Archives For john lennox

It was a great privilege to study under Professor John Lennox last year. Here’s a recent clip of his November 2012 debate at the Oxford Union.

You can catch Professor Lennox, along with Amy Orr-Ewing and the RZIM team at the Oxford Training Day on Saturday 26th January.

Confidence in the Truth

Featuring: John Lennox, Amy Orr-Ewing, Keith Small, Tanya Walker
Location: Examination Schools, 81 High Street, Oxford
Date: January 26th 2013 – 8:45am start

For more details and to book online visit the event page.

“Ladies and Gentleman, the captain has just switched on the seatbelt sign in anticipation of upcoming moderate turbulence.” A string of words never followed by a cheery, “enjoy it!” When the bumps start I instinctively look out the window, just to make sure the wings are still there. I’m suddenly rudely aware of the extent that I’m not in control. Additionally, the thought occurs to me that if airplane disasters are simply statistics then every flight is a reduction in my odds.

Sorted Magazine - November/December 2012
Nov/Dev 2012 edition of Sorted is on sale now in newsagents in the UK. Get your subscription online.

So just how dangerous is turbulence? To answer that question, I turned to that master of knowledge, the Discovery Channel. Three words: airplane disaster documentaries. I was hooked. Human error, mechanical failure, unpredictable weather – I soaked it all in. You may think it an odd way to deal with undesirable high-altitude stress. Maybe so. My rationale was that the more I understood the more I would feel OK (as if my knowing that human error was the number one cause of airplane crashes was going to help me when I was strapped in to seat 49J with as much command over the elements as an Englishman with his BBQ hoping for that “perfect summer evening”).

My obsession with these re-enacted disasters did however bring some consolation. Through these dramas I learnt that airplane crashes are taken very seriously. They are investigated at great depth with the knowledge gained from the studies used to make future flights safer. As I learnt about the resulting developments in airplane technology my fascination with the complexity of airplanes grew and grew. I am in total awe of how advanced these modern vehicles are.

Men have sat in rooms and thought and schemed and sketched and calculated and come out with things like Concorde. Absolutely incredible. Airplane designers have my total respect. Airplane economy-section planners on the other hand … I digress.

As with my marvels at airplane technology I am profoundly in awe and wowed by scientific discoveries. As I write, NASA’s Martian rover, aptly named ‘Curiosity’, is scrambling around the Red Planet at the beginning of its two-year mission to see if conditions were ever suitable for life. Utterly fascinating.

Science describes the world we live in. It unravels mysteries that stun us with their complexity and beauty. Now, some have said, that with all of our acquired collective scientific understanding there is no need today for God to explain things. We can comprehend our world now in ways we couldn’t possibly fathom a century ago and therefore science and knowledge have replaced faith and superstition.

But science is what science is, a description of the way things are. Science relates theories and laws and provides a deeper understanding of what is physically there. Science enhances my understanding of the greatness of the makeup of the world but to conflate my knowledge of the way things work with the question of the existence of God, who explains why things exist, is to make a serious category mistake.

Being in increasing wonder of the way it all works only serves to enhance my utter awe of God. John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, writing in the Times put it this way, “The more Newton understood of the mathematical structure of the universe, the more he admired the creative genius of God, not the less.”

Science is the poetry we use to articulate the genius of God expressed in the creation of the universe. It is a language to explain what exists, not an explanation to the question of why it exists.  Just as understanding how a well-designed plane keeps me safe at 36,000 feet goes no way to understanding what I’m doing in the plane in the first place.

This article first appeared in the Nov/Dev 2012 edition of Sorted Magazine. Pick up your copy today at WH Smith or get your subscription online.

A round up of some of the interesting articles floating around the web this week:

Not The God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show
Prof. John Lennox comments on the discover of the Higgs Boson, “So what can we say about the Higgs boson? Simply this: God created it, Higgs predicted it and Cern found it.”

Lance Armstrong Drops Fight Against Doping Charges
Why the world’s most successful cyclist may have to give up every he’s won since 1998 (including all seven Tour titles).

Atheism+
For all those ‘bored’ of the New Atheism.

From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader
Could be used as a case study for why apologetics is important for strengthening the Christian’s faith.

How To Be A Better Twentysomething
Thoughts from those gone before.

And I’ll leave you with the best video from the week …

The opening verses of the Bible establish the bedrock upon which the rest of scripture and the Christian faith is anchored. Many Christians, however, find these verses in Genesis difficult to digest and even harder to interpret. Over time, people’s confidence in the text has been eroded by a combination of modern scientific discoveries and assaults against the authority of the Bible by groups such as the new atheists. Do believers really have to make a choice between science and religion? When it comes to philosophy, is Christianity simply ‘beyond the pale’?

‘In the beginning’ is a training day designed to help believers grapple with these difficult topics, so that they might be able to communicate and defend the gospel message more effectively and with a greater confidence.

Featuring

  • John Lennox
  • Amy Orr-Ewing
  • Michael Ramsden
  • Tom Price
  • Vince Vitale

Find out more and register.