A Biblical Response to Scientific Atheism

Summary: “Do science and history refute the Bible? Absolutely not,” responds Professor John Lennox.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. – Genesis 1:1 (ESV)

John Lennox Answers Hard Questions About The Intersection of Science and The Biblical Worldview.

This past week I had the privilege to interview John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University (emeritus). John is an internationally renowned speaker on the interface of science, philosophy, and theology.

Over the last two decade’s John has debated some of the leading atheists of our time from Richard Dawkins to Christopher Hitchens. He has written a number of books including; Can Science Explain Everything (2019), God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (2009), God and Stephen Hawking, a response to The Grand Design (2011). John’s latest book is 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. https://www.johnlennox.org/shop

The reason for my recent interview is that John is featured in a new film that will be discussed at this month’s Historical Faith Society event. Against the Tide is the story of one man’s daring stand against the tide of contemporary atheism and its drive to relegate belief in God to society’s catalogue of dead ideas. 

It All Goes Back to Moses!

Moses writing the early manuscripts of the Bible, including the Book of Genesis, as depicted in Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy. (© 2019 Patterns of Evidence LLC.)

As many of you know, I have spent the last two decades primarily investigating the events of the Exodus. But I have always been fascinated by the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Yet this account of God creating the world has become one of the most contentious subjects in science, even among fellow Christians. How we answer this question of origins ultimately defines our worldview.

Since the book of Genesis has been ascribed to Moses, it all goes back to the revelation given to him at Mt. Sinai. It is a remarkable testimony that 3500 years later, the Genesis account was affirmed when scientists could see that the universe had a distinct beginning just as Moses had written.

The Patterns of Evidence approach is to listen to differing viewpoints to better understand a subject. What I appreciate about Professor John Lennox’s new film is that it deals with the big picture – starting with the question, “Is science opposed to God.” This film is not about young earth, old earth, or evolution – it’s about John Lennox life’s journey growing up in Northern Ireland encouraged by his parents to develop his own biblical worldview through the study of the Scriptures as well as Christian authors such as C.S. Lewis. 

Young John Lennox as a shortwave operator. (© Against the Tide 2020)

His father also encouraged him to read opposing viewpoints so he could understand what was going on in the world. The result was that John was equipping his faith by equipping his mind to logically withstand the pressures of other ideologies that in many respects didn’t make scientific or biblical sense. In the film, John builds a case that the greatest scientific minds of the past were people of faith. They believed in a God of order who created laws. So what these great minds did was set out to discover these laws in the universe. The result was the birth of modern science.

Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

In the film Against the Tide, Professor Lennox points out that there are a number of questions for which atheists have no good answers; “Why is there something instead of nothing? Why do we exist? Why do we have a consciousness of being? John points out “you can’t get something from nothing” it has to come from somewhere and he believes that the Holy Scriptures have a much clearer and deeper understanding to our origin and to the purpose of our existence. “There is no conflict between science and faith,” stated Lennox. It all points to an intelligent creator of the universe who also cares deeply about His creation.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. – Colossians 1:16 (ESV)

Journey to the Holy Land

Veteran Hollywood actor and director Kevin Sorbo joins John in the film as they journey from Oxford to the Holy Land and explore the evidence on which Lennox’s Christian faith stands firm. John builds a case that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. So the two go to the very places where Christ walked and had his ministry from the top of Mount Precipice to the Sea of Galilee—they dive deeper into the story of Christianity. Standing at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, they reach the crux of their conversation: do science and history refute the Bible?

Trailer for Against the Tide:

I am very inspired by what the film Against the Tide has accomplished. This is why we have made this subject our focus for the Historical Faith Society’s February 11th Event for members of the society. At that time we will show several scenes from the film and John Lennox and I will go deeper into the conversation about how we can pass on our faith to the next generation.

I think we can learn a lot from Professor Lennox and if you want to see the film before the Historical Faith Society event it is available for sale digitally in our store today . In the following weeks, the store will also have it available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

I think it is important to have tools like Against the Tide in your library at this time of Cancel Culture. This film shows us that science and faith are not at odds with each other. Every family needs to know this information so they can be encouraged in the historical credibility of biblical faith! Keep on Thinking!

Timothy P. Mahoney

Top Photo: Kevin Sorbo and Professor John Lennox in Old Oxford Union Library. copyright 2020  Against the Tide

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