Dr. John Lennox on the Morality of Vicarious Redemption  - God On Trial Conference
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the Hitchens objection the morality of vicarious Redemption Christopher Hitchens was one of the most famous atheists and skeptics of our time put forward the following argument against Christianity at the very foundation on which Christianity rests is founded on an immoral idea the idea that we as humans put forward our mistakes our sins our transgressions our responsibilities on another human being we kill him in a brutal and gruesome form of human sacrifice and we call this redemption we call this something positive we call it something that we should be thankful for we call it loving the very idea of this is barbaric it is evil and any rational reasonable person can easily refute it well I think we have a most excellent speaker on this very topic he's the professor of mathematics at Oxford University a lecturer at Wycliffe Hall and the Oxford Centre for apologetics he's a man that's probably one of the best case makers in the world today and one of the strongest defenders of the faith and he knew Christopher Hitchens he met Christopher Hitchens and he even debated Christopher Hitchens would you all please rise with me and welcome dr. John Lennox [Applause] Tommy ego Scotty sestra I brought yo-yo children which case we use Tommy you Jay yet Sofia Mia at specially privileged Dubrow posits it's this Sacramento Veda conferencia Yi Oscar Isaac at the ocean crust severac no ocean truth music e uma Nia yeast pal Shia problema my mosque near roboted bistra na Roscoe a portable yeah Buddha prodigals for election non Driscoll projector [Applause] an interval it is really wonderful to see you all here and to see so many young people I came because my wife encouraged me because she thought it would be something of a nostalgic journey to spend time with Russian Ukrainian and Moldovian people I have been many times in Russia I have been very many times in all parts of Ukraine and you see that our topic has to do with Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens was a notorious atheist and you see a picture there of me debating him and be talking to him we did two debates the first was that the most famous Edinburgh Festival which is a cultural festival in Europe and the topic was can atheism save Europe the answer of course is no he lost the debate by his own admission and asked me for a return debate which we held in Birmingham Alabama on the title of his book God is not great now this was a very high-level debate and to every speaker there belongs our biography and I would like to share with you for your encouragement something of my story just a little because we are all on a journey and when I was young my parents who were believers loved me so much they not force Christianity down my throat they gave me a lot of space to think and they even introduced me to different world views when I was a teenager I recalled my father giving me a copy of the communist manifesto and I said should I read that he said yes and I said why he said you need to know what other people think of course at that time I had no idea that I would spend a lot of time behind the Iron Curtain until the Wall fell in 1989 and then after that in Russia and Ukraine principally my parents encouraged me to think and to decide for myself and when I arrived in Cambridge in 1962 I had read a great deal about the intellectual defense of Christianity because I believed that if Christianity is true then people will have questions of course but they will have answers and I have spent my entire life attempting to understand why people believe what they believe and answering their questions while all the time having a professional life as a university professor of mathematics I started going to Eastern Europe in 1976 and from 76 to 89 I was many times particularly in East Germany as it was called then because I was interested to see what effect atheism has on a culture and I am a fluent German speaker and I could go to East Germany and speak of Christian conferences without my name being announced and those were very interesting days where I learnt a great deal about the courage of young people you may know something of that from your parents I remember being at a home where a girl she was 15 she came home from school and she was weeping and I was there and I said what's wrong and she said I have just been told by the school teacher that I cannot have any more education she was the top girl in the school and why was that because she was a confessing Christian and in German Marxism at the age of 14 you have to go through what was called the you got via youth confirmation you had to make a public out of allegiance to the communist state and she refused and she was crying the teacher told her she could work at a slipper Factory she could not work in any job like teaching or nursing or anything like that that brought her into contact with other people I said to her what did you say to the teacher she said sir one day you will stand before God and you will answer for what you've done to me today and I thought she's 15 and there were 4 of us men there and we all wept I never had the joy of conducting her marriage in East Germany in German but things like that drove me to attempt to combat exactly the same atheistic philosophy as it grew in the West but you are from mainly russian-ukrainian backgrounds and I've been asked to tell you how it is I came to go to Russia it's relevant to the story because my capacity such as it is to debate with people like Dawkins and Hitchens depends very much on my experience of conversation in Iron Curtain countries and the former Soviet Union for many years I'd been a translator of mathematical Russian I did that started at turn a little more money because I couldn't afford to feed my family at the beginning of my university career little knowing that one day my ability to lecture on mathematics in Russian would open every University