Part 9: Logic and Evidences
Do we really think that we can change the hearts and minds of men by the overwhelming logic and evidences for the intelligent design of the living world and the universe around us?
Evolutionist Richard Morris reluctantly admitted, "It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed in such a way that life would be inevitable" (qtd. in Sharp and Bergman 205). And Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist at Oxford University, England, stated, "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose" (qtd. in Sharp and Bergman 206).
How can we really help such people? Christ our Lord and Savior told us: "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5, KJV). During the 66 years of my Christian life, I have discovered increasingly (but far from completely) how true this is. If God does honor our efforts to bring people to Him, we dare not congratulate ourselves, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
But what really happens when an atheist is finally won over to the Intelligent Design view?
In 2004 the academic world was rocked by the news that a prominent atheist had changed his mind. For the past half century, the name of philosopher Antony Flew was virtually synonymous with atheism. But now he has decided there is a God after all. What brought such an entrenched atheist to change his mind? The scientific case for Intelligent Design. Investigation of DNA “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved,” Flew says in a video ("Has Science Discovered God?" The Institute for Metascientific Research, 2004). Though atheist colleagues were outraged by his change of mind, Flew replied calmly, “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.” (Pearcey 498)
Tragically, however, “Mr. Flew still does not accept any revealed religion, including Christianity. He has simply become a 'theist,' or, as he says, a 'deist,' believing that God created the world, but no longer has a personal relationship with it" (Veith 22). All of us should be pleased when any level of truth replaces any kind of error. But where does the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ fit into such "conversions"? The last thing mankind needs is a revival of deism.
James J. S. Johnson explains that:
The problem, despite the positive contributions of IDMers … is that what is sacrificed … exceeded the benefits achieved, generally speaking. The pay-off is like spending a dollar to gain a dime. A forensic logic technique is gained (apologetically speaking), yet the exorbitant price paid therefore is a functional withdrawal from the five doctrinal ‘solas’ of Biblical truth recovered by the Protestant Reformation (i.e., sola Scriptura, solo Christo, sola fide, sola gratia, and soli deo gloria). What net good is that, if we really care about transmitting truth to our neighbors?" (Johnson)
Part 10: God’s Answers
If we truly love people (that is, to do for them what is best in the light of eternity, no matter what the price or cost may be to us), we must patiently, prayerfully and consistently tell them God's answers to the questions of ultimate origins, meaning and destiny.
I will be forever grateful that the man God used to rescue me from materialistic evolutionism at Princeton University in 1943 did not apply a rationalistic "wedge" to my mind by the use of lengthy, complex—though perfectly valid—arguments for Intelligent Design. The man was Donald B. Fullerton, a 1913 graduate of the university and a veteran missionary to India and Afghanistan, who established the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship in 1931. This campus ministry continues to the present day. (My unpublished account of my conversion is entitled, “Priorities in Presenting the Faith: The Conversion of an Evolutionist,” available through Whitcomb Ministries.)
Indeed, to understand that the entire universe is the product of an Intelligent Designer is an essential foundation for the study of ultimate origins. But it is only the very bottom rung of the ladder of creation truth. It is vastly insufficient! It is an outwardly beautiful bridge that attracts people to escape from the barren wasteland of atheism and naturalism. But it is a bridge that is broken at the other end!
To honor God and to bring full light to the vital question of where everything came from, one must honor His self-revelation in the Bible with its focus on the true identity and sacrificial work of the Savior of the world. One must also accept what He taught us concerning cosmic, geologic and biologic origins in Genesis 1 and 2, the world-transforming curse of Genesis 3 and the global flood of Genesis 6-9.
Dr. Terry Mortenson explains:
The ID movement is only focusing on design in creation and overlooking the obvious witness in creation to God's wrath outpoured at the Fall and the Flood. Additionally, they apparently fail to see … that philosophical naturalism controls geology and astronomy as much as, if not more than, it controls biology, and that naturalism did not take control of science through Darwin but through old-earth geology and astronomy half a century earlier. Ultimately, the age of the earth controversy is not just a philosophical argument; rather, old-earth geology and old-universe astronomy, like evolutionary biology, are massive assaults on the authority and clarity of the Word of God. (Bigalke 70)
The Son of God—through Whom God the Father "made the worlds" (Heb. 1:2); by Whom "were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth" (Col. 1:16); the One Who "is before all things" and by Whom "all things consist" (Col. 1:17); the One without Whom "was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3); the One Who "was in the world, and the world was made by him" (John 1:10); the "one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (1 Cor. 8:6); the One "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3)—the ultimate Intelligent Designer, has been practically ignored by these who write so eloquently of "the intelligent design" of all things.
Sharp, Doug, and Jerry Bergman. Persuaded by the Evidence: True Stories of Faith, Science, and the Power of a Creator. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008.
Pearcey, Nancy. Total Truth. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005.
Vieth, Gene Edward. "Flew the Coop." World 25 Dec. 2004: 22.
Johnson, James J. S. “Shades of the Enlightenment!” Institute for Creation Research. 24 March 2007 - http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/shades-of-the-enlightenment.pdf.
Bigalke, Ron J., Jr. The Genesis Factor: Myths and Realities. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008.
Dr. John C. Whitcomb has been a professor of Old Testament and theology for more than 50 years and is widely recognized as a leading biblical scholar. He taught at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN) from 1951-1990 and gained much recognition for his work on The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Morris in 1961. That book has been credited as one of the major catalysts for the modern Biblical creationism movement. His ministry homepage is Whitcomb Ministries, and his sermons are available at SermonAudio.com.