The Case for a Creator, Closing Thoughts
After spending over a year on this project, we’ve come to the end of The Case for a Creator. Before bringing this series to a close, I have some closing thoughts on the overall message and tactics of the book.
First: Although Lee Strobel tries to pass Case off as a dispassionate examination of scientific findings that just happen to support the existence of an intelligent designer, the obvious truth is that it’s a Christian apologetics book dressed in a thin gown of pseudoscience. No better evidence of this could be given than how he treats his interviewees differently based on their religious beliefs. Everyone he interviews in the book, save for one person, is a fundamentalist Christian of some kind, and he gives each of these people ample opportunity to preach and to expound on their religious beliefs without challenge or objection. But when he speaks to his sole non-Christian interview subject, he suddenly changes his tune and declares he’s only interested in hearing about science, not religion. See for yourself:
“[Scientists] will come to believe in the reality of the soul and the immaterial nature of consciousness. And this could open them up personally [my emphasis] to something even more important – to a much larger Mind and a much bigger Consciousness, who in the beginning was the Logos, and who made us in his image.” [p.271]
“Based on the empirical evidence – which is continuing to mount – I’d agree with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger that ‘the great projects of the living creation are not the products of chance and error… [They] point to a creating Reason and show us a creating Intelligence, and they do so more luminously and radiantly than ever before.'” [p.216]
Jay Wesley Richards:
“Christians have always believed that God testifies to his existence through the book of nature and the book of Scripture. In the nineteenth century, science effectively closed the book of nature. But now, new scientific discoveries are reopening it.” [p.189]
“Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s eternal power and divine nature can be seen and understood through things that are made, and that this is the reason humanity is without excuse. I see physics as uncovering the evidence of God’s fingerprints at a deeper and more subtle level than the ancients could have dreamed of.” [p.149]
“That afternoon Jan and I prepared a little handwritten version of the Four Spiritual Laws, which spell out how a person can become a follower of Jesus. When we sat down with her at the meal that night, we opened the booklet and read the first sentence… We described how she could pray to ask God to forgive her wrongdoing and to receive Jesus as her forgiver and leader.” [p.122]
“I see this not only in cosmology and physics and biology, but also in the historical revelation of the Bible, principally in the revelation of Jesus Christ. He is so compelling!… I remember thinking at one point that if the Jesus of the Bible weren’t real, I would need to worship the person who created the character.” [p.90-91]
And the only non-Christian interviewed in the entire book, Jonathan Wells:
I hadn’t come to Seattle, however, to seek spiritual wisdom from Wells. [p.34]
Strobel’s single-minded focus on Christianity is even more apparent in this excerpt from chapter 7:
Astounded by the Earth’s fine-tuned physical, chemical, and biological interrelationships, some writers have gone so far as to liken our biosphere to a “superorganism” that is quite literally alive. In fact, James Lovelock’s pantheistic Gaia Hypothesis even seeks to deify our planet. However, Gonzalez and Richards said it’s unnecessary to go that far.
“Despite these admittedly incredible interrelationships, there’s nothing that requires anyone to see the Earth itself as being an organism, especially a god or goddess,” Richards said. [p.166]
This is not scientific evidence being examined to reach a conclusion. Rather, this is a conclusion being chosen in advance and scientific arguments being selected based on whether they support it. What test could you possibly run to decide whether the Earth itself is a deity or whether it was the handiwork of an external creator?
This happens yet again later on in the book. As I mentioned in a previous post, J.P. Moreland raises the possibility that, if human minds emerge from matter, a divine, godlike mind could also emerge from matter – only to have Strobel swiftly point out, “That wouldn’t be the God of Christianity” [p.265], which Moreland concedes. Again, this is not just “the case for a creator”, in the sense of a generic argument for the world having been created by some kind of intelligent being. Strobel has a very specific creator in mind, and is only interested in investigating science that he feels supports his belief.
Other posts in this series: