Book Review: “Where is God in A Coronavirus World?” by John Lennox

i1mfulp This pandemic has caused alot anxiety for people. Many are driven inside their homes for weeks. Locked with them are fears, doubts and questions. What will happen if me and my family gets this deadly virus? When will this pandemic end? Some also might ask spiritual questions. Is this virus judgment for our sin? Why is this world full of pain and suffering? Where is God and what is He doing to take this COVID19? Thank God there are Christians who heed the call of God to give answers from His Word. One of those resources is this book from John Lennox, Where is God in A Coronavirus World?

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Book Review: Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath

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In Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life,  McGrath brings out the two of the greatest thinkers of our time on the table and (objectively) scrutinize their beliefs focusing only on the meaning of life.  I love how McGarth presents these extraordinary gentlemen in this book. Both Oxford fellows (including the author), both had a landmark book and both experienced atheism and Christianity. This adds the level of thrill in diving in to this brief book. And I have to say, I got really hooked.

Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life is not the usual apologetics book. It’s a short and accessible book for atheist, Christians or anyone who both wants to know Dawkins and Lewis in one sitting. It’s serves as a springboard for other bodies of work these two intellectual giants have dished out (or to books of McGarth on the topics). There are lots of superb books that have great treatment with these gentlemen but if you want a starting point, this is the book for you.

By reading this book, I think you have gotten to the core or the most important part of any book that discuss these authors and their view of life. Peak inside the minds of these brilliant thinkers and how their views influence the world.  Pick up this book and you’ll surely love it!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life” by Alister McGrath

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During our open forum for our laymen and women fellowship with the theme, Passion for God, I had a chance to share something about reading that leads to pursuing God. I wrote it down and explained it for about 10 minutes. If youre curious on what I shared to our fellowship, I’ll put it live here as a post on this blog soon.

Anyways, here’s Alister McGrath’s latest book, Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Lifepublished by InterVarsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or InterVarsity Press. Stay tuned to the review of this book.

“Lewis thus invites his readers into the Christian way of seeing things and to explore how things look when seen from its standpoint – as if to say ‘Try seeing things this way!’ If world views or metanarratives can be compared to lenses, which of them brings things into sharpest focus? Clues, taken by themselves, prove nothing; their importance lies rather in their cumulative and contextual force.”

Dawkins attributes his loss of any religious faith to two factors. The first was his growing realization that ‘Darwin provided the magnificently powerful alternative to biological
design which we now know to be true.’ This is a recurrent theme in Dawkins’s later writings: Darwinism offers an ex­
planation of what is observed in the biological world that is superior to belief in a creator God. The second factor is his belief that there is an ‘elementary fallacy’ within any argument from design, in that ‘any god capable of designing the universe would have needed a fair bit of designing himself.’ Darwin’s idea of gradual complexification from a ‘primeval simplicity’ seemed to make a lot more sense to him.”

“Christianity possessed the literary form of a myth, which for Lewis meant a story with deep imaginative appeal, conveying a set of ideas. Yet there was
a critical difference between Nordic myths and the Christian myth: only the latter was true. Pagan myths represented an imperfect grasping towards the truth, a goal finally attained in Christianity. “

“Christians take the view that believing in God helps us make sense of the world, offering a larger framework or big picture into which fits what we observe and experience. Dawkins argues that this involves adding an unobserved and intrinsically complicated entity – God – to the inventory of the universe. Science is about keeping things as simple as pos-
sible – which is one reason why Dawkins prefers atheism to Christianity. It seems a simpler and neater idea. “

“For Lewis, belief in God was neither a distraction from life nor a spurious means of finding consolation. Discovering God was about discovering his own true identity and recalibrating his reason and imagination in the light of this new way of seeing himself and the world. God is neither an object within our universe nor a mere abstract philosophical idea.”

” To have faith in God is not primarily to
give intellectual assent to an idea about God but to step into a greater picture of our world and become part of it.”

“In terms of their intellectual precariousness, both atheism and Christianity reflect the epistemic limits of human beings, who show a tendency to want to believe more – whether that belief is religious or secular – than the evidence actually warrants.”

