04 June 2010

Intelligent Design [Revisited]

The community group that I help co-teach with a friend has been using The Truth Project DVD series as a tool for gaining some deeper insight into a biblical worldview in hopes that such knowledge will assist us in deepening our faith and better living-out the call on our lives. I happened to lead this week's topic titled, Science: What is true?. We ended up having a lively discussion about randomness vs. design, blood clotting, who vs. how, biology, mathematics, sunsets, Dawkins, faith, public school teachings on evolution and a bunch of other stuff that I could not possibly summarize in the context of this post.

Anyway...I was reminded of a blog that I had written nearly 5 years ago and wanted to revisit it today. Originally posted on December 20, 2005:

Earlier today, a Federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that a local school board acted unconstitutionally in mandating that its 9th grade biology students be read a primer-paragraph prior to teachings on evolution to the effect that evolution is only a theory, there are gaps in the theory and some have suggested alternative theories, such as intelligent design. In so ruling, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said, "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom." In a further blow to the Board's credibility (and faith), Judge Jones added that several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives, even while professing religious beliefs.

Media outlets billed this case as Creation vs. Evolution. They were wrong. The actual issue facing Judge Jones was whether the school board purposefully intended to communicate a religious message by its conduct, and what message that conduct actually conveyed. This ruling is not about the merits of either theory, but rather, the school board's intentions.

So as I'm reading thru the opinion, I come to this line:

"Wherever complex design exists, there must have been a designer; therefore nature must have had an intelligent designer." -Thomas Aquinas (13th Century)

It turns out that the roots of the intelligent design movement can be traced back to this simple syllogism. So here is where my questions begin. If the designer those in the intelligent design movement look to is the God of the Bible, why is it that they fail to trust that same God to reveal Himself to public school students in ways other than through a science class? I mean, if God created the complexities and beauty of nature, why do these people think they have to resort to lies about their intentions and other forms of trickery to get their god into the public school classroom? Do these attempts really advance the cause, or do they simply add more pain to an existing wound? That "wound" being the non-Christian public's view of our faith.

In all honesty, intelligent design is not my fight. It may be someone's, but it's not mine. I don't want converts to my faith b/c it'll make my church larger and wealthier. Nor do I seek converts b/c I have some personal agenda, fueled by my ego, to be the one who saved the most people. I want converts to my faith to freely choose the life-saving results one receives from trusting in the One, True, Living God. I want converts to my faith b/c of the peace I've experienced, which awaits them. My challenge to believers is to stop blindly supporting and following movements that are merely cloaked in Christianity. Think deeper, search the motives of those involved and ask the Lord to reveal himself to you through this process. Get behind eternal movements of import. Movements championed by, through and because of Christ! Movements modeled after Christ's very actions!

1 comment:

Tim said...

troy,
what a brilliant explanation. it seems (at times) that all Christians do is push agendas ('in the name of Christ', of course).

it's not always about how 'right' we are and how 'wrong' the others who stand against us are.

it's about obeying Jesus.