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God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Interesting read

John Lennox sets out to examine the arguments of Steven Hawking, in his book "The Grand Design", and present his own arguments in non-technical terms. For the most part Lennox is successful, though it is impossible to make all of the arguments in strictly "layman's" te...
John Lennox sets out to examine the arguments of Steven Hawking, in his book "The Grand Design", and present his own arguments in non-technical terms. For the most part Lennox is successful, though it is impossible to make all of the arguments in strictly "layman's" terms when you are discussing string theory, quantum physics and deep philosophical ideas. Nevertheless, anyone with a basic understanding of physics and the laws of nature should be able to follow and understand the logic presented.

Lennox begins by immediately questioning the validity of Hawking's main conclusion by pointing out contradictions within the statement of the conclusion itself. He continues throughout to peel back the fanciful scientific sounding arguments to reveal that many of them are in fact not scientific, but products of Hawking's own personal beliefs. He also attempts throughout to provide simple everyday examples to show why some of Hawking's conclusions are unproven or even improvable themselves (one of the problems Hawking's has with believing in an intelligent creator.)

One thing Lennox avoids is criticism of Hawking's intellect; in fact he repeatedly acknowledges the great mind that Hawking is. But he clearly makes the case for why Hawking's conclusions are not scientific or definitive, while the evidence for an intelligent designer is supported by science, history, philosophy, archaeology and human experience. Lennox is unashamed to admit his own personal belief in Jesus Christ, but he admits that Judaism and Islam also share the basic belief in an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creator.

Whether you believe in a creator or not, one must admit that Lennox' arguments cast doubt on the conclusions reached by Hawking. Not only can we question the conclusions, but the reasoning behind them are shown to be yet improvable, casting into question the idea that they are conclusions at all. And thus this book is recommendable if than for no reason other than it reminds us that we must always question the theories and conclusions of scientists (no matter their caliber and prestige) until they can be proven, and repeatedly so.

posted by JamieLittle on July 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

God and Stephen Hawking

God and Steven Hawking- Whose Design Is It Anyway? by John C. Lennox, is 96 page apologetic work in response to Steven Hawking's well known bestselling work, "The Grand Design". Lennox concedes that Hawking has made accessible to the laymen, his God-less theories of ph...
God and Steven Hawking- Whose Design Is It Anyway? by John C. Lennox, is 96 page apologetic work in response to Steven Hawking's well known bestselling work, "The Grand Design". Lennox concedes that Hawking has made accessible to the laymen, his God-less theories of physics, and science to the main-stream, challenging belief in God and the bible. The implications of this atheistic view of God in society are seriously damaging to faith in God. Because of this danger, Lennox feels the need to point out the holes and weakness in Hawking's theories as presented in the "The Grand Design". Specifically, he is not debating about the scientific ideas presented by Hawking but about the conclusions that he comes up with- namely that God does not exist. He feels that Hawking is in error, when he dismisses the validity of philosophy and faith in addressing crucial questions such as the purpose and meaning of life. Lennox challenges the claim that the law of gravity is the explanation for the creation and purpose of the universe and this is not a satisfactory explanation of the laws of nature and morals. In essense, Hawking creates for himself, his own god- which is the universe, or more accurately, the multiverse. Hawking's work, simply is unable to answer the questions as to the purpose or why the world was created.

I believe that Lennox's ideas as presented in his book would be more accessible to the laymen in a pamphlet or tract form rather than a 96 page book. The intended market audience of this book is obviously those who have in fact read or are actually familiar with and understand Hawking's works- which I assume is not too many. The way Lennox's book is presented, is not neccessarily the most readable- therefore I believe a smaller booklet form or tract version with graphics and bullet points would be more effective. This book seems more like a research paper and is not very readable to the average reader.

As a blogger for Litfuse, I recieved this book from Lion Book publishers for the purpose of writing this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

posted by PJtheEMT4 on June 16, 2011

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    God Versus Science - Make A Decision

    John C. Lennox in his new book, "God And Stephen Hawking" published by Lion Books asks the question, "whose design is it anyway?

    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".

    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, Mr. 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. Chapter subjects include: "The big questions", "God or the laws of nature", "God or the multiverse", "Whose design is it anyway?" and "Science and rationality". "God And Stephen Hawking" is a great resource for Christians, churches and those in ministry who seek to educate themselves and open authentic dialog with those who question. I recommend this book highly.

    John C. Lennox is Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Oxford, and author of the bestselling God's Undertaker. He lectures on faith and science at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He has lectured around the world, including in the United States for Ravi Zacharias; in Austria; and in the former Soviet Union.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    What a great little book, it is only 96 pages, but packed with information. Steven Hawking is the best selling author of Grand Design and an advocated Atheist. He more or less states that there is no God who created the Earth, even though he really doesn't have an answer as to how it was created.
    I loved Mr Lennox's statement "that the widespread belief that atheism is the default intellectual position is untenable." Wow!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A simple way to define God's design of the universe!

    When you read a title like that, if you're like me, you wonder, just who is Stephen Hawking?

    Stephen Hawking has made a name for himself by being one of the greatest modern day physicists up there with Einstein, Newton and others. He has also made it a goal to discredit God for creation as much as he possibly can.

    So many people are being lulled into the notion that if science can answer any question, it must be the absolute truth right? So whose design is it anyway?

    In the mini book by John C. Lennox, God and Stephen Hawking, he takes the Christian viewpoint in taking on each of the questions posed by Mr. Hawking in his latest book, The Grand Design, co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, which is climbing to the top of the best seller list. Here are the questions that book apparently addresses with answers from science experts, Dr. Hawking and Mr. Mlodinow:

    How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves?

    How does the universe behave?

    Where did this all come from?

    Did the universe need a Creator?

    Stephen Hawking does not hide the claim that he is an atheist, and his premise for this book is it is his claim it is the laws of physics, not the will of God, that provide the real explanation as to how the universe came into being. The Big Bang he argues was the inevitable consequence of these laws: "because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

    To refute these claims Mr. Lennox explains it perfectly clear in my opinion, "the laws of physics can explain how a jet engine works, but not how it came to exist in the first place. It is self-evident that the laws of physics could not have create a jet engine on their own. That task also needed the intelligence, imagination, and scientific creativity of Sir Frank Whittle. Indeed, even the laws of physics plus Frank Whittle were not sufficient to produce a jet engine. There also needed to be some material that Whittle could use. Matter may be humble stuff, but laws can not create it. (pg. 37-38)

    I received this book compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and loved the simplicity in which these arguments are logically explained. This is just the book I've been looking for when faced with the challenges from some who want scientific proof for God's existence. This is just the book I've been wanting for so long. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars.

    John C. Lennox

    John C. Lennox is Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Oxford, and author of the bestselling God's Undertaker. He lectures on faith and science at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He has lectured around the world, including in the United States for Ravi Zacharias; in Austria; and in the former Soviet Union.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Lennox vs. Hawking proves existence of God

    God And Stephen Hawking by John C. Lennox is a small but powerful book. Stephen Hawking has been called the world's most famous living scientist. He recently retired from a position at Lucasian Professorship in Cambridge, once held by Sir Issac Newton. Hawking's book The Grand Design is his contribution to the New Atheist debate which claims that the laws of physics themselves brought the universe into being, not God. He denies the existence of God or even a Supreme Being. John Lennox, an Oxford mathematician, dissects Hawking's logic and then places it under a microscope to see if this logic will hold up under scrutiny. John Lennox's presentation is simple and the language is clear enough for a high school student to understand. As a home school parent, I highly recommend this book as a supplement to science education for teens through adults.

    Lennox examines these statements from Hawking:

    ?The universe can and will create itself out of nothing.
    ?Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that both is tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. But to believe that there is a Designer is old and outdated.
    ?Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.
    ?Given the state of the universe at one time, a complete set of laws fully determines both the future and the past. That would exclude the possibility of miracles or an active role for God.
    ?The laws of nature know no exceptions, thus there are no miracles.
    If you have personal questions or are in discussion with one who is questioning God's existence, this book is for you. It is concise and in layman's terms, absent of deep scientific terminology. John Lennox demonstrates that the more one studies Hawking's theories, the more proof is uncovered of God's existence.

    John C. Lennox is Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Oxford, and author of the bestselling God's Undertaker. He lectures on faith and science at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He has lectured around the world, including in the United States for Ravi Zacharias; in Austria; and in the former Soviet Union.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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