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The Veritas Forum presents Oxford mathematician John Lennox Credit: Sophia Ciocca , Sophia Ciocca

“If you could ask God a question, what would it be?” began Michael Chen at the Penn Veritas Forum Feb. 22.

Cru, a Christian association on campus, had collected responses throughout the week and questions ranged from, “Are you lonely?” to “Why did you create mosquitos?” to “What is our purpose in life?

The first Veritas Forum was first held at Harvard University in 1992. Today, university Christian associations hold Veritas Forums across the country, seeking to engage students of all faiths and beliefs in a discussion around the relevance of God in everyday life.

This year, Penn Veritas Forum invited John Lennox, a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford. Interviewed by David Skeel, a professor at Penn Law School, Lennox answered the questions asked by the students.

Lennox tackled a broad range of topics, from the nature of God to the existence and goal of free will. Members of the audience enjoyed his sense of humor.

A combination of Penn and Temple students and Philadelphians of all ages filled Irvine Auditorium.

“The event was really geared toward an intellectual audience,” said Nursing freshman Faith Concepcion. “I also really liked how he incorporated personal anecdotes to his answers.”

Alysen Vilhuna, a College sophomore, said, “Lennox was a great speaker. But I thought he didn’t always answer the questions, and he was [rambling] at times.”

Fellow Cru member Roy Chan, a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Education, agreed. “The event was a great opportunity to bring together people of very different beliefs, and people who are just curious about faith and God in general.”

“What is important to us is to get people to think not only about the questions they would like to ask God,” he said, “but also about the answers he gives us.”

This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Roy Chan’s name.

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