CHARLESTON, SC: Oxford Scientist says Battle is over Worldviews not Science Versus Faith

By David W. Virtue

Two world views dominate the Science/Faith debate today. It is naturalism versus supernaturalism; it is not about science coming into conflict with Christianity, the distinguished Oxford Professor of Mathematics, Dr. John Lennox told a packed audience of some 660 mostly Anglican Christians at a symposium on Science, Faith and apologetics sponsored by Mere Anglicanism 2014.

Lennox, described as the new C.S. Lewis, told an enthralled audience that atheists like Richard Dawkins are “local, trivial and earthbound” and fail to see the Logos behind the universe.

“Atheism makes us earthbound petty and trivial, but God is the creator incarnate. Is there a universe worthy of him? Physics leaves no room for God says Dawkins, but the battle is not between science and faith in God. It is about naturalism vs supernaturalism,” said the author of a number of books on the interface between science, philosophy and theology.

“Science has become equated with rationality. I call it scientific fundamentalism. Atheistic scientists say there is only one viewpoint allowed. Why do scientists say we must choose? It is not easy to say science is completely objective. Scientists should be humble. What do we mean by explanation? Nobody knows what energy or gravity is. Those laws do not explain what gravity is. But scientific fundamentalists think they have found a law and therefore found a compete explanation,” added Lennox.

“The new atheists find the resurrection laughable, but word and reason tells us there is a Logos behind the universe.” Citing author James Sire, Lennox said three world views – theism, atheism, and pantheism – dominate the scientific landscape, and theologian N.T. Wright says it is untrue that atheism is the one true worldview.

Lennox who has debated Richard Dawkins, says there is a basic assumption that the universe is not neutral in giving evidence for God. “St. Paul offers that up in Romans chapter 1. Men and women are without excuse. It is not about everything. There are two things, His eternal power and divine nature. St. Paul says they are perceived. Proof has two meanings, mathematical, (forensic) legal and personal. I cannot prove my wife loves me but I would stake my life on it.

“Both atheists and theists say that something has to be explained. That’s about perception. The heavens declare the glory of God. St. Peter envisages both dialogue and engagement.

“Why is Richard Dawkins saying you must choose between science and God? Why has this happened?”

Lennox traces the marginalization of God to the Enlightenment and what he called “a conflict metaphor.” What is driving this conflict? “How do we explain the grand design? Dawkins says it is the laws of physics, not the will of God. But that is scientism. Even Ludwig Wittgenstein saw through the delusion of modernity. He said it explained nothing.”

Lennox condemned the “God of the gaps” theories perpetuated by atheists. “The God of the Bible is the God who acted to create the heavens and earth. This is not a God of gaps. He is God of the whole show the bits we do and do not understand.” Lennox called the god of the gaps “tiny”.

“The God of the Bible is the creator of the whole universe. Scientists did not put theories there. Science can take on subtle ideological dimensions. Scientists have coupled their views with atheistic naturalism but they are all manifestations of the universe. To say that the supernatural is the opposite of rationality is completely, false. We must distinguish between science and scientism.

“Naturalism cannot answer why there is something rather than nothing. The Law of Gravity opens a window. Laws have the power to create when they do not. Laws simply describe what is there. Atheists now talk about a multiverse. But God can create as many universes as He likes. Naturalism shoots itself in the foot and the brain.”


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