Professor John Lennox of Oxford University packs a lot into this gripping small paperback. The one hundred and twenty five pages could be read in one sitting, but there may be merit in exploring the ten chapters over a number of days. The book is laced with anecdotes, quotes and measured interpretation of complex questions. Bloggers, writers, and preachers will enjoy this book. Everyday sharers of the faith will find a treasure trove of material to reuse or recycle. John Lennox exudes passion from every pore as he confronts the New Atheism, and his science-theology scholarship is combined with sublime writing skill.

Time alone will tell if this little book finds a permanent niche among the classics on private apologetics library shelves. Is there is something of a C.S. Lewis or a G.K. Chesterton here, in the author’s remarkable ability to make complex ideas penetrable to a wider audience? A wilderness fishing or camping expedition, with baked beans the staple ration, can be ruined by failure to pack a tin opener. Much has been spoken or written about “plausibility structure”, and how the Church often gets a limited hearing from younger people who have been bewitched by scientism (“Science can explain everything”). This book may be the tin opener some of us need to challenge “scientism”.

We may need to be conditioned to seeing science as a springboard for evangelism, and an excellent opening gambit for spiritual discussion. Science rather than human sexuality may be the nettle that the Church in the West desperately needs to grasp currently. John Lennox may have gifted the Church a supremely useful resource here at remarkably low cost.

James Hardy, Skainos Church, Belfast