In a recent post replying to David Bentley Hart’s latest book, Dr. Torley asks: Is Intelligent Design bad theology? I commend the post to readers. It is a work of tremendous erudition in which Dr. Torley explains that ID is perfectly consistent with the work of the great philosophers of the Christian tradition, especially Thomas Aquinas.
I have an even more basic question for Dr. Hart. Is the Bible bad theology? The psalmist, for instance, was certainly a proponent of cosmological ID, and he identified the designer as the God of Israel. Consider:
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2
He was also a proponent of biological ID:
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
The Apostle Paul goes so far as to argue that the obvious design in nature stands as a witness to God’s glory and condemns unbelievers:
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:20
I suppose Dr. Hart would argue that David and Paul were just ignorant rubes who had no conception of modern science and the awesome creative power of secondary causes like natural selection. On the other hand, the twenty-first century has seen Antony Flew (the world’s most famous former atheist) say of cosmological design: “The design that is apparent in nature suggests the existence of a cosmic Designer.” And a secular twenty-first century microbiologist like Dr. Eugene Koonin has conceded that life is “almost like a miracle.” Why, then, should we be embarrassed when the Biblical writers said essentially the same thing?