:6 which says: "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You."
Ken Ham, president and founder of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and world-renowned Ark Encounter, often debunked Hawking's teachings, he likewise shared his reaction on Twitter along with an article announcing his passing.
"A reminder death comes to all. Doesn't matter how famous or not in this world, all will die and face the God who created us and stepped into history in the person of Jesus Christ, to die and be raised to offer a free gift of salvation to all who receive it," Ham warned.
On his 75th birthday, Hawking told BBC that he'd like to be remembered for his discovery that "black holes are not entirely black."
Christopher Benek, pastor and leading clergy expert on artificial intelligence and global emerging tech and theology, commended the British scientist for his advanced thinking.
"Stephen Hawking will definitely be missed. He was one of the great minds in human history. But Hawking wasn't right about everything. His perpetuation of escapism theology in culture was based in fear — not in love, redemption and renewal."
In a recent op-ed published on CP, Benek said, "Hawking may be an extraordinary theoretical physicist and cosmologist, but he is a misguided futurist. The Earth is not going to be destroyed in 100 — or even a 1,000 — years as he predicts. Instead, it is going to be remade into a new creation."
You can read that op-ed piece here.
Christian apologist and founder of the Living Waters Ministry, Ray Comfort, said he was attacked by some of Hawking's followers after sharing a link to the news of his death.
"I posted a link to a secular news article on my Facebook page. It was big news and, of course, very sad. On the top of the news item I put another link, to one of our free films that have been seen by millions. It just said: EvolutionvsGod.com. Nothing else was stated," Comfort explained on his website.
"To my surprise," he added, "my page was flooded with angry atheists who were abusing me with comments that would make a cat's tail curl."
Comfort likened Hawking to a "holy prophet" for those who believed in his teachings and grieved that now his anti-God teachings will become more popular.
"As a Christian, I believe Stephen Hawking had great worth. He was given life by God, made in His image. ... His books will now take off even more, and his crazy ideas about living on Mars will be seen as a divine and guiding light in a forever darkening world," Comfort concluded.
Despite being diagnosed in 1962 with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Hawking outlived his two-year life expectancy by 55 years. However, not even the modern miracle of defying the odds would convince Hawking that there was something greater at work. Instead he credited his family, friends and colleagues for his life during an interview with BBC last summer.
In a 2014 interview with El Mundo, Hawking revealed why he does not believe in God.
"In the past, before we understood science, it was logical to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant when I said that we would know 'the mind of God' was that we would understand everything that God would be able to understand if it existed. But there is no God. I'm an atheist. Religion believes in miracles, but they are not compatible with science," he said.
After news of his end broke on Wednesday, his family confirmed that he "died peacefully" at his home in Cambridge, England.