I realize that the title of this post may surprise some of you, since you know that I am firmly Young Earth [that is, Biblical 6-day] Creationist. So let me re-affirm: The Bible plainly intends to relate an actual historical 6-day Creation and a worldwide Noachim Flood.
Of course, on the other side of the fence we have the evolutionists: guys who can’t make up their imaginations as to whether speciation is occuring right in front of our eyes in small doses that eventually build up to big changes [of course, no one’s ever seen those big changes either in nature or the fossil record; they only presume it’s happened because they also presume molecules-to-microbes evolution happens – instead, we see variation within established kinds just as Creation theory would predict], or happens too slowly to hope to be seen in such a short timespan as man has existed or else happens too quickly in relatively quick jumps or saltations and we can’t see it because we’re waiting for the jumprope to come back around. But however it happened, it happened by evolution, right? Let the Church of Darwin say Amen.
But this post isn’t about the guys on the other side of the fence. It’s not even about the guys on our side of the fence.
Nope, it’s about the mugwumps: the guys who sit ON the fence with their mug hanging over one side and their wump over the other. As much as I like to shake the fence from time to time, mostly to see if they’ll fall on their wump or fall on their face in submission to the Word of God, I should like to comment on the usefulness of these mugwumps.
You see, Intelligent Design advocates and to some extent Old Earth Creationists [whether they call themselves progressive creationists, day-agers, framework hypothesists or what have you] take the presumptions of uniformitarianism and evolutionism and then show how the promised prize inside [evolution] doesn’t measure up to the picture on the cereal box. That’s pretty useful from a polemical perspective. Hugh Ross in particular does a good job of showing how the uniformitarians and evolutionists simply don’t have enough time for their theory to work itself out given the time constraints of the universe itself. But instead of rejecting the assumptions he’s bothered to debunk, he inexplicably tries to patch them up with a handy God-did-it. Put another way, he shows they don’t have a leg to stand on then tries hold them up when they should fall. He points out that their theory is impossible, then affirms it with the suggestion that it would not be impossible if it were merely a successive string of miracles.
He ought to reject it outright in favor of the truth of the revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God who was there.
In any case, another way that ID and OEC are useful to a Biblical Creationist is that their books contain countless rational, philosophical and scientific arguments for the probability of God. They cover the basics: the kalaam cosmological argument, teleology, the anthropic principle, etc… but in a much more sophisticated way than we’ve previously enjoyed. CS Lewis and other apologists have used these same apologetics to reach the unsaved. So we can certainly affirm that much of ID and OEC arguments serve as a good starting point for an evangelistic dialogue.
Of course, they’re only useful to the point of bringing someone to the threshold of orthodox Christianity.
I shall endeavor in the future to write upon the opposite side of this coin, citing specific dangers of both Intelligent Design and Old Earth Compromise.