door and every Academy of Sciences door in Russia because there weren't too many people from the West who could do that but anyway what happened was I was at a conference on mathematical cryptography the kind of mathematics that keeps your ATM secure it's very fascinating but we were after the end of the conference being driven by bus to the railway station and the driver picked up a friend and as a result missed the train so we have 50 angry irritated map petitions standing on a railway platform in Belgium and it was becoming night and I was concerned because the train was going to Germany and I did not want to be in the dark on a platform in Cologne at night eventually the train came and I got into the carriage and sat down and discovered that there were some other people in it one was a German student and another one was a Belgian journalist I think from the cultural unit and there were two Russians and I was sitting beside the Russian man so I said to WH er er could are we he's bi caller Oh watch interesting what are you doing Baikal he said I'm an ecologist I said an ecologist are you allowed to talk about ecology in Russia this is 1989 he said yes and we've had this opportunity for the first time in our lives to come to a scientific conference in the West and we're going home tonight in that moment I had a very unusual thought this has never happened to me before nor has it happen since it was almost as if somebody said to me you must give him a Bible so I talked a little bit more and so on and this constant you must give him a Bible but where do you get a Russian Bible in a Belgian train going to Germany in the middle of the night and this kept coming and coming and coming and I couldn't get rid of the thought and then suddenly I remembered that a month before that I had been in Germany in the home of a publisher and on his desk there was a lovely Russian Bible and I picked it up and looked at it and he said would you like that I said yes because my Bible has very small print I put it in my suitcase and then the train I thought did I take it out when I got home or is it still there so I got up and put my hand into the suitcase the Bible was still there I took it out and I gave it to this man and he froze he went as white as a sheet and he froze and just looked at me and I thought he was becoming ill and I said what's the matter and he didn't say anything and then suddenly said taffy was nollie I said pardon how did you know how did I know what how did you know that six weeks ago the only Bible we have ever seen was stolen from us in Siberia and I looked at him and I said sir do you believe this book they said I don't know but he said she does that's my wife and I turned handed it to her her face was like the Sun I can still see her as she hugged it and kissed it is that for me is that for me I said that's for you they were gone the next station and the German student looked at me and she said does that often happen to you and I said not every Tuesday no but she said that is unbelievable I said no it isn't I said these people have been systematically deprived of scripture for 75 years and God has used me tonight as a postman once he said if that's true I need to start reading the Bible and she did but that's another story I arrived home I arrived home and tell the story to my wife and she looked at me and she said go and get your diary I said why she said go and get it so I got it and she opened it and she said you'd better cancel that and cancel that and cancel that I said why she said you're going to Russia as she's never done this in her life before or since how would you go to Russia I said just hang on just just wait a minute pajama stay you know just calm down how would you go to Russia as a mathmetician well I said there is an agreement between the Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom Royal Society ring them up I said just a minute you know they don't do things like that you have to fill in forms months ahead and they have to select and they have to ring them up well what do you do I rang them up and the conversation went like this I said tell me have you a program of exchange with Russia they said yes we have are you interested in going to Russia professor Lennox I said well well he said you know we are desperate to get the top Russian mathematicians out because they're very good but we have a problem it's one week for one week and that's no good we want the leading Russian map petitions out for a month or two my wife said give them two months I said you serious give them two months so I said but I said well perhaps I could come for two months he said you can start tomorrow if you like I said what about forms no forms he said we're desperate so within a very short time I landed in a khadeem got a dock Nova and that was the first of my visits and I'm just going to tell you one little story someone who's known to some of you here see a beloved lute kiddin I met him because his wife was the daughter of the professor of mathematics and he asked the rector of the university could I give a lecture and eventually I gave the first lecture in 75 years in the university art at a khadeem gonna dock why a mathematician believes in a creator we had a tiny room just about the first six rows there the library and it was full and as you may know often in academic situations you sit to give a lecture as I'm doing now I learned it in Russia actually doing this so I sat down and I was about to start when somebody said you'd better look outside so I went outside there was a line of 500 people at least waiting to get in many professors now this is a university small two and a half thousand so 500 people were there and it was absolutely packed of course I was terrified I spoke a little in Russian and of course you're very kind you people you welcome attempts to speak your language and then I gave my talk and the questions piled up they put them in front as you probably know that habit it's very interesting habit it would control the length