Who is John Lennox?

by Amanda Read

On July 20th, Oxford Professor of Mathematics and Christian John Lennox debated the existence of the Biblical God with Princeton University Bio-ethicist and atheist Peter Singer in Melbourne, Australia.

It was Lennox’s second event this year with Fixed Point Foundation, an Alabama-based organization dedicated to defending Christianity in the public square.

In June, Fixed Point held the “In the Beginning” conference in Birmingham, Alabama on the topic of the days of creation in Genesis. John Lennox spoke at the conference along with fellow scientists Hugh Ross (astrophysicist), Michael Behe (biochemist) and Terry Mortenson (geological historian and theologian).

During the conference week John Lennox had a moment to sit down with me for an interview. It was a drizzly Friday morning in Birmingham when my father and I arrived at Latimer House, Fixed Point’s headquarters.

We had visited it before when Lennox was speaking there in October 2010, the evening the front room of the building was dedicated as the “Lennox Commons” in his honor. To my surprise, Lennox remembered meeting me. Perhaps he recalled chatting in Russian with my father.

Lennox lives in the countryside near Oxford, England. He and his wife Sally have three grown children and four grandchildren. Lennox is the elder brother of Gilbert Lennox (senior pastor of Glenabbey Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland) and uncle of singer and songwriter Kristyn Getty (Gilbert’s daughter). He travels the world participating in lectures and debates regarding the interface of science, philosophy and theology.

Readers might remember his brief appearance in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary by Ben Stein that explores academic discrimination against critics of Darwinian theory.

I asked Lennox first about his participation in the current conference. Was the topic at hand more so a scientific debate or a theological debate?

“Well, it depends what country you’re in,” Lennox observed. “The young earth/old earth controversy is virtually nonexistent in Europe because the number of Christians who would take a young earth view is very tiny. Over here it’s a bit different.”

“One of the things I did to hopefully defuse the tension in this conference was to raise an old controversy,” said Lennox, as he proceeded to explain another concept that historically challenged believers and unbelievers alike – not the origin of the Earth, but the movement of it.

“For centuries scientists believed that the earth did not move, and they found Biblical support for it. And then suddenly…Copernicus and Galileo say, ‘Well, the earth does move’ – and it’s resisted, not simply by the church who thought that was what the Bible taught, but by the philosophers, who thought that was what nature taught…

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