Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lennox Lennoxing

I've listened to two lectures delivered by John Lennox, both recorded by The Veritas Forum. Inasmuch as I normally despise apologetics, the titles of the two lectures intrigued me enough to take the time.

Lennox is, without doubt, a proficient and entertaining public speaker. Everything from his accent to his sense of humour to his subject matter make for an engaging talk. I can't help, though, think that these two lectures fell victim to similar problems as those I noticed in a talk by AC Grayling. Both lectures appear to have been preaching to the choir. They had all sorts of little quips in them, each belittling the arguments of his opponents with a lashing of sarcasm. Maybe that's just the way Lennox talks, though.

Most specifically, I wanted him to elaborate on his claim that the mind is more than neurological firings. He didn't, but he asserted it quite strongly. He's clearly opposed to materialism but I haven't yet heard him advocate for a position of idealism in which he explains consciousness or the mind, even in part.

The rest of his argument appears to be working in and around the teleological arguments for the existence of God. Instead of Paley's Watch, he talks about his Aunt's Cake. The arguments are much the same, but seem much more personable focused on a cake than the technical nature of sprockets and gears. It's hard to argue with the kindly old man and his kindlier older aunt over her cake than it is over the stuffy sounding fellow who tripped over a watch in a field.

The next step is to browse some of his books. Perhaps his writing is more revealing than his speaking.

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