Lanier Library Lectures with John Lennox in Houston, Texas

Lanier Library Lectures with John Lennox in Houston, Texas October 25, 2023

Mathematician and Christian Apologist John Lennox

My friend David Capes of Houston, Texas, has been trying to get me to attend a lecture series at The Lanier Theological Library, where he is the director. I finally did. Thanks, David. It is located quite close to Champions Golf Club, where I have played many a round of golf, including many times in the PGA Tour’s Houston Open and once in the U.S. Open.

So, last weekend I attended a lecture series in my old hometown of Houston, where I graduated from college and lived for nearly forty years. It was held at the relatively new and developing Lanier Theological Library in northwest Houston. This library is the brainchild of Houston trial lawyer Mark Lanier, who owns The Lanier Law Firm. Mr. Lanier is most known for his law firm winning a class-action case on behalf of twenty-two women who contracted ovarian cancer. The case went to the Supreme Court, but it refused to consider it. The resulting monetary judgment award totaled $4.7 billion against the big pharmaceutical Johnson & Johnson for “reprehensible conduct” in manufacturing and selling asbestos-containing talcum powder products over the course of many decades even though the company knew it could cause cancer.

Southern Baptist Mark Lanier has a dream to make The Lanier Theological Library a destination research study with onsite accommodations and a venue for Christian lectures, most of which are open to the public. Mark’s vision is to construct buildings that copy the architecture of buildings at universities in Oxford, England. It’s going to be a truly beautiful place to study, perhaps somewhat like at Oxford, where I once took my family. We even “punted on the Thames,” and I’m not referring to football.

At last weekend’s Lanier Library event, it was The Third Annual John Warwick Montgomery Lectures in Evidential Apologetics. The main lecturer was the 79-year old, world-famous, Irish mathematician John Lennox. Among his multiple positions is he is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, England. Mr. Lennox also is a renown Christian apologist who has written several books on science and religion. And he has publicly debated leading atheists in the world multiple times, such as Rich Dawkins and now deceased Christopher Hitchens.

For the past several years, I have been a fan of John Lennox. His teaching on the first chapter in the Bible, the creation narrative in Genesis 1, influenced me to believe in the possibility that it indicates lengthy periods of time elapsing between the creative days, which can correspond with the Big Bang Hypothesis that is so affirmed in cosmology today. It is slightly different from the so-called “day-age theory” about that text.

The theme of Mr. Lennox’s lectures last weekend was artificial intelligence. The event began in the afternoon on Friday with four panelists which included Dr. Lennox and Dr. Gary Habermas, who is known as an authority on the resurrection of Jesus and has written several books on it. In fact, he is now finishing a 600-page volume that is the fourth installment in a series on this subject, published by the Baptist publisher B & H (formerly Broadman & Holman), with the first volume being released next February. I don’t know of any written work that extensive on Jesus’ resurrection, so I’m looking forward to seeing that. My interest in this subject is partly because I wrote a screenplay on Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances as narrated in the Bible’s New Testament.

On Friday evening, Dr. Lennox spoke on artificial intelligence. I admit that I was lacking in intelligence to fully keep up with it! But the next evening, John spoke on the future of artificial intelligence, but especially transhumanism, and compared that with biblical eschatology. I was much more informed about that. I have two chapters on transhumanism in an unpublished book that I plan to include in my STILL HERE series on Bible prophecy. About 500 people attended that night.

The evening ended with attendees purchasing Lennox’s latest book and autographing it. It is entitled 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. The title “2084” is a takeoff from George Orwell’s book 1984. I then asked John if I could send him a book chapter I’ve written about transhumanism being in the Bible. He said “yes.” It’s something I have not divulged publicly, and no one has been writing about it as far as I know.

The next morning, on Sunday, some of us lecture attendees joined Mark Lanier’s Sunday school class at Champion Forest Baptist Church to hear Mark interview John for about an hour or more. It really capped off an enjoyable weekend for me. It is such a pleasure to gather together with Christians, and especially with some very intelligent people who are earnest in knowing about God and his creation as their worldview that sustains them in a life of faith that we believe rests on substantial evidence.

[My next post will be about stimulating discussions Dr. Gary Habermas and I had, mostly about Jesus’ resurrection. I was gratified to learn that we see everything alike about this subject, especially that we both regard Jesus’ resurrection as the central core of Christian faith. That is the theme of my next book, which I expect to be available in about ten days.]

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