Thursday, December 22, 2005

Why Is Prophecy In The Bible?

Katrina vanden Heuvel recently wrote an editorial for The Nation in which she misrepresents intelligent design and the concept of faith. The misrepresentations of intelligent design are common, and I've addressed them here repeatedly in the past. What I want to address at this point is her misrepresentation of faith. She writes:

"The most pernicious aspect of the ID movement is its commingling of science and faith, its attempt to use science and mathematics to prove the existence of an intelligent designer. Not only does this undermine science, it undermines faith, which by its very definition is 'a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.' If ID scientists were to prove, for example, that the double helix is the stairway to heaven, then the existence of God would cease to be an article of faith and become instead a scientific fact."

If you go to the definition of faith that she links to at, you'll see that she's ignored the first definition and has singled out the second one. Why is she going to for her definition in the first place? And why does she ignore the other definitions in favor of the second one?

Christian faith has always concerned itself with evidence. That's why such a large percentage of the Bible is prophetic. Prophecy is evidence of communication from God (Isaiah 41:21-24, John 14:29). Other miracles are likewise presented by the Bible as evidence for faith (John 10:37-38), the resurrection being an example. The apostles and other people who saw Jesus perform miracles had faith in Jesus. The fact that they had so much evidence didn't change the fact that they had faith. On the issue Katrina vanden Heuvel is addressing, Romans 1:20 and other passages of the Bible refer to evidence for the existence of God and His attributes in nature. Faith is trust, and the object of our trust should be trustworthy. God can bring people to faith without using evidence, but relying on evidence is the normal course of life. We don't refrain from looking for evidence just because God can supernaturally work in people's lives without giving them evidence. That's God's work, not ours. Our work is to follow the evidence. And the evidence leads to Christianity, including the element of the Christian worldview known as intelligent design.