Oxford Professor John Lennox in South Africa

This page includes 8 AUDIO LINKS AND 5 VIDEOS 

After a hugely successful first trip to Cape Town and Gauteng last year, Professor John Lennox returned in Sept 2014.

Professor John Lennox's Cape Town schedule
Professor John Lennox’s Cape Town schedule

 

Accompanied by his brother, Gilbert, John arrived to a beautiful day in Cape Town, lunching at the famous Kirstenbosch Gardens.

John Lennox Kirstenbosch

 

Both John and his brother are keen photographers and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing beauty of Cape Town.

John also enjoyed Cape Town hospitality at the Steenburg Estate in the evening.

Dinner with Hugo, Karen, Lex and Jo
Dinner with Hugo, Karen, Lex and Jo

 

Prof John Lennox at the University of Cape Town

John gave two lunchtime lectures to a packed lecture theatre on the subject ‘Is God a Delusion?’

Here’s the first lecture: ‘Is God a Delusion, Part One (UCT)’

 

'Is God a Delusion?' with John Lennox at UCT
‘Is God a Delusion?’ with John Lennox at UCT
The students were genuinely enjoying Prof Lennox's wit
The students were genuinely enjoying Prof Lennox’s wit

 

Continuing to explain outside the lecture theatre...
Continuing to explain outside the lecture theatre…

The crowds increased for the second lecture, so that I was totally unable to get pictures from a different angle!

Even before the lecture began it was obvious that this was a main event for UCT that day.
Even before the lecture began it was obvious that this was a main event for UCT that day.

 

More students streamed in, completely filling the stairs, standing at the back an sitting over the edges!
More students streamed in, completely filling the stairs, standing at the back and even sitting over the edges!

Here’s the second lecture: ‘Is God a Delusion, part two (UCT)’

 

Combined Jubilee/Common Ground ‘OneLife’ event

[AUDIO links below]

Well over 1000 people arrived to hear Prof Lennox at an event called ‘OneLife’ which is an event that seeks to help Christian engage their Christianity with their working life, breaking down a sacred/secular divide.

In the plenary session, John was given the title, ‘Thinking Christians in a Changing World’ (although he suggested he’d like to change it to ‘Changing Christians in a Thinking World’!).

Over 1000 people crammed into the Jubilee Centre to hear Prof Lennox
Over 1000 people crammed into the Jubilee Centre to hear Prof Lennox
John Lennox on 'Thinking Christians in a Changing World'
John Lennox on ‘Thinking Christians in a Changing World’

CLICK HERE to listen (or download) ‘Thinking Christians in a Changing World’

It was difficult to see how we could get more people in!
It was difficult to see how we could get more people in!

The audio/video will be available soon -  check back later

Prof Lennox also spoke to medical professionals on the challenge of bioethics
Prof Lennox also spoke to medical professionals on the challenge of bioethics

CLICK HERE to listen to (or download) ‘Bioethics: Challenges in the 21st Century’

 

Prof. Lennox at the Diocesan College (Bishops) in Rondebosch

As to with each of the meetings in which Prof Lennox spoke, there was both laughter and serious thinking on the part of the audience. After a gracious introduction by the new Headmaster Prof Lennox challenged the boys to be intellectually rigourous and follow where the evidence leads.

John arriving at Bishops
John arriving at Bishops
Prof Lennox speaking to over 600 boys and staff at Bishops
Prof Lennox speaking to over 600 boys and staff at Bishops

 

Relaxing in Cape Town with Gilbert and John Lennox
Relaxing in Cape Town with Gilbert and John Lennox

Following an email request, radio talk show host John Maytham was very keen to have John on his afternoon show. The result was less of an interview and more a frank exchange between two opposing positions. The interview lasted for just over 22 minutes and Prof Lennox felt it was one of the best he’d ever done. In the lead up to the interview Maythem mentions that there had been ‘huge interest’.

 

John Lennox being interviewed by John Maytham at Cape Talk Radio
John Lennox being interviewed by John Maytham at Cape Talk Radio
John Maytham with Prof John Lennox
John Maytham with Prof John Lennox

Is God a Delusion? Event in Fish Hoek
This event, hosted by Murray Anderson, was a combined churches event including King of Kings Baptist, Common Ground, St Peter’s and Tokai Community Church.

For AUDIO PART 1 CLICK HERE

For AUDIO PART 2 CLICK HERE

Prof Lennox answered the most popular objections to the Christian Faith drawn from an online survey.

Prof Lennox answers common objections to the Christian Faith
Prof Lennox answers common objections to the Christian Faith
Lennox fishhoek2
Prof Lennox in Fish Hoek

 

Prof Lennox addressed business leaders in Cape Town
One of the highlights of Prof Lennox’s Cape Town visit was a sold out breakfast for some of Cape Town’s most influential business leaders.

