The death of Stephen Hawking . . .

. . . was announced this week. He is feted as being one of the smartest men who has ever lived and has been instrumental in huge developments in our understanding of the cosmos. Yet Hawking claimed to be an atheist.

I once heard the American Baptist academic, Tony Campolo explain that when he met an atheist, he would often ask them to describe the kind of God they didn’t believe in. After they did so, Campolo would say, ‘I don’t believe in that kind of God either. Congratulations, you are well on your way to being a Christian!’ This is basically the response of Christian scientists to Hawking’s atheism. As Revd Dr David Wilkinson explains: “(Professor Hawking) demolished smaller Gods, and left us with the bigger, biblical God”.

This morning John Rouse will be speaking from John 14, where Jesus prays for his disciples. It is a remarkable window into their relationship and sets for us something of a model on how we can know God with a similar level of closeness.

This evening we share the service with our fabulous young people. We look at our next parable – the one about the sower and the different soils.


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