‘From Gawping to Goodreads’ (Part 6)

I’ve chosen two books to think about this week (‘Where is God in a Coronavirus world’ by John C. Lennox and ‘God and the Pandemic’ by Tom Wright’)not only because they are both short, which they are, but because they both try to help us think better about who we are as Christians in the midst of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. I really enjoy reading both of these authors as they make me think but also live better too.

Though they are similar, yet these books are very different. Lennox writes as one who argues for the faith in the face of an aggressive and confrontational atheism. Whereas Wright writes as a pastor to comfort, to encourage and to give us pointers to how we may live as the people of Jesus today.

The greatest difference, yet similarity, is to be found in the common theme of our hope as Christians. They both speak of New Creation and the astonishing picture in Revelation of the New Heavens and the New Earth. For Lennox he seems to be suggesting that this is just another way of describing our going to heaven when we die. For Wright this describes not life after death, ie heaven, but of life after life after death where there is now a brand new physical life when humanity and creation will be one in Christ. Lennox writes as an apologist against those who argue the virus is a sign of God’s non existence and that if he does exist then he is not good. Whereas Wright writes to see this time as an opportunity for us to live out our vocation as the People of God to feed the hungry, to give a drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to give hospitality to the stranger and to visit the sick.

As short books (Lennox’s is 64 pages long and Wright’s is 76 pages long) there is a lot missing but yet there is still so much there to help us speak up and about God in these times. As both were published before the death of George Floyd in June and the impact of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, and especially how the virus seems to be more deadly among the BAME community, we will have to do the thinking for ourselves about that.

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