Reasons to Believe’s astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross and astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Zweerink: Stephen Hawking Says God Did Not Create the Universe: What Do You Think?
Oxford’s triple Ph. D. (mathematics, physics, theology) Dr. John Lennox:
As a scientist I'm certain Stephen Hawking is wrong. You can't explain the universe without God
Hawking is not affirming atheism, but deism. But I think that he may be affirming a theology that no one has considered yet. He still recognizes that an outside intelligence is required for mathematics and logic. However, he does not ascribe any personal attributes to this intelligence. My understanding is that this is nothing different from what he affirmed in “A Brief History of Time.”
Hawking does seem to hold that the laws of physics are eternal, but not personal either. What he does not make clear is if the laws of physics possess intelligence. It sounds like Hawking would argue, like theists do, that logic and mathematics are part of the nature of God. God is eternal. Therefore, logic and mathematics are eternal. Also, though, that he (unlike theists) would add the laws of physics to being part of the nature of God- allowing the laws of physics to be eternal too. He ascribes the initiation of the Big Bang to the laws of physics, yet denies that God is ultimately responsible. However, if the laws of physics are part of the nature of God, then God IS ultimately responsible for the initiation of the Big Bang on his view.
This poses a problem if he wishes to affirm just one deity. In order to escape the problem, I think that Hawking might ultimately have to hold a form of polytheism if he wishes to maintain that the laws of physics are uncreated AND that the being responsible for logic and mathematics is NOT ultimately responsible for the initiation of the Big Bang.
Either way (deism or a form of polytheism), Hawking denies personal attributes of the deity(ies). I would almost propose that a new, more succinct term be coined for Hawking’s theology. He affirms that an intelligence outside the universe is required, so he denies atheism. However, he denies that the Intelligence(s) is personal, so he's denying theism. And finally, he’s affirming multiple (minimum two) distinct eternal beings. Its seems that “polydeism” might be the more descriptive theological term for Hawking’s position.
Even if Hawking affirms two distinct eternal beings, he must wrestle with the notion that the physical laws (attributes of one of the deities) relies on the existence of logic and mathematics (attributes of the other deity). He must explain how the physical laws are dependent on logic and mathematics, yet they be co-eternal. If he were to deny that they are dependent, then he must explain why such an illusion of dependency exists. If he can successfully separate the two deities (maintaining his theology), he must be prepared to recognize that all his equations may not actually reflect the laws of physics at all. He can maintain his theology at the cost of the certainty of his research that led him to such a theology. If he wishes to maintain the certainty of his equations, he must abandon his theology- recombine the two deities into a single deity that is responsible for the creation of the universe.
Check out this list of responses to Hawking compiled by Brian Auten at Apologetics 315.