There is a lot of discussion in the media these days about “Intelligent Design.” One of the questions I get a lot is, "Is Reasons To Believe part of the Intelligent Design movement?" The answer is, "Yes and no." While the two frequently share scientific evidences and research, the organizations are actually quite different in terms of their goals and approach.
Although the ID movement is not a Christian movement per se, many Christians are involved in its research efforts. Technically speaking, however, it is secular in its approach. They make no attempt to actually name the Designer or attach itself to any particular holy book. It is intentionally designed to be as inclusive as possible, including those who believe that extra-terrestrial beings are responsible for planting the first life on earth (called directed panspermia).
Reasons To Believe on the other hand specifically names the Designer as being Jesus Christ and tries to demonstrate the consistency between the Bible (Genesis) and science. Their mission is evangelistic, with a goal of trying bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to scientists.
Last week, Dr. Ross reprinted a blog post from last year that further expounds the differences between his vision and the ID movement.
Creation vs. Evolution: Why a Model Is Essential (from May 21, 2007)
I am inclined toward Dr. Ross' approach. It seems to me that the Bible does not leave the identity of the Creator open-ended, but positively identifies who is responsible for life. (See John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:2, and Revelation 10:6). In light of this observation, I am left to wonder how such statements exclude the Islamic and Jewish concepts of God. After all, one of the key points they have in common is a denial of Jesus as the Messiah.
What do you think? Is there a strategic advantage for Christians to appeal to an unknown or unnamed Designer in public debates? Or is it important that we actually name the Designer?