Monday, December 21, 2020

Book Review: Where is God in a Coronavirus World? by John C. Lennox

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BOOK review
Started on: 15 December 2020
Finished on: 17 December 2020
 

Title: Where is God in a Coronavirus World?
Author: John C. Lennox
Publisher: The Good Book Company
Pages: 64 pages
Year of Publication: 2020
Price: Rp 111,439 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 4/5 
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"Your worldview will make a difference to how you react to disasters like the coronavirus pandemic, and to earthquakes or tsunamis."
We are living through a unique period when many of our old uncertainties have gone, whatever our view of the world and whatever our beliefs may be. The coronavirus pandemic and its effects are perplexing and unsettling for all of us. In this short yet profound book, professor John C. Lennox  examines the coronavirus in light of various belief systems and shows how the Christian worldview not only helps us to make sense of it, but also offers us a sure and certain hope to cling to.
 
"Holy water is not a hand sanitizer and prayer is not a vaccine... But for believers, religion is a fundamental source of spiritual healing and hope. It's a remedy against despair, providing psychological and emotional support that is an integral part of well-being."
Back in May 2020, I read the book Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper—which I really enjoyed and it strengthened my faith during a season full of uncertainties. Now we have been in this situation for more than half a year and as we are nearing the end of the year 2020, I thought it would be timely to read another book related to COVID-19. I've never read a book by John C. Lennox before and so this was my first introduction to his writing. I first heard of his name during an apologetics seminar and since then I am interested to read his works because John C. Lennox is an Oxford mathematics professor who usually tackled the issue between God and science. So when I was contemplating about which book to read next, I decided to pick this book up considering it's a fairly short book too.
"But I hope you will end this book understanding why Christians are able to speak confidently about hope and to feel a sense of peace, even in a world of uncertainty in which death has suddenly loomed closer."
At the beginning of this book, the author invite us to imagine sitting in a coffee shop and asked him the question on the book cover: Where is God in a coronavirus world?. And so this short book is his honest answer to that question, conveying comfort, support, and hope to those who are struggling. First, he admits that even though there have been similar pandemics in the past, these days have made us all feeling vulnerable. We are being confronted with the problem of pain and suffering, and our faith or belief system is constantly challenged. The author continued by explaining what pain does to us, which is one of my favorite parts of this book. He explained that first, pain warns us of danger, just like when we put our hand near the fire, the pain naturally makes us withdraw our hands. Second, a certain amount of pain is involved in physical development; in this case pain helps develop us spiritually. Third, suffering and pain can contribute to character formation—which I have to agree even though sometimes it is hard when we have to get through it.

John C. Lennox also reassured us that God is not taken aback by the coronavirus; he can work for good even in the evil of it, and his plans will not be thwarted by it—although in our current situation it can be very challenging to hold on to that truth. And we come to love and wholly trust God because he himself has suffered for us on the cross. But in the end, the author admits that he haven't answered all the questions that this crisis has raised. We might not be able to understand everything regarding the coronavirus and the mystery of what God is doing in the midst of it. In the meantime, we need to believe that God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken; and when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart (Charles Spurgeon).
"Our purpose here is simply to note that God is not taken aback by the coronavirus; he can work for good even in the evil of it, and his plans will not be thwarted by it, although in situations like the present crisis it can be very hard for us to take this on board. At the same time, we are responsible for our own responses to the crisis and to each other—for he has given us that freedom."
I'm very grateful because throughout the pandemic, I was able to have hope, peace, and joy that comes from the Lord even when the circumstances are not looking good. This book definitely reassured me that God is still with us despite the COVID-19 pandemic and He loves us still. I love the writings of C.S. Lewis that the author quoted in this book, which was very deep and thought-provoking. He reminded us that a disease like coronavirus may break our bodies, but they don't have to dominate our minds.
"Therefore, a Christian is not so much a person who has solved the problem of pain, suffering and the coronavirus, but one who has come to love and trust a God who has himself suffered."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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