A Review of The Quest for Reality and Significance. By David Gooding and John Lennox.

Jan 22, 2020 by

by Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch:

This new six-volume set of books on Christian apologetics is a very useful resource indeed. Coming in at some 1850 pages, it covers most of the key areas when it comes to defending the Christian faith and affirming the rationality and reliability of Christian truth claims.

The first two books were released in 2018, and the last four in 2019. Sadly, one of the authors, David Gooding, passed away late in 2019. Gooding was an Old Testament professor in the UK. And most would know of John Lennox, the Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist.

The six volumes they have produced are very good indeed and cover quite a bit of ground. Most of the main areas covered in Christian apologetics are found here. By way of my review, it may be best to discuss each volume separately, and then offer some concluding remarks.

Vol. 1, Being Truly Human, deals with anthropology.

Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we heading to? These and other fundamental questions about what it means to be human are carefully explored in this volume. The authors examine how various worldviews look at the question of personhood and human worth and compare this with the biblical Christian position.

Issues such as human dignity, the nature of freedom, moral responsibility, and the use of power are discussed here. Consider the essential worth and value of a person. Christianity sees it as being intrinsic to the person, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Many other worldviews however see the worth of a person as something which is extrinsic: it comes from without, and it is decided by cultures, or rulers, or ideologies. In ancient Greece and Rome newborn babies were often unwanted and left to die of exposure. The early Christians did not look at human beings this way, and in fact went out of their way to rescue these babies.

Worldviews matter in other words, and a low view of human life can have some dire consequences. Hitler’s Germany is a clear-cut modern example of all this. Faulty political and moral systems have faulty views of humanity, and this volume demonstrates some of the major differences. As the authors say about the atheist worldview which claims we are just the result of impersonal, natural forces and processes:

“The striking, but melancholy, fact is this: the atheist is a warm, feeling, purposeful, intelligent human being. But these forces which produced, and one day will destroy, him, his feelings, loves, purposes and intelligence are, all of them, by the atheist’s own definition, non-rational, non-sentient, mindless and purposeless.”

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