The breakfast was organised by Accelerate Cape Town and held at Deloitte’s.
John has spoken numerous times for the Said Business School in Oxford, as well as speaking for several multi-national corporations and companies. His subject was ‘Smart Cities: Smart Ethics’, and was followed by a Q&A.

Prof Lennox speaks to a group of business people drawn together by Accelerate Cape Town
Prof Lennox speaks to a group of business people drawn together by Accelerate Cape Town
Prof Lennox addresses business leaders in Cape Town
Prof Lennox addresses business leaders in Cape Town

 

Prof Lennox at Stellenbosch University
Once again Prof Lennox addressed an eager audience at Stellenbosch University on the subject ‘Should the New South Africa Embrace the New Atheism?’

Click on the image below to  hear the AUDIO 

Lennox Stellenbosch Advert

 

Prof Lennox addresses students at Stellenbosch University
Prof Lennox addresses students at Stellenbosch University

On Saturday 13th I hosted two Q&A sessions (of one hour each) with Prof Lennox, asking questions and objections ranging from the reliability of Scripture, the challenge of Reason v. Revelation; questions regarding the Bible and the ‘Big Bang'; the age of the universe, the age of the earth, and the standard evolutionary narrative. Some of his answers were controversial, as you’ll hear. Audience members were able to interrupt via twitter (which was both fun and taxing on the interviewer). Both sessions are included on a single file (58MB), at the moment, but well worth downloading so you can listen later.

To hear AUDIO of ‘The God Question’ interview click the image below

The God Question with Prof John Lennox
The God Question with Prof John Lennox
Hundreds turned out to hear Prof John Lennox answer tough questions
Hundreds turned out to hear Prof John Lennox answer tough questions
Lennox, with characteristic good humour, relished the opportunity to answer objections
Lennox, with characteristic good humour, relished the opportunity to answer objections
Prof Lennox answered several questions sent in via facebook & twitter
Prof Lennox answered several questions sent in via facebook & twitter

 

John also spoke at the multi-racial Jubilee Community Church in Cape Town

'In the beginning God...'
‘In the beginning God…’

9.30am – ‘In the beginning God…’ a look at issues arising from Genesis 1

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OF ‘IN THE BEGINNING GOD…’

Prof Lennox and UCT Prof Kelly Chibale in conversation after lunch
Prof Lennox and UCT Prof Kelly Chibale in conversation after lunch

6.30am – ‘Let us make Man in Our image…’ a look at issues arising from Genesis 2 & 3

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OF ‘LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE…’

Prof John Lennox at Jubilee Community Church, Cape Town
Prof John Lennox at Jubilee Community Church, Cape Town

 

Prof Lennox at North West University, South Africa

_Foto1

Prof Lennox lecturing on God: Rendered Irrelevant? Has science buried God? to about 3500 people in the Amphitheater on the Potchefstroom campus of North West University. (15 Sept)

 

Prof Lennox at Oosterlig Church, Pretoria

Prof Lennox at Dialoog Church
Prof Lennox at Oosterlig Church

 

Prof Lennox at Moreleta Church, Pretoria

Prof Lennox at Moreleta Church, Pretoria
Prof Lennox at Moreleta Church, Pretoria

 

Debate with Eusebius McKaiser

Prof Lennox’s most widely publicised meeting in the Gauteng area was his discussion with radio talk show host Eusebius McKaiser.

PART ONE of the video is here:

PART TWO:

PART THREE:

 

RZIM SA Director Mahlatse Mashua, Prof Lennox and Eusebius McKaiser before the WITS discussion
RZIM SA Director Mahlatse Mashua, Prof Lennox and Eusebius McKaiser before the WITS discussion

 

 

© 2014 Lex Loizides / Church History Blog

 

In the Beginning God. A powerful message by John Lennox

‘The Biblical view is, to me, more credible than atheism, since it makes far more sense of reality, since it is supported by powerful evidence, both objective and subjective.’

Professor John Lennox

An input of intelligence and energy from outside the system
‘And God said: Each step [of creation] begins with a word of God, an input of intelligence from outside the system. This is the exact opposite, obviously, of an unguided, mindless process, proceeding from the simple to the complex. The complexity of life is not self-generated: there is an input of energy from the outside.’

If you have never heard Oxford Professor John Lennox speak before, this is a superb introduction.

John is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford.

He has debated Richard Dawkins twice. You can see the first debate here.

There’s such a pressure to keep quiet!
This message is essentially a sermon to a Christian audience in order to strengthen their resolve to stand up for God in their various walks of life.

‘Once a person’s faith in God is undermined their fundamental stabilities begins to erode. There’s such a pressure to keep quiet and keep your faith for the private sphere. You want to believe in Christ? Fine but do it privately. Don’t bring it into the public square!

