At the end of a this talk John Lenox helpful answers some tricky questions: (his answers re paraphrased by me):
Q: What would you say to someone who didn’t care about the big questions of life, like “is there a God” etc?
A: He said I would care for them. If someone says they don’t care about these things they are saying a lot about themselves…and their need for someone to care about them. Perhaps that has not happened before.
Q: What would I have to do to prove to you I had been resurrected form the dead?
A: Prove that you had died! And been buried. Then I would take you seriously.
Q: Isn’t your analogy about Henry Ford and the laws of nature different from God and science? After all Henry Ford is inside the system not outside.
A: Henry Ford is not totally inside the system. We are not totally determined by natural law. We can be genuinely creative for example. But the point of the analogy was that you can have two separate explanations for the internal combustion engine. One in the mind of Henry Ford and the other the laws of physics and chemistry. They are not mutually exclusive but complementary.
Q: Are there examples of God’s intervention today and in your life?
A: There are many things that I have prayed about that have happened. It could have been coincidence but over time it becomes very improbable. He gave a specific intervention of God. He was on a train, felt God put the idea of giving a bible to this Russian man he had just met. The impression didn’t go away. But he didn’t have one. Then he remembered that he had been given one while travelling several weeks before and it might still be in his brief case. It was. He gave the man the bible who went white as a sheet as “coincidently” his had been taken or lost a few weeks ago and they where really hard to get hold of. His wife was very tearful and grateful too. A German girl, also in the carriage, who witnessed this, started reading the bible too. When John got home and told his wife she insisted he go to Russia. He phoned and got immediate permission to go. No paper work needed. Just the green light to go. When he got there the mathematicians he met were just interested to hear about how he could believe in God and be a scientist. From that time on innumerable opportunities just opened up.
Q: What about different religions?
A: Take the three monotheist religions:
i) Jews = he died but did not rise
ii) Muslims = he did not die
iii) Christians = he died and rose.
How do you know which is true?
The real difference comes not at the level of morality, ie what they say is good and bad behaviour, but at the basis of how you can have a relationship with God. There are two ways:
i) Entrance exam. The professors or examiners may be kind but it depends on your merit. You have to be good enough to pass.
ii) But the unique thing about the Christian faith is that it is not based on our merit. It is based on the life and death of Jesus. In other worse his merit. John talked about his relationship with his wife in marriage as not based on her passing an exam but him accepting her unconditionally. He said Christianity the only religion that works this way. He says I live for Jesus not to gain his acceptance but because I already have it. My acceptance is based on his death for me.