of preachers sermons if you did it here by the way because people get up and the pile grows bigger and bigger and you've got to answer them all when I'd finished there was utter chaos and there was a woman there who was responsible for communism and the university and she was furious and she told Sierra Lord you mustn't do this and I never forget what he said he said Madame you have had it your way for 75 years these people are here tonight to hear the word of God and you are not gonna stop them that was a very risky thing to do and she stormed out the next thing was a young physicist came and he said I'm gonna have 200 students tomorrow night and we want you to come and we're going to grill you and they did and then another chap came and he said we invited Siberia's leading apologist for atheism to come and destroy you tonight oh I said that was very kind of you where is he well that's the problem he disappeared he wouldn't stay for the questions and then he added he said if that is all that a theism can do that's it finished for me and then a professor came over and he said Monsieur sq vous parlez francais and I said we he was a professor of linguistics oh the older man older than me much older that made he put his arm round me I'll never forget this and he said you need a cup of tea he said my department are all waiting and as we walked along the corridor he whispered in my ear he said listen you would be surprised how many people are here tonight who are desperate to hear this stuff now to cut a very long story short I eventually was invited to write an article for poisk that is the newspaper of the Academy of Sciences they got 10,000 letters over one weekend asking for more it was spectacular nothing had ever happened like it in their history and so I started writing for toys which I tell sky again Jetta argument II fifty little torneio Gazeta articles explaining the Christian faith for thinking people but that's another story all of it was a preparation for meeting these atheists because I had many many contacts in the Academy of Sciences and there's just a picture of the Bible and the Institute of mathematics in Novosibirsk and a Belgian train just to remind you of it now I'm a scientist and at first I noticed the major attacks on Christianity were coming from the sciences science has buried God and I've written a book about that but then particularly with Hitchens I noticed there was another kind of attack and that was a moral attack on the Christian gospel and in particular on the concept of the atonement Hitchens wrote ask yourself the question how moral is the following I am told of a human sacrifice that took place 2,000 years ago without my wishing it and the circumstance is so ghastly that had I been present and in possession of any influence I would have been duty-bound to try and stop it in consequence of this murder my own manifold sins are forgiven and I may hope to enjoy eternal life now the cross of the Lord Jesus and his subsequent resurrection are the center point of Christianity he died for our sins and Richard Dawkins the comrade of Hitchens writes about sin Christian focus he says is overwhelmingly on sin sin sin sin sin sin sin what a nasty little preoccupation to have dominating your life and Dawkins regards the atonement as vicious sadomasochistic and repellant now the sad thing about that is of course that atheism has nothing to offer to deal with the problem of human sin and guilt and yet many atheists are content to make crude dismissive caricatures of the very message that has brought hope forgiveness and peace to multitudes of ordinary men and women Dawkins objects the Christian focuses overwhelmingly on sin it's a little preoccupation however sin though it certainly can be very nasty is not little it is the major preoccupation that dominates the world sin is the cause of tyrannies wars genocide murder exploitation financial crises injustice of international societal and family breakdown it is the cause of incalculable unhappiness due to lying cheating slander bullying stealing domestic violence in every form of crime and so on and on and on and on and on and I'm reminded of the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky above all don't lie to yourself the man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him and so loses all respect for himself and for and having no respect he ceases to love you see what is overwhelming is the horrific damage that sin causes forcing us daily to admit the fact that ultimately as scripture says the wages of sin is death the New Atheists have to face sin and its consequences every bit as much as the rest of us and any philosophy that trivializes our ignore sin is sheer fantasy it's dangerous fantasy for us you know better than I do history is littered with disastrous attempts to bring in paradise without facing human sin and those attempts have usually added immeasurably to the burden of human misery and suffering the reason christianity has so much to say about sin is not because of its morbid preoccupation it is because Christianity offers us both a realistic diagnosis of the problem and a solution to it that brings with it news satisfying and meaningful life sin disturbs atheists when it's mentioned because it makes them think of God interestingly if there is no God why would the topics in make them think of God and it raises specters in their mind that threatened their naturalistic worldview it makes them think of Christ his cross his death his resurrection and that instinct is correct for sin in the first place has to do with our relationship with God its disruption and repair dokin says the Christian focus is overwhelming well it is yes just as if I got cancer my focus on that disease would be overwhelming wouldn't yours because of its danger to my health sin is like a cancer it eats up the possibility of real peace and forgiveness and for that reason like Paul I am NOT and I hope you are not ashamed of the gospel young people as I get older I noticed that for