John Lennox wrote a book in a week to answer pandemic questions
And there’s also a John Lennox movie coming out this year
One Monday in April, John Lennox started to write a book about coronavirus and God’s part in it. By the next Wednesday, it was published and on its way to being translated into 27 languages.
One of the best-known advocates for the Christian faith, Oxford mathematics professor John Lennox enjoys demonstrating how Christianity is a robust and relevant worldview. He’s the author of many apologetics books anchored at the intersection of science and faith, as well being a prominent debater against atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer and Christopher Hitchens.
So part of the motivation for his rapid writing of Where is God in a Coronavirus World? was to again respond to what he believes is the No 1 question fired at Christianity.
“Oh, there’s no question – the hardest question is the question of suffering and evil,” Lennox tells Eternity. “And that’s the number one question for many atheists. That’s why I wrote my coronavirus book and also partly why I wrote my book Gunning for God, because we are all moral beings and we recognise evil, even though our philosophies may contradict that.
“This is a very important question and it enables me to explain the Christian gospel, of a God who suffers … ”
In Where is God in a Coronavirus World?, Lennox describes pain and suffering as flowing from two distinct sources – “natural disasters and diseases, for which humans are not (directly) responsible” and “there is suffering for which men and women are directly responsible: acts of hate, terror, violence, abuse and murder. That leads to the problem of moral evil.”
Lennox believes that when people are confronted by pain and suffering, we “need convincing evidence of the goodness of God’s character if we are to trust Him”.
“I would therefore ask you at this point to listen to the core of Christian teaching … and to try to understand it before concluding that belief in God is inconsistent with the existence of the coronavirus, or any other pandemic, disease or fracture in the natural world.
“Christianity claims that the man Jesus Christ is God incarnate — the Creator become human. At the heart of its message is the death of Jesus Christ on a cross just outside Jerusalem. The question at once arises: if he is God incarnate, what is he doing on a cross? Well, it at the very least means that God has not remained distant from human pain and suffering but has Himself experienced it.
“A Christian, then, is not a person who has solved the problem of suffering but one who has come to love and trust the God who has suffered for them.”
Lennox’s coronavirus book is not his only production of 2020. Along with the recent release of another book, 2084 – Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, Lennox also has his own movie coming soon.
“It’s not just ‘There’s a God, because science shows that; It’s ‘how can we believe in Christianity as well?’” – John Lennox
While the future of cinemas hangs in the balance with COVID-19 restrictions around the world, Lennox is hopeful that Against the Tide still will be released from September on big screens around the world.
Filmed in London and Israel, Against the Tide is a documentary-style conversation between Lennox and Kevin Sorbo, the actor known for Hercules TV series and God’s Not Dead movie. Sorbo investigates Lennox’s personal faith journey, to open up a focused discussion of how this man of God also is a man of science.
“It deals with God and science, and science and Christianity. So it’s not just ‘There’s a God, because science shows that; It’s ‘how can we believe in Christianity as well?’”
And how does Lennox feel about becoming a star of the silver screen? “It’s communication. I’m used to it. I’ve done it most of my life. It’s just one more opportunity. It’s not perfect; filming is a very difficult business, actually on location and all that kind of stuff.”
“It’s not my genre, but my view is if people feel they can use it, that’s fine.”