“Like many readers of The Selfish Gene I often find myself wondering whether Dawkins’s optimistic conclusion isn’t
actually contradicted and subverted by the arguments that precede it. In some ways his analysis echoes the ethos of the Enlightenment: once you have understood something, you can master it. But can we master ourselves in this way? What if our genetic inheritance affects our will, so that we can recognize the hidden influence of our genes, while then discovering that we cannot break free from their influence?”

The Quotable Round-Up #98

uq7p3leHeads up guys! Time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from “Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen. If you were blessed by this book, please consider getting it on Amazon or at your nearest bookstore! Grace and Peace!

“The culpable agnosticism of the world’s intellectuals must not be reproduced in Christians as alleged neutrality; this outlook, this approach to truth, this intellectual method evidences a darkened understanding and hardened heart. It refuses to bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every area of life, including scholarship and the world of thought.”

“The facts must be presented without wavering: reasoning which is not built upon the presupposed word of Christ is geared toward intellectual foolishness and spiritual death. The correction and reproof of Scripture cannot be watered down.”

“To turn away from intellectual dependence upon the light of God, the truth about and from God, is to turn away from knowledge to the darkness of ignorance. Thus if a Christian wishes to begin his scholarly endeavors from a position of neutrality he would, in actuality, be willing to begin his thinking in the dark.”

“Those who wish to gain dignity in the eyes of the world’s intellectuals by wearing the badge of “neutrality” only do so at the expense of refusing to be set apart by God’s truth. In the intellectual realm they are absorbed into the world so that no one could tell the difference between their thinking and assumptions and apostate thinking and assumptions. The line between believer and unbeliever is obscured.”

“All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found in Christ; thus if one were to try and arrive at the truth apart from commitment to the epistemic authority of Jesus Christ he would be robbed through vain philosophy and deluded by crafty deceit (see Col. 2:3-8).”

“One must be presuppositionally committed to Christ in the world of thought (rather than neutral) and firmly tied down to the faith which he has been taught, or else the persuasive argumentation of secular thought will delude him. Hence the Christian is obligated to presuppose the word of Christ in every area of knowledge; the alternative is delusion.”
“To make God’s word your presupposition, your standard, your instructor and guide, however, calls for renouncing intellectual self-sufficiency—the attitude that you are autonomous, able to attain unto genuine knowledge independent of God’s direction and standards.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #91

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Is Christianity Good for the World?” by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“If there is no God, what is truth? Christopher Hitchens displays great moral indignation, but, given atheism, I want him to justify that indignation. If there is no God, then who cares? And Christopher Hitchens writes as a very capable wordsmith, but given atheism, I want him to justify his vibrant and engaging prose. If there is no God, then yammer, yamber, yaw&^% . .” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“There is no God, right? Because there is no God, this means that—you know—genocides just happen, like earthquakes and eclipses. It is all matter in motion, and these things happen.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Christian faith is good for the world because it provides the fixed standard which atheism cannot provide and because it provides forgiveness for sins, which atheism cannot provide either. We need the direction of the standard because we are confused sinners. We need the forgiveness because we are guilty sinners. Atheism not only keeps the guilt, but it also keeps the confusion.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“If Christianity is bad for the world, atheists can’t consistently point this out, having no fixed way of defining “bad.” If Christianity is good for the world, atheists should not be asked about it either because they have no way of defining “good.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“In the kindness of God, the Cross is an object of inexorable fascination to us. When men and women look to Him in His death, they come to life in His resurrection. And that is good for the world.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Cross is God’s merciful provision that executes autonomous pride and exalts humility.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

 

