A Yr12 student who is very gifted at Science is having a crisis of faith as he approaches the completion of his HSC examinations and the commencement of a Science degree at University. He is a Christian but has struggled with the perceived conflict between his faith and the view of modern Science as expressed in the words of Richard Dawkins.

“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor justice. The universe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good. Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows or cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”

Aggressive engagement at University in this clash of worldviews will be inevitable for any science student who takes a theistic view of creation seriously.

The student’s teacher invites him to a presentation by a Christian speaker who is a Professor of Mathematics and Science. The student’s life becomes hope-filled and resolute as he encounters a man whose faith in Christ and belief in a Creator God shaped his whole life and vocation. His name is John Lennox and here is his story.




The Uncompromising Apologist

John Lennox was born in Northern Island in 1943. He was raised in a devoted and loving Christian home. His parents were Christian without being sectarian. His father who owned a large general store employed both Catholic & Protestants as all people are made in God’s image. His parents did not try to push Christianity upon him and encouraged him to understand other worldviews.

As a University student he was told by his professor to give up his faith if he wanted to have a successful career in Science. But John said “however, the net effect was the opposite of what he intended. It put steel in me for the professor’s arguments were weak and almost non-existent”(White,L. Belfast Telegraph, 18 April 2020).

As a young man at Cambridge University, John was mentored by the famous Christian author CS Lewis whose articulation of the Gospel was tremendous.

Besides his doctorate in Mathematics, John also holds a doctorate of Philosophy and M.A. in Bioethics. He is the Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Templeton College, Oxford. John is a Christian apologist, that is, one who gives an answer for their faith that enables people to see things God’s way. An apologist pays close attention to the questioner and their beliefs and unfolds God’s truth in a loving way.

He has lectured extensively around the world on Mathematics, the philosophy of Science and the intellectual defence of Christianity. He has written a number of books on the relationship between theology, philosophy and Science. These include:  God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?, Gunning for God (on new atheism), Seven Days that Divide the World and Can Science Explain Everything?

He has publically debated famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer and participated in public forums on similar topics with many other academics on campuses around the world. He also has a wonderful Bible teaching ministry, having written books on Daniel and Joseph.

As teachers we can tell his story and help our students to delve deeper:

  1. Explore the life and faith of Lennox.
  2. What influences interacted to shape Lennox’s love and understanding of Mathematics and Science?
  3. John Lennox said the following:
    1. “Either human intelligence ultimately owes its origins to mindless matter; or there is a Creator. It is strange that some people claim that it is their intelligence that leads them to prefer the second.”
    2. The world of strict naturalism, in which clever mathematical laws all by themselves bring the universe and life into existence, is pure fiction.”

In what ways do these quotes provide insight into the relationship between Lennox’s faith in God and his work as a Christian apologist?

May the Lord richly bless you as you tell the stories of those whose lives have embodied the Gospel and brought to culture a transforming vision of life, humanity and the future.

“He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Grace and Peace

The Team

The Excellence Centre


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