This is a book study on John Lennox’s book ‘Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith, and Human Responsibility’. Lennox openly acknowledges that he has not provided definite solutions to these deep questions of the faith and that there is mystery involved. He clearly acknowledges that God is sovereign, but that we need to think carefully about what the word ‘sovereign’ means Biblically. This book, per my understanding, is an invitation for Christians to spend time thinking deeply about what the Bible means when it describes God as sovereign.
Greetings fellow bookies - let’s dive in For this first post, I wanted us to discuss who Lennox’s target audience is and how he is approaching this topic. From the introduction, we learn a few very import things:
- this book is intended for Christians
- Dr. Lennox is going to spend a limited amount of time discussing naturalistic determinism, though he will address it
- Dr. Lennox does not claim to have definitive answers and is approaching this topic with humility
- Dr. Lennox clearly acknowledges that God is sovereign, but believes that we need to think carefully about what that word means Biblically
As good readers, the first thing we want to understand are the author’s intended audience, goals and how they will approach their topic. That can help set the stage for a more fruitful discussion as we engage the material. Below are some questions for discussion.
The Lord Jesus bless and guide us
Questions for Discussion
- Dr. Lennox is approaching this topic with great humility. How can his attitude set the tone for our discussion if we encounter statements with which we disagree?
- What is Dr. Lennox’s main goal in writing this book?
- What are your expectations after reading the introductory material?
Philosopher Thomas Nagel in The View from Nowhere wrote: “I change my mind about the problem of free will every time I write about it…”
I have decided to concentrate on the issues raised for me and my fellow Christians by theological determinism.
I am aware that a Christian reader may well raise a principled objection to such a procedure, by saying there is a danger that we shall end up framing God in our own image, based on our convictions about the nature of human freedom. I accept the point, but awareness of the risk diminishes it; and
This book is written mainly for Christians who are interested in or even troubled by questions about God’s sovereignty and human freedom and responsibility.
I do not for a moment suppose that I have provided definitive solutions to these difficult questions.
the issue for Christians is not whether it teaches the sovereignty of God – it does as one of its essential doctrines – but what the sovereignty of God actually means as revealed in Scripture.