The Quotable Round-Up # 59

paper_zpshrjhwlqwHey people  heres your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the book“God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” by Douglas Wilson. If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“So whenever Hitchens condemns the moral behavior of anyone else, he is not proving that atheists can be moral too. He is proving, instead, that he is incapable of following his own premises out to the end of the road. He is proving that he is blissfully unaware of the blatant contradictions in his system where no one can impose his morality on another.” — Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“There are plenty of miracle-mongers who are doing their thing in the name of Jesus, and they deserve everything that Hitchens can deliver to them, and they deserve it good and hard. But as Hitchens acknowledges here briefly, and should do so far more extensively, this is the same kind of critique of gullibility that is found in John Calvin’s Inventory of Relics. When Hitchens comes to attack this kind of credulity and hypocrisy, he finds that many Christians have preceded him.” –Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“God does not wave a compromise-wand over us and declare us to be forgiven. That would justify us, but He would not be just. Or He could send us all to hell—then He would be just, but not the one who justifies. Rather, He sent a new Adam. He established the whole human race all over again—Jesus Christ established a new way of being human.” — Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“This is why there is no injustice in the gospel. I do not just walk away from my sins. Sinners are guilty and all sinners must die. What the cross does is provide us with a way of dying, with resurrection as a promised consequence. Jesus did not die so that we might live. He died so that we might die; He lives so that we might live. This is our hope, and this is our glory. And God in His kindness has authorized His people to extend this offer—full of grace—to people like Christopher Hitchens.” — Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“If there is no God above the system, then the system is god. All societies are religious organisms, not just the ones with a religious exoskeleton.”– Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“All human societies are theocracies. The only issue that confronts us is which theos we will serve. The atrocious cultures are the ones who serve atrocious gods.” — Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

“Hitchens acknowledges that secularist hellholes are wrong. He explains (in many ways, accurately) how they came to be so wrong. In many cases it was because of the previous misbehavior of believers. Granted. He vividly lances the pomposity and pretensions of those who are wrong in this way. The only thing he does not explain—for he cannot explain—is why they are wrong.” — Douglas Wilson, “God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything” #atheism #douglaswilson #christopherhitchens #gospel #GodIs #Godisnotgreat #religionpoisonseverything #howchristianityexplainseverything

The Quotable Round-Up #57

paper_zpshrjhwlqwHere are some of the quotes from the book “We Destroy Arguments” by Stephen Feinstein. If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“Christians are not out there to prove that a god exists, but instead that the biblical God exists. We are to prove that this biblical God has made Himself clearly known to all people at all times with clear distinct revelation that has left people without excuse. You cannot accomplish this by using piecemeal arguments that only demonstrate one sliver of the Christian worldview at a time. Instead, the Christian worldview as a whole is what is to be presented. Yet, it is even more than this. Christianity must be presented not only as an entire system, but as the only system of truth that is even possible.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“When 1 John 4:8 declares that God is love, we need to ask, “Love of what?” If the answer is love of the world, then the divine attribute of love depends on the existence of the world, once again removing the independence of God and the creator-creature distinction. Furthermore, an attribute by definition is something that God must possess to in fact be God. If love could not exist until the creation existed, then God also could not have existed as God until He first created the creation! The position becomes logically self-defeating. Yet, if God is one, and yet three persons, then God can share love in an absolute sense being an absolute person and still be absolutely independent of creation. John 17:24 clearly teaches that the Father and Son loved each other in eternity past, thereby demonstrating from Scripture that God’s attribute of love is independent of the creation. Thus, the Trinity actually is necessary in order to keep every single one of God’s communicable attributes intact.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Under the Christian, metaphysical worldview God is only one God and is a perfect unity, but is also a unity of a plurality (three persons). Since God is a unity of plurality, it is not difficult to see creation in a similar light. We are all made from the dust of the ground making us one with creation (unity), but we are different ontologically from plants, animals, rocks, and other humans (plurality). There is no absolute unity devoid of plurality, and there is no absolute plurality devoid of unity. Only the Christian worldview accounts for this, and even though many secular philosophers and pagan religions reject a universe of both one and many, nearly all people live their day-to-day lives as though it were true.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Dependence on God leads to consistent and true knowledge and a consistent view of reality that makes learning and discovery possible. Independence from God leads to millions of inconsistencies on various views of reality, and it renders the idea of true knowledge and standards as impossible.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Atheism can be theoretical or practical, or both. The theoretical atheist outright denies the existence of God, whereas the practical atheist just lives as though there is no God. Based on the definition of practical atheism, agnostics truly are atheists just in disguise. After all, if they truly did not know whether or not God existed, would they not show up to church every other week and try to live in obedience to Scripture half of the time in order to shore up their bets? Yet, just about every agnostic most of us have ever met never goes to church and live their lives as though no God exists. Their words do not comport with their actions but instead are a mere attempt to take some misconstrued highroad of humility.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“Ultimately, the combination of atheism and idolatry is the unbeliever’s way of suppressing the truth of God that is within them, and yet being able to navigate through the world with set standards. When the Christian apologist begins to critique unbelieving thought, unbelievers will move thoughtlessly back and forth between these two positions making it difficult to pin them down. For example, when you press their relativism to its conclusion, they will then appeal to reason (their idol) to support the items that they feel are absolutely true. When you then push them with reason into a self-defeating position, they will effortlessly move right back into their atheistic relativism. It will take patience and skill to reveal this to them, and ultimately it will take the work of the Holy Spirit.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