Do we bring it into the public square? Science is the public thing.

And some scientists, more generous than others, like the late Stephen J Gould, say that religion is alright so long as we keep it separate from science. That sounds great until we look at the small print. And the small print says this: Science deals with reality and religion deals with everything else: fantasy like God, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

That won’t do will it?

The pressure to be silent is increasing but Daniel and his friends withstood it then and we are called upon to withstand it now…Daniel understood the basic doctrines of the nature of God and creation as taught in Genesis.’

Enjoy the message!
Click on the photo to watch the video

Click on the photo to watch the video

© 2012 Lex Loizides / Church History Blog

The God Delusion Debate

Message of the Month – The God Delusion Debate

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

In 2010 I hosted two big screen video debates between Oxford University Professors John Lennox and Richard Dawkins. Hundreds of non-churched folk as well as members of various churches attended. There was very real interest.

I had already met John Lennox in Oxford although I was, at that time, unfamiliar with his work as a speaker. Having lunched with John, and having listened to several hours of Richard Dawkins in various contexts I was beginning to feel a little guilty that I hadn’t actually read The God Delusion.

Making Money from Religion
I’m not suggesting you buy a new copy of the book. Richard Dawkins has already made a massive amount of money from religion. Rather, if you want to read it, go and benefit your local second-hand book store by purchasing it there.

This is not a review of the book. I am not going to focus on how Dawkins misses the mark because he doesn’t have a clear grasp of key issues etc. Others have said those things already. I will point you to the Lennox/Dawkins debate.

But I do want to make a few comments which I hope will be helpful:

1. An Extended Rant. I genuinely enjoyed reading The God Delusion. It’s not often that a book keeps me completely engaged from beginning to end. There are maybe two sections that I felt should have been edited down, but this is, essentially, an extended rant and it’s fun to listen!

2. Not faith-shaking. I was surprised that there are no power punches in The God Delusion. There’s nothing here that shakes the Christian faith. Perhaps I was naive, but I had expected something more formidable. There are lots of little jabs and digs – but no substantial intellectual obstacles presented. So reading the book is more like being back in the sixth-form common room arguing about Christianity with your school mates. Digs, pokes – yes, lots of them – but certainly no knock-out punch.

3. Dodgy Examples. Irritating for the discerning reader and perhaps deceptive for those who don’t spot them are the occasions where Dawkins acknowledges that the research/item/example he is giving is probably not conclusive/trustworthy yet he goes right ahead and uses it anyway. He does this a lot. In one case he even gives a footnote saying ‘It is unclear whether the story is true’ but still uses it as a ‘typical’ example of how Christians behave. It’s all carefully worded so he escapes the charge of deliberately deceiving but my guess is that many readers gloss over the ‘this may be unverified research but…’ qualifier and get straight to the example he then uses.

4. ‘Raised Consciousness’ a delusion? Also slightly alarming, or comical, depending on your mood, are Dawkins’ suggestions that those who accept Darwinian evolution, and particularly biologists, have had their consciousness ‘raised’. And that some, particularly those poor physicists who concede that the fine tuning of the universe might suggest some ‘intelligence’, have yet to have their consciousness raised! In fact, this is his response to those who are sceptical of the so-called multiverse theory: ‘People who think that have not had their consciousness raised by natural selection.’ (p.175) Cheeky banana!

5. Shot by Both Sides. Those Christians attempting to syncretise evolutionary theory with Genesis, and hoping it might win them some intellectual credibility with non-believers will be disappointed by the response of this famous non-believer. They are given no respect whatsoever by Darwin’s most loyal devotee. He apparently does not believe your consciousness has been raised far enough and understandably (from his perspective) suggests that the literal death of Jesus for a symbolic sin by an allegorical, non-historical Adam is ‘barking mad’.

So, you can see how this is an entertaining book.

The God Delusion Debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

The message I am recommending in connection with the book is The God Delusion Debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins, filmed by The Fixed Point Foundation.

It’s over 2 hours long but it is superb, and a great resource for churches to use to generate civil discussion around some of these issues. John Lennox is brilliant.

Fixed Point also have several other filmed debates on sale. Amazingly, they have provided this full-length video free of charge!

Here’s the link: The God Delusion Debate

I also enclose a few quotes from book reviews of The God Delusion, for your entertainment

TGD review snippets

‘This big, colourful book is mostly tendentious tosh.’ – The Independent, UK
‘Despite his pious promise not to attack soft targets, that is precisely what he does, at some length.’ – The Independent, UK

The London Review of Books review was entitled ‘Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching’ and begins by saying, ‘Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.’

Dawkins ‘can scarcely bring himself to concede that a single human benefit has flowed from religious faith, a view which is as a priori improbable as it is empirically false.’

