Lennox Vs. Dawkins Debate – Has Science Buried God? Well Dawkins seems to think so, but Lennox does not.
Richard Dawkins is completely unaware of the divine simplicity argument. About 10 minutes in this becomes clear and continues to run throughout the whole debate as a kind of theme. This was put forth to him in a different debate moderated by Sir Anthony Kenny found here. Divine simplicity basically posits that God isn’t a composite, God isn’t made out of parts. God is not complex in the sense most often understood by most scientists and atheists such as Dawkins. In classical theism, God is identical to his attributes, which are not abstract entities or quantities, and they are not some thing. This is why educated and philosophically minded people know to articulate the nature of God in this way; “God is goodness” not; “God has goodness.”
However the whole divine simplicity argument is lost to Dawkins and because it is lost to him he considers God complex, a being so complex that it requires an explanation of its existence. But according to this logic, if God isn’t complex, which has been the overwhelming argument put forth by the historical defenders of classical theism, then God doesn’t require an explanation for its existence.
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God permits. 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
Verse 1 – Sin is dead works, thus foundation of repentance is laid through dead works which is sin. Repentance is turning away from sin, constantly sinning and then repenting would be laying a foundation of repentance. Maturity is not laying a foundation of repentance from dead works or sin but rather always doing living works or the will of God which is not sin.
Verse 3 – God permits NOT laying down a foundation of repentance, in other words God does NOT permit sin but rather human will does.
Natural theology is a philosophy constituting the realm of Christian theology that is found in nature by excluding divine revelation in holy scriptures as authority. Appeal to the authoritative truth from the Bible is called revealed Christian theology and it forms theological doctrines about the nature of God. This is achieved by exegesis of verses found in the Old Testament and New Testament in regard to Jesus Christ for example. Alternatively natural theology bases itself within the realm of strictly observation in the natural world so that authority is given explicitly to nature as a way to know theology. The assumption is that the human mind is rational and able to know or understand nature, but only because a rational mind created nature. Philosophical argumentation and scientific evidences is the means by which natural theology can be articulated and systematized, not to falsify specific theories as such but to probe the nature of nature. To show logically that inference to transcendent mind over matter is the necessary being God.
Natural theology may begin with reason and observation rather than divine texts as authority but both are an epistemology about the nature of God.
The Q source (also known as Q document, lost sayings of Q or just Q) is a hypothesized concept used by biblical and New Testament scholars to suggest a non-existent manuscript as the source of common material (logia) found in the gospels Matthew and Luke but not the Gospel of Mark. John S. Kloppenborg, James M. Robinson and Burton Mack, according to Michael Licona (Research Professor of the NT), refer to the Q source as a “sayings gospel” or “Q gospel” with Mack particularly overreaching by concluding that Q is wholly different, in fact alien, from important events recorded in the canonical gospels like the resurrection. The Q document is thought to be constituted of the sayings of Jesus called logia. Source criticism supporting Q also generally supports Markan priority, or the position that Mark was the first written of the canonical gospels. Accordingly if a tradition or particular logia is found consistent with all three synoptic gospels then Mark is considered the source not Q. Therefore not just Q, but Q and Mark were source material for Matthew and Luke which is why depending on the variation of argument it is referred to as the QM theory.
Exegesis (from the Greek: ἐξηγεῖσθαι, exēgēisthai; “to lead out”) is a critical exposition, commentary or interpretation of ancient literature especially religious books such as the Bible or Qur’an. The opposite of an exegetical reading of Scripture is eisegesis and instead of reading out what the text plainly presents it reads into the text what the reader is influenced by.
In order to understand a given passage one must reconstruct as much as possible the world of thought in which the NT writer lived. Since the NT frequently quotes the OT (hundreds of times) or alludes to it (thousands of times) and everywhere presupposes its language, concepts, and theology, exegesis should be particularly sensitive to its presence and careful to reconstruct the exegetical-theological context of which a given OT quotation or allusion may have been a part. A comparative approach is essential.