“If a Christian presuppositionalist pushed epistemology with such atheists, he could easily reveal to the atheist the impossibility of objective truth in an atheistic worldview. Thus consistent atheism requires the extreme of relativism, which itself is self-defeating. After all, would not a declaration that there is no absolute truth be in of itself an absolute truth? Furthermore, the atheist who holds to relativism is never consistent with it. After all, he acts as though reason and logic are trustworthy (absolute) and would seek justice if robbed (a moral absolute). Thus, the unbeliever committed to atheism in either its theoretical or practical form is left in a state of absolute certainty (rationalism) and absolute uncertainty (irrationalism) simultaneously and cannot account for it.” – Stephen Feinstein, “We Destroy Arguments”

The Quotable Round-Up #44

Here are some of the quotes from the book “Tactics” by Christian apologist Greg Koukl. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Without the work of the Spirit, no argument — no matter how persuasive — will be effective. But neither will any act of love nor any simple presentation of the gospel. Add the Spirit, though, and the equation changes dramatically.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Here’s the key principle: Without God’s work, nothing else works; but with God’s work, many things work. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, love persuades. By the power of God, the gospel transforms. And with Jesus at work, arguments convince. God is happy to use each of these methods.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Our job is to communicate the gospel as clearly, graciously, and persuasively as possible. God’s job is to take it from there. We may plant the seeds or water the saplings, but God causes whatever increase comes from our efforts.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Understanding God’s central role in the process removes a tremendous burden. We can focus on our job — being clear, gracious, and persuasive — and then leave the results to God (what I called “100% God and 100% man”).”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Sometimes the little things have the greatest impact. Using simple leading questions is an almost effortless way to introduce spiritual topics to a conversation without seeming abrupt, rude, or pushy.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth

The Quotable Round-Up #35

Jolly good day guys! Its this time of the week that we  collect some of the best quotes. The book we are now featuring is from Frank Turek’s “Stealing from God”. Enjoy!

“True for you but not for me” may be the mantra of our day, but that’s not the way the universe really works. If it’s really true, it’s true for everyone.”

“In the same way, our improved understanding of natural laws can never disprove the Being who set up and sustains those laws. To say that a scientist can disprove the existence of God is like saying a mechanic can disprove the existence of Henry Ford. It doesn’t follow. The existence of secondary operational causes does not negate the need for a primary origin cause.”

“But there are very different atheist and theist theories on origin questions. They are more controversial because they cannot be settled by repeatable experiments in a lab. You can’t go in a lab and observe the creation of the universe again, or witness the origin of the first life or new life-forms. While scientists can observe how a cell operates, they can’t observe how the first cell originated. No scientist was there to witness it.”

