Reviewed by Dr John Battle
The first time I heard of John Lennox was listening online to his debate against Richard Dawkins. Not only was he able to stand up to Dawkins’s arguments, but he concluded with a sterling appeal to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the final proof that God exists and has revealed himself to us. Dawkins responded that he was “disappointed” that Lennox would bring that matter up in a scientific debate, but I was encouraged. Later, hearing Lennox in person speaking in Washington State, I was further impressed by his knowledge, fluency, and ability to explain complex ideas to a popular audience.
John Lennox is Professor in Mathematics in Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. In addition to being a leading mathematician and philosopher of science, Lennox is a committed Christian and an outspoken apologist. In addition to debating famous atheists like Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, Lennox speaks to popular audiences to encourage their faith in God and the biblical revelation.
This book presents a strong case for God as the intelligent, powerful Creator of the universe. As an expert in mathematics, including probability and chaos theory, Lennox analyses and explains the fine tuning of the physical forces and constants of the universe, and the information richness of the genetic code. These facts point to intelligent input. Lennox does not “argue from analogy, but [makes] an inference to the best explanation” (p. 175). This is not a “god of the gaps” argument, where, as science progresses, the need for “god” shrinks. Rather, it is an “atheism of the gaps” argument, as each new scientific advance provides more, not less, evidence for a divine, intelligent Creator.
The book surveys the major areas of debate—the origin and design of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of the major types of life, and the information-rich content of the genetic code. In each of these areas Lennox documents his statements well, citing leaders in each field. He selects the strongest, not the weakest, argument of his opponents and treats them fairly. In all these diverse subject areas, he emphasizes the issues that relate to his own strength and expertise.
Near the end of his book Lennox discusses the philosophical contribution of David Hume, who supposedly destroyed the argument for God based on the design found in various creatures. These pages summarize and state well the fallacy of Hume, and the emptiness of modern arguments by atheists who quote him.
This book is fun to read, even though sometimes the reading is heavy. I recommend it to all who desire to argue for the existence and work of the God of the Bible. It also is helpful to all Christians who have feared that their beliefs somehow are unscientific or unreasonable.
This review has been kindly supplied by Dr John Battle of Western Reformed Seminary, Washington State.