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Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human Responsibility
|Title: Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human Responsibility|
By: John C. Lennox
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2018
|Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 12 ounces
Stock No: WW589808
Determined to Believe? is written for those who are interested in or even troubled by questions about God's sovereignty and human freedom and responsibility. John Lennox writes in the spirit of helping people to come to grips with the biblical treatment of this issue for themselves. In this comprehensive review of the topic of theological determinism, Lennox seeks firstly to define the problem, looking at the concepts of freedom, the different kinds of determinism, and the moral problems these pose. He then equips the reader with biblical teaching on the topic and explores the spectrum of theological opinion on it. Following this, Lennox delves deeper into the Gospels and then investigates what we can learn regarding determinism and responsibility from Paul's discussion in Romans on God's dealings with Israel. Finally Lennox tackles the issue of Christian assurance. This nuanced and detailed study challenges some of the widely held assumptions in the area of theological determinism and brings a fresh perspective to the debate.
John C. Lennox (PhD, DPhil, DSc) is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is author of God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? on the interface between science, philosophy, and theology. He lectures extensively in North America and in Eastern and Western Europe on mathematics, the philosophy of science, and the intellectual defense of Christianity, and he has publicly debated New Atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. John is married to Sally; they have three grown children and four grandchildren and live near Oxford.
Professor Lennox raises serious biblical, theological, and philosophical questions about theological determinism -- the belief that God has foreordained and rendered certain all that happens including who will be saved and who will not be saved. Anyone curious about this belief must read Determined to Believe?
With grace, humility, wisdom, and boldness, John Lennox offers a readable, biblically-informed guide that tackles important questions about freedom and fatalism, salvation and sovereignty, faith and foreordination, regeneration and reprobation. This book will be a help for those perplexed by -- and even pressured into accepting -- a theological system that strikes them as undermining genuine moral responsibility and calling into question the assurance of salvation.
John Lennox is widely recognized as one of the top Christian intellectuals of our time. Yet he is also rightly admired for his uncanny ability to get right down to the basic issues in a discussion and to write about them with a simple clarity that still exemplifies depth and range of treatment. And, as one would expect, Determined to Believe? is a model of these virtues. This is no ordinary rehash of old debates about Calvinism vs. Arminianism, God's sovereignty vs. free will and moral responsibility, and so on. In fact, the real brilliance of the book lies in Lennox's insistence that we set aside old labels and try a fresh approach with new eyes to the topics related to the acceptance or non-acceptance of theological determinism. As a result, this is a treasure trove of clear, easy to understand biblical exegesis, helpful definitions of key terms like foreknowledge and predestine, and coverage of theological determinism as it relates to the human condition, the nation of Israel and the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and the assurance a believer may rightly claim regarding one's salvation. I highly recommend this refreshing and helpful book.
John Lennox, one of today's finest evangelical minds, treats the reader to a well-argued position on this controversial contemporary debate among evangelicals. Scriptural in content, philosophical in argument, comprehensive in scope, and irenic in tone, it rescues the debate from much of partisan rhetoric so often found in books on the same subject. Finally, a book that avoids a proof-texting approach placing the discussion in the context of the entire Judeo-- Christian narrative craft ed with exegetical integrity and intellectual rigor. Reading it is like having a stimulating conversation with a good friend.
In this wide-ranging book that is sure to garner much interest, the polymath and apologist John Lennox turns his attention to issues of long-standing debate within Christian theology: freedom and necessity, sin and grace, predestination and perseverance. In his characteristically insightful and winsome way, Lennox offers probing but charitable criticisms of popular views and suggests a way forward. This book will be helpful in many ways -- even (and perhaps especially) for those inclined to disagree with its conclusions.
Determinism, whether biological, emotional or even spiritual, may have shattering effects at all levels, including faith. I have been eyewitness of the shipwreck caused by its influence on some people's lives. In an age prone to extremisms, even in Christian circles, Determined to Believe? is a wise and profoundly biblical demonstration that God's truth cannot be a source of despair or frustration, but a spring of abundant life in Christ. John Lennox's work comes as a necessary and excellent vaccination against the dangers of determinism on the life of faith.