A Quick Review of John Lennox’s booklet, “Where is God in a Coronavirus World?”



The present societal shutdown from the coronavirus is really unprecedented in my lifetime. For some of us, this is a time that raises questions about our own mortality and what is truly important. For some people, this time with its rising world-wide body counts also raises another iteration of the usual question about God: How can a good and loving God allow this to happen?

Oxford Mathematics Professor John C. Lennox has written a short booklet addressing the concerns that Christians may have about God during this virus crisis. Entitled, “Where Is God in a Coronavirus World?”, the book is short and can be purchased for less than $5 on several websites. I purchased mine for under $4 at Christianbooks.com.

The book itself is divided into six short chapters. These chapters are:

Feeling Vulnerable – A quick recognition of the anxiety that this crisis is engendering and a reminder that while prior plagues that have rocked the Earth seem far in the distant past, pandemics obviously can and will happen at any time. No society is now or ever will be immune from these diseases.

Cathedrals and Worldviews – A quick review of the fact that suffering has long been used as an argument against God’s existence, and a walkthrough of some of the distinctions that need to be made when discussing evils and suffering. It also addresses how pain can be used for teaching.

Can Atheism Help? – A review of some other worldviews and the fact that they provide insufficient answers to the question of suffering.

How Can There be a Coronavirus if There is a Loving God? – Here is the heart of the booklet. Lennox addresses the nature of viruses and the Christian view of the Fall of Man and Nature.

Evidence of Love - What evidence do we have that despite the coronavirus, God is good?

The Difference that God Makes – How should Christians respond to the pandemic? Lennox quickly runs through some strategies that Christians can use to respond in a Godly way to the pandemic.

So, consistent with the shortness of the book, here is my even shorter review:

What’s good about the book: Primarily, it is short and accessible. I read the entire book in about 2 hours with interruptions. The book does a decent job of running through the problems that the coronavirus raises for Christians, and in a typical Lennox fashion gives good solid information that is helpful to understanding the pandemic in line with a Christian worldview.

What falls short in the book: Because the book is intended to be short and answer concerns raised by the current crisis, it feels incomplete. Each of the chapters left me feeling like more should have been said to fully respond to the concerns. In fact, I think that the book would be best used as the framework for an adult education class in a church where further discussion can help fill in the gaps that the book leaves unaddressed.

Overall, I recommend the book, but not as the be-all, end-all of the argument. But rather the book is intended to assure Christians that their faith is not ill-founded; a good and just God can co-exist with the coronavirus, and the best thing we Christians can do is to respond in a Godly way to a world that is seeking answers.

Comments

Anonymous said…
BK: Can Atheism Help? – A review of some other worldviews and the fact that they provide insufficient answers to the question of suffering.

I am curious how anyone could even suppose not believing in God could provide answers to anything.

BK: How Can There be a Coronavirus if There is a Loving God?

I am also curious how he rationalises this. I post on CARM a fair bit, and obviously this question comes up a lot, and I have yet to see a real Christian answer. Lots of ducking and avoiding, but no actual answer.

Pix
you re not going to get much on CARM
CARM is no great landmark of Christian intelligentsia,Although I started on CARM and I met BK there, the CADRE began on CARM.
Anonymous said...
BK: Can Atheism Help? – A review of some other worldviews and the fact that they provide insufficient answers to the question of suffering.

I am curious how anyone could even suppose not believing in God could provide answers to anything.

BK: How Can There be a Coronavirus if There is a Loving God?

I am also curious how he rationalises this. I post on CARM a fair bit, and obviously this question comes up a lot, and I have yet to see a real Christian answer. Lots of ducking and avoiding, but no actual answer.

Pix

That is just the classic theodicy problem. I will post my classic answer on Monday.

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