By Hannah Zarr
Originally appeared in PHC's Herald
Patrick Henry College
Dr. John Lennox
Oxford mathematics professor Dr. John Lennox, who travels around the world speaking to many audiences on a wide range of topics, is travelling to PHC for the Pensmore Dialogue. He will be giving answers to the questions, “Is God Necessary to Explain Life?” and “Has Science Buried God?"
Lennox believes that history stands on the side of science not burying God. When we look back at the rise of modern science, the pioneers of science were all believers in God, Lennox said. Christians had motivation for science because they wanted to study the works of their Creator. Lennox will show how science is not a nail in God’s coffin.
Lennox has become an apologist in part by being like Socrates: going around and asking questions. Lennox said that his main way of learning is to ask questions. He has learned from a mentor who helped him understand Scripture, from reading hundreds of books, and from interacting with other people. He learned from C.S. Lewis as well by attending one of his lectures.
Lennox has debated prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. Although the debates did not lead those men to Christ, Lennox said there were many other benefits of engaging in the debates. If Christians don’t enter the debate, people think that atheists must have all the answers, and then atheists win by default. Lennox said that he does not debate to win, but rather to make sure the case for Christianity is clearly presented. By the time the debates are over, Lennox’s goal is for the audience to have heard a clear statement of the Christian faith.
Further, people have come to faith in Christ, or have started down the path to Christ, because of the debates. Lennox also debates in order to empower Christians who are concerned about public witnessing. The debates help them by “showing that the arguments are understandable and accessible,” Lennox said.
Lennox is coming to the Pensmore Dialogue because he wants to give us confidence in facing people who make claims that science has destroyed belief in God. He said that PHC has lots of bright students, and it is important for us to get the arguments so that we aren’t defenseless in the world.
Lennox wants to abolish the idea though that apologetics is only for very bright people. Lennox will show that apologetics is not as hard to do as some may think. From the original Greek word, apologetics merely means “defending the Gospel.” He thus thinks it’s a “very strange thing” when Christians say they are not interested in apologetics, for all Christians are called upon to defend the Gospel.
Come learn your defense by hearing Lennox on April 4th at 6:30 and April 5th at 3:30.