“Some atheists seem to think that anything unexplained defeats belief in God, as if an infinite God can’t exist if finite creatures don’t understand everything. But there is a big difference between a mystery and a contradiction. Christianity has partial mysteries. Atheism has complete contradictions. Christianity predicts that evil will occur and explains why God allows it in general, but not in every particular case. We don’t have enough information to trace the particulars . . . yet. But good reason provides all the information we need to see that the very existence of evil is a contradiction for atheism. If evil is real, then atheism is false.”

“We can’t see the ultimate outcomes of events because the human story isn’t over yet—not here or in the afterlife where perfect justice will ultimately be done. And even if God were to tell us those outcomes and His reasons for allowing each evil, we wouldn’t be able to comprehend them all. That’s because every event sets off a ripple effect that impacts countless other events and people. How many lives will be changed in the future by the trillions of good and bad events happening just this hour? No human mind can know or grasp it all. And even if we could, knowing the reasons for a painful event might alter our behavior and prevent the good outcome that would have otherwise occurred.”

“Hitler’s words and actions couldn’t be more different than the words and actions of Christ. As Ravi Zacharias has observed, the Crusades and the Inquisition were the illogical outworking of Christianity. They went against everything Christ taught. And you don’t judge a religion or philosophy by its abuse, but by its truths. People can and will abuse true and good things. But that says more about us than it does about God or religion.”

“C. S. Lewis was once an atheist who thought evil disproved God. But he later realized he was stealing from God (grounds of a rational and logical argument) in order to argue against Him. He wrote, “[As an atheist] my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

“Now, an atheist might say, “In our country, we have a constitution that the majority approved. We have no need to appeal to God.” True, you don’t have to appeal to God to write laws, but you do have to appeal to God if you want to ground them in anything other than human opinion. Otherwise, your “rights” are mere preferences that can be voted out of existence at the ballot box or at the whim of an activist judge or dictator.”

“Even if there were infinite time and opportunities for nature to mutate DNA into the information necessary for new life, that still wouldn’t be enough to create a new life-form. That’s because DNA alone doesn’t dictate the formation of body plans.”

5 Essential Christian Books for Your Skeptic Friends

Now you have no reason for not defending your faith and not giving a special gift for your skeptic friend. Here are 4 books about why Christianity is true and will diffuse any atheist or agnostic:

  1. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell-a classic that sets the standard of apologetics book. I think this book gave a “pop” flavor for defending the faith. Finally book for the skeptical masses from a former skeptic himself. Short but compelling this is the zenith of all McDowell’s apologetic books and still a great giveaway for your unbelieving buddy.
  2. The Signature of God by Grant Jeffrey- the late Grant Jeffrey maley left us scratching our heads in a flop over the Millennium bug, but putting that aside this book is truly something for even believers to dig. It combines “More Than A Carpenter” arguments (with of course Jeffrey’s take) and an outstanding look at numerology in the Bible. Not just convincing but thought provoking.
  3. One Heartbeat Away by Mark Cahill-Cahill and Comfort paved the way for what is evangelism in the last decade. This book can be considered the “More Than A Carpenter” of that decade. Cahill is an evangelism machine and I think that’s why he wrote this book is for follow up for those who learned evangelism through his 1st book “One Thing You Cant Do In Heaven.” He took different subject from the existence of God, evolution, the reliability of the Bible, heaven, hell etc., and answer it this very helpful book.
  4. A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel- Lee Strobel, an award winning legal editor and a former atheist, didn’t just penned an apologetics book but by utilizing his journalistic expertise, a book that feels like a page turner of the latest bestselling novel. In his quest to know the truth, Strobel interviews prominent Christian scholars by throwing hard hitting questions against the faith. This very compelling book will reinforce your faith and make your skeptic friend consider Christianity.
  5. God Doesn’t Believe in Atheist by Ray Comfort-with a quirky title like that; this book shouldn’t be missed. The arguments are blend in a very friendly (and sometimes funny) manner as if Comfort is talking to you personally. This book doesn’t just provide logical point of view on Christianity but also lays the gospel and answers to common objections in Christianity. You’ll find this one enjoyable of all the books I mentioned in the list.

 

Anymore books you would like to add here?