Intelligent Design: A Biblical Perspective
What is intelligent design?
Intelligent design is a scientific theory which holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.
Is it a compromised or a common denominator movement?
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
Thinking Biblically about the I.D. Movement:
Genesis 1, John 1:3, Romans 1:20-22, and 2 Corinthians 10:4-6.
What Scientific Strongholds Need Pulling Down Today?:
- Philosophical Naturalism – the assumption that all natural phenomena have natural causes. It rules out supernatural causes of design a priori.
-Methodological Naturalism – a scientific methodology which may only propose hypotheses which assume natural causation for all natural effects.
- A caveat about methodological naturalism
- The belief that all life descended from a common ancestor through naturalistic processes alone (primarily mutation & natural selection). No divine initiation or intervention is needed (Darwin’s naturalistic explanation of evolution).
- Belief in the necessity of divine causation makes you a ‘heretic’ as far as state-approved Darwinism is concerned (heretics – theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, ID theorists, and of course young-earth creationists).
Why Should We Consider Naturalism and Darwinism Strongholds?
I. They exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. These philosophies subtly undermine or deny ‘God’s invisible attributes and His eternal power and Godhead’ with regard to life as well as the entire cosmos.
II. They are publically funded (our tax dollars at work). All state-sanctioned scientific and educational establishments make sure that it is all done in a God-free zone.
III. Academic freedom has a short leash and a choke chain. God-fearing or Darwin-questioning scientists employed by the state are now in danger of persecution if they allow their religious views or doubts about Darwin to affect their scientific research and/or classroom discussion. Doubting, questioning, or dissenting from the scientific orthodoxy of naturalism and Darwinism is verboten.
How Do We Go About Pulling Down These Strongholds?
1 Peter 3:15-16
Pros of the I.D. Movement:
I. Non-creationist scientists have more credibility. May cause the Jedi masters of evolution to ‘sit up and listen’. Creation scientists often lack ethos in the public square.
II. Big tent approach – uniting many diverse worldviews that have major objections with naturalism and Darwinism under one umbrella.
III. Eye-opener for the Gospel. Acts 26:17-18. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. Science unencumbered with naturalistic assumptions can and should be able to detect intelligent causation without appealing to special revelation.
Shortcomings of the I.D. Movement:
I. Limited premise truncates research. If real design is attributed to a real intelligence, game is over. If God, then we have to turn to special revelation to fill in the blanks. If aliens, then that begs the question, who designed the aliens? If intelligent design is divorced from special revelation, it can never determine who did it.
II. Avoiding the word ‘God’ in their rhetoric.
III. Design doesn’t say it all. Creation covers design, production of raw materials, and manufacture.
Intelligent Design and Evangelism:
I. Acts 17:23-24. Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
II. Being convinced that a divine agent created and designed the universe does not result in forgiveness of sins. Eyes have been opened, yes, but to what end? (the rest of Acts 26:18).
III. Belief in a Creator must precede a responding to the Gospel. Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Intelligent design can persuade men of an UNKNOWN GOD but we must use the scripture to lead them to Christ. Acts 17:25-31.