Several people have asked me how RTB relates to the Intelligent Design (I.D.) movement. Certainly, our message overlaps, but our approach differs. We claim the evidence identifies Jesus Christ as the Designer. Intelligent design proponents think it is more prudent given non-theists’ resistance, to establish first the existence of some undefined intelligent designer.
I believe this assessment is too pessimistic. Even if Christians do nothing, non-theistic philosophies and explanations for life will likely collapse under the weight of current discoveries. Naturalism no longer seems Christianity’s biggest challenge on campuses. The much larger challenge comes from pluralism, deism, cults, and the occult.
Christians run the risk of proving an intelligent designer but failing to convince society that the designer is Christ. I am not persuaded that establishing I.D. is a “more realistic goal.” An ill-defined designer leaves a model so sketchy that it is difficult or impossible to test with evidence or predictions—a model too nebulous for scientists (and others) to trust. The reluctance of most I.D. theorists to openly discuss creation theology adds to scientists’, politicians’, and reporters’ distrust. Many see the I.D. movement as a thinly veiled subterfuge for sneaking failed creation models back into public education curriculum.
We at RTB want to encourage open discussion of various origins models. Additionally, we want to encourage greater, not lesser, critical thinking about origins. Neither political correctness nor blind faith leads to truth. A more enlightened approach openly recognizes that nearly all of science overlaps nearly all of religion. I encourage the pursuit of any model that can withstand testing.
Few people outside the Reasons To Believe constituency even know that a successful, testable creation model exists. Our desire to turn the creation/evolution debate around can only be fulfilled as many more people, especially scientific, political, and media leaders, discover that a testable model exists. I pray that everyone reading this letter will help spread the news.
Sincerely in Christ,