Modernism rests on the foundation of a view of everything. That view of everything has shifted somewhat over the past 400 years but it seems to consistently hover around the concept of materialism. That view posits that everything that is is made up of matter and energy, or more properly in light of Einstein’s theories, everything is made up of matter (for energy and matter are correlative according to E=MC2). Materialism dismisses, out of hand, the notion of a Creator and hence the notion of God. Materialism, since the late 19th Century has been rooted in a theory of origins, known as Darwinism.
Darwinism has dominated discussions of origins for the last 150 years. At this point, secular scientists assume that only bumpkins and insane people believe the world was created by an intelligent being, let alone God, and talk as though evolution were established fact. Recently, other legitimate scientists have begun to hold exception with this attitude, and posit the idea that an intelligent designer could and probably did create the universe. The consequent debate is primarily ideologically motivated rather than objective or scientific, those on both sides arguing on philosophical, logical and religious grounds.
The crucial argument in the hands of the Intelligent Design proponents is what has been referred to as the concept of “irreducible complexity”. Since the advent of more and more complex microscopes and other devices for investigating creation, the scientific community finds over and again that what earlier generations of scientists believed were simple systems all seem to possess a great complexity. And further that complexity is essential to the operation of the system.
Take the human eye for example. Without the eye it is highly doubtful, given the assumptions of materialism and Darwinism, that a single human being, let alone the race could survive for long. The eye is amazingly complex, requiring the interaction of hosts of chemicals, mechanism, and systems in order to function. One of the key tenets of Darwinism is that changes from one form to another by means of gradual change. But how can gradual change explain the formation of the human eye? The eye could not have “seen” until all the changes had completely been made. And without seeing eyes, men would have gone the way of the Dodo. This, in a nutshell, is the big idea behind intelligent design.
"Intelligent design" as a theory or concept is not necessarily Christian. Many of its proponents are not Christians, and refer to their "intelligent designer" as a supreme being or in similar terms. While this is probably better than total devotion to evolutionary theory, we need to be sure when we enter the debate that we are arguing, not for some vague intelligence, but for the Christian God as creator of the universe. And while this debate is important, we need to be first and foremost devoted to the Gospel of Christ, of which Creation is only a part and not the whole.
At the same time, we can and should be glad at the damage that is being done to the fortress of Materialism at the hands of the ID men and women. As the old adage goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Intelligent Design theorist can be of service to the Christian community as far at they go. But we cannot be content to stand pat with their conclusions. They can only take us as far as the Apostle Paul says that general revelation can carry. The things that are made are revelatory of the existence of God. But which God is being revealed. For that we need more. We need the special revelation of God in the Scriptures and by His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. That revelation gives and answer to the question of which God, raised by Intelligent Design.
The church then, may gladly rejoice in the humiliation of the false religion known as Darwinism. But we cannot be glad in a replacement false religion known as Intelligent Design. Instead, we must herald and proclaim the Good News that the intelligent Creator God has made Himself known by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as we know the Son of God that we can properly understand and expound the glories of the created world.
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