Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: God and Stephen Hawking

Okay, when I do a book review, I typically quote the publisher's information and give my own opinion.  This time, I'm pulling a lot more from the press release for the book God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway by John C. Lennox.  Because this press release sums up so much of what I want to say anyway.

SEATTLE - Eminent scientist Stephen Hawking's latest contribution to the so-called New Atheist debate The Grand Design claims that the laws of physics themselves brought the universe into being, rather than God. In this swift and forthright reply, John C. Lennox, Oxford mathematician and author of God's Undertaker, exposes the flaws in Hawking's logic in his latest book, God and Stephen Hawking (Kregel Publishers, September 2011,ISBN: 9780745955490, $5.99).

Science has immense cultural and intellectual authority in our sophisticated modern world. With this kind of cache, it must nevertheless be pointed out that not all statements by scientists are statements of science. Therefore such statements do not carry the authority of authentic science, even though it is often erroneously ascribed to them.

Commonly written off as the inevitable clash between science and religion, the God debate is actually one between theism and atheism, where there are scientists on both sides. With a remarkable surge of interest in God that defies the so-called secularization hypothesis, it could well be that it is precisely the perceived failure of secularization that is driving the God question ever higher on the agenda. Book after book is being published on the subject by prominent scientists, as Francis Collins, Richard Dawkins, Robert Winston, etc. But were Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Maxwell, to name a few, really all wrong on the God question?

With such a lot at stake we surely need to ask Hawking to produce evidence to establish his claim. Do his arguments really stand up to close scrutiny? Has the Grand Master of Physics checkmated the Grand Designer of the Universe?

In lively, layman's terms, Lennox guides us through the key points in Hawking's arguments-with clear explanations of the latest scientific and philosophical methods and theories-and demonstrates that, far from disproving a Creator God, they make His existence seem all the more probable. Lennox's book is a great resource for Christians, churches and those in ministry who seek to educate themselves and open authentic dialog with those who question.
This is a short book, and despite being written by a mathematician and philosopher, it is incredibly easy to read.  Lennox makes sense, he makes his points clearly, and this was a great read.

If you have ever done anything like read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, and particularly if that book left you convinced of only two things -- Hawking is a genius and I am not, then God and Stephen Hawking is for you.

What I love is that Lennox doesn't dispute that Hawking is a genius -- but he still can go through and deconstruct Hawking's arguments in The Grand Design (where Hawking claims that philosophy is dead, as is God). 

I enjoyed reading this book, because although Lennox is clearly brilliant also, he writes in a style that mere mortals can actually comprehend.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

1 comment:

Kara said...

This sounds like a great one! I'm going to have to check it out.