many people they have lived and they go to church and they say their prayers but they have long since ceased to publicly witness their faith has been forced into the private sphere shame and fear the two biggest problems that will stop you being a public witness to your community it's no option for us as Christians we are commanded to do that so if you know friends who are not Christian you need to think very seriously about what sort of witness you are Paul says I'm not ashamed of the gospel why is that because it is the power of God unto salvation do people need to be saved yes they do why do people need to be saved and in Romans Paul sets out step by step the logic of a powerful argument they first of all need to be saved because of the wrath of God against sin sin is not primarily horizontal against other people though it is that it is primarily against God and God righteously must deal with it that's because he's a God of love God Musti was sittin because it destroys life and there's there's evidence of his love that his wrath is set against sin now when we use the word wrath we think of human anger and people whose faces are not pretty when they angry have you noticed that nobody is beautiful when they're angry or lose their temper please notice God's wrath is not God losing his temper this is measured it is exactly proportional to the sin that has been done and how's it going to be dealt with the idea here the profound idea that Paul introduces is that Christ is set forth as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith no propitiation is a sacrificial term and the idea of that was a sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God and our Lord did that he satisfied the wrath of God that was due to our sin it's not God losing his temper nor is it as Hitchens said to me what a terrible thing it is to believe in a God who's like a North Korean dictator sitting in the sky watching everything you do you can see that at my debate with him which is online and I said Christopher you make me very sad is it awful to someone that watches you all the time because I have a wife who watches me all the time you see it's very different if a North Korean dictator watches you or if someone you love watches you and I said once you get away from this concept of God as a dictator and think of God as a God of love who loves you so much he watches you and tears for you then it becomes a magnificent thing it's sad when people get sick a distorted view of God so the central dimension of salvation is Christ's death in our place taking upon himself what was due for our sin and we're told in Romans 5 since we have been justified by his blood much more shall we be saved by him notice again from the wrath of God salvation from the wrath of God is a crucial Christian idea and once we gets a grip in our hearts we will not be ashamed of it salvation is the key word and it's enshrined in the name of our Lord you shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins for even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for that is instead of many and Paul says for I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins but notice not full stop Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures what scriptures Paul is claiming something very deep and important here that Christ's death for our sins and what it means is foreshadowed in Scripture it's not an afterthought it's something that was planned right through Scripture and we can see many evidences of that firstly perhaps that Passover in Exodus and when John the Baptist announced Jesus behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world they understood it because they'd celebrated Passover where the lamb died instead of their we are explicitly told that Christ is the fulfillment of the paths over that is the Passover in the Old Testament is a fort model to help us to understand his death and of course we could go to Isaiah which you know very well their famous words he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities and so on the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all and Isaiah 53 is one of the most powerful evidences of the Old Testament prediction that Messiah would die for our sins the final verse there he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors and that is cited and they did test it on it is written he was numbered with the transgressors and Peter cites it he himself bore our sins of his body to the tree this is Old Testament scripture explaining what it means for him to bear our sin now there is a theory that it was the Apostle Paul introduced this idea of Christ's death for our sins and it doesn't go back to Jesus himself Paul came into Christianity and he spoiled it all not so we have evidence of that every Sunday because the Lord's Supper which the ancient text trace very clearly back to Jesus himself long before Paul what is the Lord's Supper saying to us this is my body which is given for you this is the cup that is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood the Lord is preaching a sermon and it's telling us about the heart of our salvation bread and wine separate from one another just as the body and blood of Christ were separated on the cross it's not preaching a message that do your best to earn salvation it's telling you that sin is so fearful it caused the death of the Son of God that He gave His life in this way to save you so the testimony is utterly clear from Scripture but of course atheists are very upset about the entry of sin into the world Dawkins talking about the story of Adam and Eve it was only ever symbolic wasn't it and it's really ugly what he has to say I find it quite disturbing symbolic so in order to impress himself Jesus had himself tortured and executed in victory vicarious punishment for a symbolic sin committed by a non-existent individual as I said barking mad as well as viciously unpleasant that is very sad ladies and gentlemen Dawkins is missing the most magnificent thing in all