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God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? [Paperback]

John C. Lennox
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 Jan 2011
It certainly is a grandiose claim to have banished God. 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? I think we have a right to know.' The Grand Design, by eminent scientist Stephen Hawking, is the latest blockbusting contribution to the 'New Atheist' debate, and claims that the laws of physics themselves brought the Universe into being, rather than God. In this swift and forthright reply, John Lennox, Oxford mathematician and author of God's Undertaker, takes a closer look at Hawking's logic. 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.

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God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? + God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? + Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target: A Critique of the New Atheism
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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books; 1st edition (21 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745955495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745955490
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.6 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College.

Product Description


A brilliant response to Stephen Hawking's THE GRAND DESIGN. Make sure you hear both sides of the argument! --Alister McGrath

About the Author

John Lennox is Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Oxford, and author of the best-selling God's Undertaker. He lectures on Faith and Science at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He has lectured in many universities around the world, including Austria and the former Soviet Union. He is particularly interested in the interface of Science, Philosophy and Theology.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful evangelical reply to atheism 1 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lennox is always a sensible read. He manages to sensibly criticize Hawking without malice or pomposity. If you are unsure about a Christians view of science this is the book for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Lennox - God and Stephen Hawking 22 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lennox is a clear writer with an incisive approach. Just occasionally in this book he seems to ride a hobby-horse rather than deal precisely with the issue
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36 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but perhaps too small 3 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Lennox's little book says very little that his previous book `God's undertaker' does not. At just 85 pages of written word, this is indeed a small book.

The contents of each chapter can be summarised as follows:

Chapter 1 : Considers Hawking's argument that `Philosophy is dead'. Anyone familiar with the rudimentary argument against this claim knows that Hawking is in fact making a circular claim, i.e. that philosophy kills philosophy. This is because the claim is itself made FROM philosophy. The second half of this chapter looks at Hawking's idea of God. Like Dawkins he limits God to a mere `God of the Gap's' hypothesis and thereby fails to consider any other derivative concept of him. Lennox is quick to expose this and offer an alternative explanation - i.e. God as the uncaused cause.

Chapter 2 : Considers Hawking's claim that because of gravity the universe will create itself out of nothing. Lennox again raises the rudimentary rebuttal to this argument by asking, who then created the laws of gravity. The second half of the chapter then asks the ultimate question, i.e. are the "laws" of nature actually "something". The answer is, no they are not. They are deductive principles put together by rational beings. However, these laws have of themselves no separate or objective existence. Therefore the conclusion is that Hawking's argument is simply illogical.

Chapter 3 : Considers Hawking's replacement for God, i.e. M theory. Lennox draws attention to the fact that the theory itself is not universally accepted, and in reality has NO scientific evidence. The theory is merely a rational exercise which seems plausible on paper - beyond that it has nothing. Lennox next turns to Hawking's arguments about the rational perception of nature.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars short, well written but the logic is flawed 28 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is well written and easy to follow. But when you read about the so-called flaws in Hawking's logic, you have to ask yourself either "how can Hawking have been so stupid as to not have spotted these obvious flaws", or else "how can Lennox have misunderstood Hawking so badly?"

Having read Grand Design and a number of other similar works by scientists such as Hawking, Brian Greene and Michio Kaku, my conclusion is that Lennox is using the time-honoured technique of "reductio ad absurdum", i.e. he intentionally mis-represents what is in Grand Design, in order to easily demolish it. The points which Grand Design makes are either mis-described, taken out of context or else different semantic meanings are ascribed to the actual words that Hawking used.

Lennox constantly refers to the eminent scientists Kepler, Newton and Maxwell, all of whom believed in God. Of course they did but they did not have access to the knowledge that we have. They did not know that the Universe is expanding (i.e. they did not know about the Big Bang), nor were Relativity, atomic theory or Quantum theory around in their day. They did not know about Darwinian Evolution (ok - Darwin published his seminal work about 2 years before Maxwell published his).

In summary - worth a read but keep your wits about you. It smacks of desperation, IMO
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawking's philosophical incoherence 10 Aug 2013
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Lennox shows that Hawking has descended into the same philosophical incoherence as Dawkins and the other New Atheists. Essentially, he shows that if you can believe that something can come from nothing without the intervention of an act of creation you have lost the plot.
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33 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little book with a big message 2 Feb 2011
By Deb1712
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Christian with an interest in science I have, in the past, found it difficult to frame my arguments when facing dogmatic atheists who claim that science has overtaken God. I say "in the past" because John C. Lennox has clarified the matter for me.
In his new book "God and Stephen Hawking" Professor Lennox sets out to show that the argument is not between God and science at all. Science makes sense of the world that God created. Once I'd picked the book up I couldn't put it down and I found myself nodding frantically in agreement as I read his well-written and often amusingly-put arguments. In particular he looks at Stephen Hawking's claim in his book "The Grand Design" that the laws of physics created the universe. But how can laws create anything? Answer: They can't. This little book shows us that the laws of physics do not disprove God - if anything, they make His existence seem more probable.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Packs a punch 17 Feb 2011
Written as a Christian response to Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's "The Grand Design", this is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking pocket sized book.

Hawking and Mlodinow attempt to demonstrate in their book that the laws of physics were responsible for the spontaneous generation of the universe, thereby leaving no room whatsoever for a creator. Lennox is swift to offer a courteous counterargument which asks the reader to consider the evidence which points towards a divine creator. Indeed Lennox quite succinctly highlights a number of contradictions which are present within "The Grand Design" and thus asks the reader to pause, reflect and then formulate an opinion.

Ideal for Christians interested in science and also for those who have read "The Grand Design" who would like to experience an alternative opinion; the aim of this book is to demonstrate that science and religion are completely compatible and forever interlocked. `The God of the Gaps Theory' has long since been refuted by most Christians, now is the time to study advanced science in order to give us a better understanding of our universe and the growing evidence pointing towards a divine creator.

Highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wider View
John Lennox comprehensively challenges the assumptions and world-view behind Stephen Hawking’s book 'The Grand Design'. Read more
Published 28 days ago by malan
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Tiny Book
I was expecting a typical paperback book but it was tiny, about 3/4 size of a normal paperback. Apart from that it was a good read although I would have liked to have seen more... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars The book is boring
I only read few pages of the book and i can't stand the level of intellect. I suggest you read a brief history of time rather than waste time reading this.
Published 9 months ago by Hesham Ebrahim
5.0 out of 5 stars Attacking the attackers
It's not often one is able to read the opinions of scientists of faith. There seems to be a mere handful, of which John Lennox is one of the best known. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Science versus Dogma
I suggest that Christian theorist (is that a contradiction in terms) should seek to prove that God (well at least one God) does exist rather than challenging science in "light... Read more
Published 12 months ago by John T. Gleadon
3.0 out of 5 stars Christian Influence Spoils It
The book is "OK" at best. The author quite obviously puts a monotheistic (Christian) spin into the (apparently only alternative) argument that there is an (Abrahamic) God. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Voltaire
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned Stephen.
I would really recommend this book to anyone searching for Godly truth. He really makes Stephen Hawkins arguements seem totally insignificant. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Diggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
There is a lot of wisdom in the writings of John Lennox. Here he debunked Stephen Hawking very easily. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bookman
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping balanced views
Bought as a stocking filler for my son. He'd read Stephen Hawking and I thought it would be good to read a Christian's response to his unbelieving views. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Pamay Wey
5.0 out of 5 stars Eposing Hawking and his contradictions
Yet another great little book exposing the science fiction spouted & spewed forth from the pseudoscientist Stephen Hawking. Read more
Published 18 months ago by pemsbooks
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