Antony Flew, the British philosopher and former atheist wrote,

‘What is much more remarkable than that economic achievement [from The God Delusion sales] is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot.’

In referring to Dawkins’ references to Einstein, Flew writes, ‘(I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it.’

‘This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means.’

Click here for the complete transcript of Flew’s response, and which includes a rebuttal to Dawkins disgraceful claim that certain Universities are not ‘proper universities’ conferring ‘real degrees’.

© 2011 Church History / Lex Loizides

Message of the Month Tom Woodward and David Berlinski

Tom Woodward

Tom Woodward is President of the CS Lewis Society in Florida, USA, and is Research Professor of Theology at Trinity College.

Tom hosts a radio show called ‘Darwin or Design’ and interviews scientists and apologists who are involved in a growing trend amongst academics to openly criticise the Darwinian theory of evolution (macro-evolution).

David Berlinski

David Berlisnki is one of the coolest Academics you’ll encounter. He resists the idea that science speaks with a uniform voice on the issue and is outspoken in his criticism of Darwinism. He decries ‘the glaring inadequacy of so much that passes as scientific discourse today.’ He appeared, relaxed and authoritative, in the movie ‘Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed’.

Berlinski is an academic philosopher, author and is an agnostic, not a Christian.

Dawkins on Berlinski

Even though Berlinski rejects the Darwinian theory of macro evolution, Richard Dawkins did him the honour of acknowledging that ‘David Berlinski…is certainly not ignorant, stupid or insane.  He denies that he is a creationist, but claims strong scientific arguments against evolution.’

I enjoyed this interview, especially as Tom Woodward tries to get evangelistic with Berlisnki and Berlinski just waves the moment aside: ‘I cannot give my assent to those doctrines. It’s a flat out point of scepticism.’

That certainly strengthens the assertion that not all Intelligent Design Theorists are Christians, or Creationists etc.

This is a fascinating interview which should at the very least make us think.

Go to the interview in itunes (Click on Track 8:David Berlinski): Tom Woodward and David Berlinski

For more on David Berlinski click here

For Tom’s Radio Show click here

For an article by Tom Woodward in Christianity Today click here

Enjoy!

© 2011 Church History Blog / Lex Loizides

A Great Awakening in Great Britain

Can a nation be born in a day?
Low church attendance, binge drinking, poor housing, violent crime, limited Christian impact. It looked like Christianity was in trouble.

At the beginning of 18th Century Britain, confidence in the old faith was in serious decline.

John Toland's 'Christianity Not Mysterious'
John Toland's 'Christianity Not Mysterious'

‘God is not Great’ circa 1700
Amongst scholars belief in the miraculous elements of the Christian faith were considered superstitious. ‘Christianity Not Mysterious’ (1696) by John Toland, a leading Deist, represented the only serious intellectual position of that period. Perhaps mild by today’s standards, at the time it represented a new departure.

It is interesting to note that such publications seem to precede a sudden, sweeping and unexpected moves of God’s grace. Could it be that God Himself seeks to vindicate His own glory? Can God be provoked?

Now that we’ve had ‘The God Delusion’ (Richard Dawkins) and ‘God is not Great’ (Christopher Hitchens), could we also suddenly find ourselves in a fresh era of power and Christian influence, where God’s Spirit seems to be poured out more effectively, more powerfully and with greater impact than we’ve seen before?

Church Influence and Attendance in Decline
As Deist and Rationalist ideas gained ground across the leadership of the church in the early 1700’s both the spiritual and moral impact of Christianity began to wane.
Church attendance began to fall rapidly and churches began to be reorganised and scaled down.

Binge Drinking
The infamous ‘Gin Craze’, spurred on by the prohibition of imported liquor, swept the nation as multitudes took to making their own gin and created a genuine national crisis.  Alcoholism was common.

Social and Economic Crisis – Poverty and Violent Crime
The former restraints of the Puritan era were being thrown off with relative ease.  Living conditions for many were squalid.  The slums were a breeding ground for disease as well as violent crime and the meagre efforts of churches, religious organisations and Parliament made very little impact.

The general view of the Christian faith was summed up by Bishop Butler who, in 1738 asserted that Christianity was treated as though ‘it was now discovered to be fictitious…and nothing remained but to set it up as the subject of mirth and ridicule (Quoted by Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, vol 1, Banner of Truth, p.31)

A Brand Plucked from the Fire!
What the good Bishop failed to take into account was that three years previously a young man called George Whitefield had been born again. He had begun preaching the gospel with a fervency that hadn’t been heard since the days of John Bunyan.

Also, in the very year in which Butler lamented the loss of Christian influence in England, two brothers had finally humbled themselves, followed in Whitefield’s footsteps, and given their lives to Christ, John and Charles Wesley.

You can purchase Dallimore’s biography of Whitefield here

© 2009 Lex Loizides