of history and he's calling the cross foolishness that didn't start with Dawkins one of the things the Apostle Paul warns us off at the very beginning is that the message of the Cross is going to sound ridiculous to people it was foolishness to the Greeks Paul writes that in Corinthians so don't be surprised if Hitchens and Dawkins say it's foolishness but to believers it is the power of God and the wisdom of God once we get underneath and begin to see what it is about and begin to take it seriously we realize that is a magnificent answer to the entry of sin into the world through one man sin entered the world of through sin death and so death came to all men and turn because all have sinned you will notice of course then this is a theological point if you don't like theology go to sleep for a moment the last Clause of this quotation does not say that all men sinned in Adam the last clause is introduced by the Greek conjunction fo which cannot mean in whom are in him it means because all have sinned it's exactly the same expression as it Romans 3 all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and this is of course going back to the story in the Garden of Eden which define for us human morality all the trees were accessible except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil please notice it is not the tree of knowledge it's the tree of one kind of knowledge that you don't really want to have how many writers and people I have met think it's a tree of knowledge and therefore God is trying to limit your knowledge he isn't the very opposite the sources of all knowledge were in that garden and that's another story for another time but these are the parameters of what it means to be moral in the day you ate you shall surely die so they must have had the capacity to eat they had freedom with a boundary that is vastly important Hitchens exaggerated says horrific ly what he says it is useless to object that Adam seems to have been created with insatiable discontent and curiosity and then forbidden to snake it you see he thinks this is the tree of knowledge absolute nonsense god only for bad one thing they could participate of everything else and in that garden they started science didn't they the first task they were given was to name the animals that's taxonomy that is the essence of all academic disciplines giving names to things they could use their aesthetic sense admire beauty their job to do working the ground they could follow the rivers in their curiosity and see where they went and discover gold and it was good gold there's a huge universe of exploration to be done in fellowship with God one thing forbidden now please notice ladies and gentlemen morality begins with God this is crucial for our understanding of morality now Dawkins actually denies morality in his atheism he says the world is just that we'd expected to be if at bottom there's no good no evil no justice DNA just as that we dance to its music in other words there's no morality and yet he recognizes he's a moral being where does morality come from society this state it comes from God and that's why there is such pressure in our society to deny its origin you see legislators around the world are desperate to find a rational origin for morality they got rid of God and if you get rid of God then the only way to find morality is in the world and so they study science and they get to Darwin and he was a kinda man he studied ants and that he said and to cooperate and there's a foundation for altruism but his contemporary found that nature was red in tooth and claw and he spoke of the survival of the fittest both of those have been attempted in morality by the way and if you follow the animal world as we're doing at the moment to set up morality you can set up morality you wish which is why there's such huge moral confusion in the world now that's a very important subject in his own in its own right and I've written a bit about Genesis in my book seven days that divided the world but the important thing for us is to realize that there's a parallel between the entry of sin into the world and the way in which salvation comes you see it wasn't your fault that sin entered into the world I'd good parents you know and I'm thankful for it because not everybody has but they weren't perfect and I'm certainly not a perfect parent and so it was on and on God doesn't blame you for everything sin entered into the world through one man we did not engineer the problem to think we can engineer the solution is absurd and so it's through the one man Jesus Christ and what he did in the cross through his atonement that forms a basis for our salvation it's very important to see that parallel now unfortunately people don't understand the concept of vicarious suffering firstly because they misunderstand the concept of salvation many people think that salvation simply means some sort of moral code loving your neighbor as yourself and so on that we have to keep to earn God's ultimate acceptance you will notice that is the view of most religions it is not the view of the Bible the biblical view is that we are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly his faith is counted as righteousness Christianity now let me get this very clear I'm often asked about other religions and I say at this point the reason I'm a Christian is because Christianity doesn't even compete with the others for the simple reason that offers me something that none of them do you see all of them you will find if you investigate they offer some kind of program that you try to keep you stay on the way and you hope desperately that God will accept you at the end that leads to slavery of course in every way Christianity doesn't say that it says that Christ has died he's done the work and if you trust him you can know you're forgiven right now you don't have to wait until the end that is so important to grasp so he's not in competition with everything else but substitutionary atonement is regarded as immoral by these people