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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful evangelical reply to atheism
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.
Published 14 months ago by Butchersboy

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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
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...
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Mr. M. V. Meyerstein


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful evangelical reply to atheism, 1 July 2013
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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
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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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37 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but perhaps too small, 3 Mar 2011
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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. Hawking's argument is really a hark back to the age old idea which Socrates discussed, i.e. does the world have an objective existence, or is it merely a rational construct. Hawking's ideas here seem muddled in that he seems to say that it's a rational construct, but then goes onto promote a high form of scientism. All Hawking's succeed in showing is that whilst he might be a brilliant physicist, he is a terrible philosopher.

Chapter 4 : Considers Hawking's use of the phrase "spontaneous creation". Lennox argues that Hawking fails to consider how the phrase has been used by philosophers throughout the ages and so has fraught his argument with philosophical difficulties. However, as Hawking's believes that he has already killed philosophy I doubt he would be too concerned by this.

Chapter 5 : Considers whether science without rationality could function. If anyone wants to promote a high degree of scientism, they need to be aware that the notion self refutes. Most noticeably this rebuttal comes from the argument, `prove to me scientifically that science is all there is'. As you cannot you are merely stuck with the ideas of abduction (the best possible explanation) and inference (what is observed). It is these two notions that science is based on. Both ideas show that nothing is really concrete and so attempting to eliminate God from the picture is ludicrous. This therefore leads onto Hawking's rebuttal of miracles and in turn freewill. Lennox arguments that it is the laws of nature that show us that a miracle occurred and that it is historically difficult to simply discount miracles on the basis that those who believe in them are `scientifically primitive'. Lennox finally argues that if freewill does not exist, due to man being a deterministic biological machine, then why should anyone actually believe Hawking's book? If man is also part of a deterministic machine (i.e. the universe), which is itself part of an undeterminable multi-verse in which anything is possible, then it is logically possible that God could exist in one of those universes, and due to his omnipotence and omnipresence, it is logically possible that he is present in ours. All of these arguments once again serve to show that Hawking's really is a poor philosopher.

The book itself uses the bog standard response to Hawking's book. Perhaps it is because Hawking's book is so poor in quality that this book is such an easy rebuttal. Whether this is a con or a pro, I'm still unsure of. As the book contains much of the arguments promoted in "God's undertaker", albeit with a slight focus on Hawking's new book - this for me made me feel a little cheated at having to spend the market price of £5 on this small book. I completed the book in about 2 hours which really gives you an understanding on how long it really is.

Occasionally Lennox also mentions Intelligent Design in his arguments but never really expands on whether he believes in ID or not. This is a fault that his former book also suffers from. On one page he'll talk about fine tuning, and then on the next Intelligent Design. This causes the informed reader some difficulties. However, the lay reader is unlikely to notice. Overall it's a good rebuttal, in that it does what it says on the tin, rebut Hawking's book. However, the cons are unfinished explanations and the size of the book. Overall, thoroughly recommended to the lay reader who is unlikely to know the usual rebuttals but unlikely to satisfy the more informed reader in that the arguments raised are the usual rudimentary ones. And finally, the language used in the book is simple enough to clearly convey the argument to any reader.
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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
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Mr. M. V. Meyerstein (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Christian Influence Spoils It, 16 Jun 2013
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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. He spends way too much time re-iterating that scientific theories and laws do not actually constitute the programming of nature; then grandly asserts the alternative without impartiality.

The problem is this is not a binary debate - it's not "science" vs a Christian God, it's about discussing the facts; we cannot simply substitute Science with a personal deity of our choice as if those were the only choices.

Better to read "Why Does the World Exist?: One Man's Quest for the Big Answer" for a much more thorough, rigorous and impartial analysis. Also the fine work by Stephen Meyer discussing the problem we have around biological information and how entropy cannot account for this. Meyer's work coins the term "Intelligent Design" rather than God, which is intended to be impartial.

To summarise this book:

Equations are not reality (he could have just quoted Korzybski - "The map is not the place" and be done in one line)
How does Nothing perturb itself to become spacetime/matter? - read the above book as this is dealt with in great detail.

The fact is at this level all we have is faith. The scientists have faith that nothing can perturb itself to become something, religious folk call that impulse God or some creative force. We then have the issue of life and information within the genome - science has faith that time and entropy can do this. Meyer seems to have disproved this rather glib assertion. The two books I have mentioned offer much more flesh to the bones of this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned Stephen., 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
I would really recommend this book to anyone searching for Godly truth. He really makes Stephen Hawkins arguements seem totally insignificant. John never labours his point but by Jove he really knows his Godly stuff. Please look
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping balanced views, 12 April 2013
By 
Pamay Wey (Weymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? (Paperback)
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. Book was good value and arrived in good condition on time.
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God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway?
God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? by John C. Lennox (Paperback - 21 Jan 2011)
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