We found this brain-bender at the website of the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” They have a comments icon, but we can’t get it to work. Their headline is Science cannot bury God but it can bury atheism: John Lennox . Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Science cannot bury God, as some atheists claim, but it can bury atheism, according to an emeritus professor at Oxford University with a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Gathered before hundreds at the Museum of the Bible Thursday for a Socrates in the City event hosted by author Eric Metaxas in the lead-up to Colson Center’s annual Wilberforce Weekend, Irish mathematician John Lennox engaged the question: Has science buried God?
Metaxas is a Discoveroid fellow traveler. The last time we wrote about him was Discoveroids Return to Bizarro World. Now that we know who the players are, the event sounds like a creationist revival meeting. The Christian Post tells us:
Atheism, theism, pantheism have been around for millennia, Lennox said, when asked by Metaxas about when the idea crept into to mainstream Western thought that science and Christian faith were at odds. Isaac Newton “laid out the universe beautifully in terms of mathematics and discovered that mathematics gave a brilliant description of how things work, and it led to the idea that the universe was essentially a mechanical artifact. And then people began to think ‘Well, it seems to run very well on its own and we are able to research it without referring to any concept of someone who set it going.’ So the idea of God setting it going started to recede into the past,” he said.
By the 18th century, deism — the belief that God exists but He is largely uninvolved in the affairs of humanity — was prevalent and subsequently followed by the Enlightenment, where the thinkers of the day replaced God with human reason.
That’s reasonably accurate. This article is a long one, so we have to skip a lot to focus on creationism. After a few paragraphs, they get around to the God of the gaps:
When Lennox was growing up in Ireland and would refer to God, people knew he was speaking of the Creator God in the Bible. Yet atheists like Steven Hawking think Lennox is speaking of God who resembles an ancient Greek deity like Zeus and then automatically assume Christians default to the God of the gaps, the “I can’t explain lightning so I invent a god when you do some atmospheric physics that god disappears.”
“The most important thing to realize is that the God of the Bible is not a god of the gaps,” Lennox stressed.
Then what is it? Lennox explains:
The first sentence of the Bible — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” — linguistically is a merism [What?], which includes the bits we do and don’t understand.
We never encountered that word before. Wikipedia has an article on it — see Merism. We still don’t get it, but let’s see what Lennox says:
“If you understand art, you can follow the details of a Rembrandt painting better than I can. The more you understand, the more you admire the genius, and that is just so important. And so Newton’s faith and my faith, being in God, increases, because the heavens are constantly and increasingly declaring his glory,” he stressed, alluding to Psalm 19.
Yeah, right. Let’s read on:
But the reason he thinks that science can bury atheism is because science can be done, Lennox said. [What?] If you start believing that there is a rational intelligence behind the universe, then doing science is reasonable, and the Christian has a rationale for doing science, he said.
There’s a lot more in the article, but that was probably the “best” paragraph. If you can do science, then you must acknowledge the existence of the intelligent designer — blessed be he!
Now we’re skipping an ark-load more and getting to the end, which is a brilliant quote from Lennox:
“We’ve been hugely miseducated to think that there is science here and faith there,” he said, gesturing as if the two were completely distinct categories. “Science involves faith. [Hee hee!] You don’t do science unless it can be done. More precisely, you don’t do it unless you believe the universe is at least in part rationally intelligible.”
Okay, dear reader. If you understand that what was all about, please explain it to us, because we don’t get it at all.
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