barking mad Sid Dawkins if God wanted to forgive our sins why not just forgive them without having himself tortured and executed in payment or as heinrich heine once put it God will forgive that is what he is here for now the matter of forgiveness is so important that I am publishing another book in the New Year on the life of Joseph it's called an anatomy of forgiveness the basic idea of forgiveness in Scripture means letting go but there's a lot of forgiveness about it Dawkins is there's a lot of difficulty about understanding it Dawkins is saying why can't God just let it go the answer has to do with human guilt when I sin my guilt changed me to the past and the law insists that I pay a penalty the law doesn't just let it go because if it does let it go it means its condoning the action now here's a problem I come from Northern Ireland which was characterized by terrorism in the name of Christianity many times I saw poor people and television and here's a woman she's a believer her daughter has just been murdered and some Reporter puts a microphone in front door and says you're a Christian you got to forgive them and she doesn't know what to say that is absurd ladies and gentlemen you see let me try and explain it to you letting go has two dimensions and listen carefully because we're all involved in this if someone offends you then that can work its way into your heart and destroy you if you don't stop it there's an internal letting it go but then there's an external letting it go and that is when the person who has offended you comes and says look I am utterly devastated by what I've done will you forgive me in other words will you publicly let it go but if they don't repent ladies and gentlemen and you simply say oh I forgive you I let it go it means you're condoning it God won't do that have you noticed in Scripture that God does not forgive people who do not repent this is so important and it brings relief to so many people because they have their Christian friends saying you got to forgive that we got to forgive them but there's no repentance and then to make it worse they quote the Lord Jesus prayer at the cross saying Father forgive them for they know not what they do and they say look you've got to forgive them and I say please read the verse Father forgive them for they know not what they do to apply that to terrorists who know exactly what they're doing is morally absurd it's in a special circumstance those poor soldiers had no idea what they were doing and so Christ prayed for their forgiveness and they would remember that he'd done so and of course they would repent so this is a very important topic Christ's death provides a basis where you can be forgiven if you repent there is no salvation without repentance because that would simply they took on down our sin and that's what Christopher Hitchens couldn't understand I can pay your debt I could even serve your term in prison or take your place in the scaffold greater love is no man but I cannot absolve you of your responsibilities it would be immoral of me to offer and immoral of you to accept but the biblical side is there is one God and one mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all and Hitchens objection is the objection that was made in Scripture how can you forgive the sin of another person especially if the sins against yet a third person and there's an incident in Matthew where some man brought a paralyzed man and they let him down through the roof and Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic take heart my son your sins are forgiven and behold some of the scribes said to themselves this man is blaspheming but that you might know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins he said the man arise and walk the scribes have Hitchens section how can you forgive the man since since they weren't against you you can only if you're God and that's where the problem lies what lies totally outside Hitchens capacity to conceptualize is the fact that Jesus is both man and God there's a very famous book called the sunflower written by Simon Wiesenthal the Nazi hunter it's about nipa Petrovski and he was there in a camp and a Nazi was dying in the camp hospital and he said please send me a Jew and recent I'll came in and the man said I want you to forgive me and he done some awful atrocity burnt women and children alive in a church and Vees and house stood at the end and then turned around and went out without a word the book is fascinating because he has 50 or so of the world's leading thinkers saying was recent outright or was he wrong if you're interested in this question this is a must-read forgiveness is big stuff it's very important stuff and the most encouraging thing is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and that's a message that was committed to the Apostle Paul and finally CS Lewis writes he saved others himself he cannot save is a definition of the kingdom all salvation everywhere and at all times in great things or in little is vicarious finally to resources my book gunning for God is written with Hitchens principally in mind and deals with this in more detail but there's another book that was originally written for Russia and Ukraine and hundreds of thousands if not millions of copies are in your country's key Bible concepts you can get it free right down this e this website myrtle filled house.com it's the lowest of those three and you can download it in Russian in Ukrainian but it's a collection of the articles we wrote for Russian and Ukrainian newspapers and it explains in simple language the basic concepts of Christianity including the ones I've been talking about so that's key Bible concepts and as I've said before I've got a website John Lennox org and you can see me discussing many of these topics and others on the website of Veritas org and also RZ i M org now that was very rapid and I just commend these things to you but Joyce Bessie does thank you [Applause]

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