FSM used by God?
Sometimes, I do work that doesn’t require a lot of mental engagement. While I’m doing that, I come up with some weird thoughts and those can occasionally turn into blog entries. This is one of those times.
Let me back up to when I was a manager at Wendy’s. I had purchased a lot of books that showed how to build a team by tactics mined from Scripture. These included The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell and Teach Your Team to Fish by Laurie Beth Jones. I used a lot of the tactics I learned, but one thing I never did was give Christ the credit. Neither in prayer nor to the people I managed.
I think that that was a very bad move. Scripture says that “whoever denies me [Jesus] before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 10:33). I was a coward; I thought it was more important to not offend people by bringing religion into the issue than to give any credit to where the techniques I was using came from.
And so I met with little success.
Now, I’m using the same techniques at Burger King, but I’m acknowledging their source–God–proud and loud. Not surprisingly, I’m meeting with much more success.
My point is the Scripture I quoted above: “whoever denies me [Jesus] before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 10:33).
As I understand Intelligent Design, it is merely a scientific expression of the creation account of Genesis without naming the entity that created. It acknowledges a supernatural creator without defining that creator. Sounds an awful lot like what I did with the leadership techniques. I acknowledged that I got them from the Bible, but did not acknowledge God.
Intelligent design does the same thing: acknowledges a creator without acknowledging God. “[W]hoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 10:33).
The problem is that God is inextricably tied to His creation. To know His creation is to know Him: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20, emphasis added).
The Flying Spaghetti Monster has been used by atheists to shoot down intelligent design. Or has it? Perhaps the Noodly Master has been used by God to shoot down intelligent design because God doesn’t appreciate being taken out of the equation by otherwise well-meaning scientists.
Let’s be honest: Is intelligent design really how we want to preach God? Do we really want to leave the possibility of other creator deities open for discussion? It doesn’t seem as though that is how God would want it. Did He not say to Moses:
You shall have no other gods before me. . . . You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Ex 20:3, 5-6)
Why on earth would we think that intelligent design is God-honoring? Leaving open the possibility of other deities invites people to worship and serve them. But what is the Great Commission? Is it to get people to think that the universe has a creator, and it might be the Christian God, and you can serve Him if you think that He is the creator?
No! It is to “Go . . . and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20, emphasis added). Note that Jesus doesn’t talk about possibilities; He gives concrete commands. He tells us in no uncertain terms that we are baptizing these people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the triune Christian God, the creator of the universe. There are no maybe’s with Jesus.
There should be no maybe’s with us either. We should be able to stand up and say what Paul said to the Ephesian elders: “Therefore(A) I testify to you this day that(B) I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27for(C) I did not shrink from declaring to you(D) the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). We, too, should not shy away from preaching the whole counsel of God. Like Paul, we should not be ashamed of the gospel (cf. Rom 1:16; 2 Tim 1:8-12).
Look at Ken Hamm compared to ID proponents. I’m not saying that I agree with a 6,000 year old earth and dinosaurs living side-by-side with humans. I’m starting to lean back toward a more scientific view, which includes evolution. But, I admire people like Dr. Hamm much more than I admire ID proponents because Ken Hamm is preaching the whole counsel of God! He isn’t afraid of the gospel.
ID proponents should spend more effort to put God’s name into their work. Maybe it would become more recognized. Maybe even accepted in scientific circles. It doesn’t sound likely, but neither is Christianity. Putting God’s name back into the tips and tricks I learned certainly worked for me, and I believe that it can work for ID.
Posted on November 20, 2007, in Apologetics, Science and tagged Creationism, Father, Jesus. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I’ve heard this argument lots of times before, but it just doesn’t seem accurate to me. By the same reasoning, someone could preach a sermon about God based on the Old Testament that mentions Jesus at the end but fails to mention the Holy Spirit, and you’d have to say that the sermon isn’t really about God because it doesn’t mention everything there is to say about God that might be important. It doesn’t mention the Holy Spirit. Not mentioning everything important that you could say about God doesn’t mean you’re not talking about God.
Intelligent design arguments, if they are successful at showing what they are supposed to show, make it clear that the universe is designed. It’s true that there’s a lot more to the Christian message than that truth, but surely it’s a truth! How could it possibly be immoral to point out that there’s a way of discovering that truth, simply because there’s more that you could also say that such a method doesn’t show by itself? You could never have a Bible study meeting or sermon without reading the whole Bible at every meeting if this principle were applied consistently.
I agree that sometimes people are too timid and won’t preach the gospel in scenarios when they should, but that doesn’t mean that the mere presentation of an argument that establishes a smaller point is immoral simply because it only establishes the smaller point. If I can argue for the fact that the universe is designed with one argument, for the fact that Jesus really existed with another one, for the fact that there must be some ultimately good being with another one, and so on, each component is part of a larger worldview, but there’s nothing wrong with looking at one piece of the larger picture at a time. That’s what intelligent design does.
Now maybe the argument is just a bad argument. If so, then it’s unconvincing and ought to be recognized as such. Some people think that. But I’m not convinced at all by the objection that it’s wrong to present an argument that doesn’t say everything you could possibly say about God, especially if the argument does say something important that many people nevertheless deny. Arguing against one plank of the atheist statement of faith is something worth doing.
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