/** recent comments widget code */ /** end of recent comments widget code */

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Polkinghorne Quotes #2: The Dangers of a Designer God

Speaking of those who claim to have scientifically detected intelligence behind the evolution of the universe, Polkinghorne states:

“Yet it is possible that they are being offered a gift by the Greeks, as much to be feared as to be welcomed. For the God so discerned seems but an austere and impersonal deity; the ground of a cosmic process which rolls on without obvious concern for the fate of individuals. He commands our intellectual respect but not our love; we can wonder at his works but we are not moved to trust him in our personal lives."

"The offering of a revived natural theology would have proved to be a Trojan horse for Christianity if it replaced the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Great Mathematician”

From “Science and Providence”, page 4

As I mentioned in my last post, I believe that the ID movement is potentially dangerous to Christian theology because of its focus on natural theology. Polkinghorne’s Trojan horse metaphor is particularly apt. Those who use the gift of modern science as a sword to defend the faith may find that sword to be lethally double-edged.

But Polkinghorne’s warning needs to be heeded by Evolutionary Creationists (ECs) and Theistic Evolutionists (TEs) as well. Those of us that acknowledge no gaps in natural processes are often fond of pointing to the Big Bang, the fine-tuned universe, and the anthropic principle as evidence of God’s providence and design. This may indeed be so. But the initial act of speaking the universe into being is not the totality of God’s creative act; creation is not just about origins. In Denis Alexander’s words, we must be “robust theists” who acknowledge God’s ongoing and continuous creation.

ID proponents often accuse ECs of being little more than Deists ie. acknowledging a God who started the process and but who is uninvolved thereafter. This is a potentially valid criticism of the EC position if we leave no room for divine action after the initial parameter calibration for the infant universe. But that is not my position, nor is it the position of most ECs. We worship a God that is intimately involved in his ongoing creation. He is the God of the bible, the God who led the Israelites out of Egypt, the God who raised Jesus from the dead.

Other Polkinghorne Quotes: [Introduction] [Previous] [Next]

No comments: