The Intelligent Designer
The ingenious discovery by two scientists Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, documented in their 2004 book The Privileged Planet, leads us to one of the final great truths to be discovered at the end of the Scientific Revolution and of human redemptive history.
In their book, they make the argument that there is a surprising relationship between the physical factors that make our earth habitable and the same identical factors that also provide the best platform for making scientific observations of the universe.
The 20 or so physical factors that make our planet earth uniquely habitable in our solar system, and the prime location we enjoy within the Milky Way Galaxy that provides an open window to investigate the cosmos, reveals a creative God of superb craftsmanship and precision who actually invites us, through a natural world that is orderly, intelligible, and accessible to investigation, to pursue a full and mature understanding of His creation.
Guillermo Gonzalez, an astrophysicist, observed a full solar eclipse in 1995 in India, and then connected the novelty of this occurrence to other similar physical evidence in the universe in collaboration with Jay Richards in their book. Together they reached the inspired conclusion that the factors that make our planet habitable in our solar system and in our Milky Way Galaxy, at the same time also provide the optimum environment for human observers to make scientific discoveries of the cosmos.
For example, our distant sun is four hundred times the size of our moon but also four hundred times farther away, creating a nearly perfect lunar eclipse of the sun and thus the conditions accessible to investigation by modern man.
A full lunar eclipse of the sun blocks out the harsh glare of the sun while leaving exposed the outer atmosphere, enabling scientists to study the “flash spectrum” of light observable only during an eclipse. This information opened up our modern understanding of the composition of stars and formed the basis for the current-day study of astrophysics.
The theological implication from science is that God is experientially close enough to us to design ahead of time the tight size and distance specifications of our sun, moon, and earth in such a way to create solar eclipses, in full anticipation of the emergence of the modern study of astrophysics in the early twentieth century…revealing the divine capacity for timeless foresight.
The same God also brilliantly sets up the tight specifications of a journey of faith modelled for us through the narrowly channeled life-script circumstances of an Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Joseph and Mary, Peter, Paul, and Jesus.
If it takes the Intelligent Designer God to set up for us the physical conditions in our solar system to be able to observe a lunar eclipse of the sun leading to a scientific understanding of the larger universe, it is timely for modern Christians to now also officially recognize that it will take God to likewise engineer the unique conditions of a journey-of-faith life-script of tightly specified events and circumstances, to lead us into “all truth” (Jn. 16:13).
The extremely narrow specifications that set up the precise conditions to open up the way for the scientific investigation in the natural world, as evidenced through the unique phenomenon of a solar eclipse, are a quantitatively measureable, empirical revelation of the master craftsmanship of God.
This same intricate precision is mirrored in the equally tight specifications of a journey of faith leading to the revelation of moral and spiritual truth, as recorded in the narrative stories in the Bible (Eph. 2:10).
The empirical scientific evidence for the notion that our planet earth is special and privileged through the common factors that support complex life and at the same time provide a prime observation platform to make scientific discoveries, translates seamlessly from the natural world over into the biblical concept of a journey of faith leading to the highest levels of discovering eternally valid and applicable moral truths.
God designed the exact size of our earth, its location within the “habitable zone” in our solar system to permit liquid water, the size and type of our sun, the large size of our moon that maintains the uniform tilt and rotation of our earth for a stable weather environment, and the transparent nature of our atmosphere that supports both complex life and scientific investigation.
This same creative God is composing and orchestrating journeys of faith for Christians through this current spiritual, moral, and intellectual environment of our world today (Jer. 31:31-34).
The fact that our natural world is orderly and intelligible leads to our ability to study phenomenon to the outer reaches of the cosmos and to the smallest microscopic world of living cells.
The fact that we possess the intellect, judgment, and cognitive skills to understand moral issues opens up the potential for the discovery of right and wrong through God-composed adventures of faith.
These two concepts…intelligent design of the natural world and the active participation of God in the lives of contemporary Christians through biblical-quality journeys of faith…are coalescing into complementary supporting revelations into the openness of God’s invitation to know Him through His creation and His participation in our lives.
This confirms from two entirely different directions that we do indeed live on a privileged planet designed and created for a purpose.
Our unique location as Spirit-born Christians in this broken world is the equivalent experiential platform for making discoveries in the world of absolute morality…that closely parallels the discovery by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards that the factors in our natural world both support complex life and provide an optimum platform for scientific investigation.
God did not create evil, but He is so brilliantly imaginative that he can take flawed and imperfect people like Abraham and Paul, and craft them through unique life-scripts into spiritual sons of God who can understand and appreciate the aspects of truth and righteousness, at the same deep level as we are now beginning to scientifically understand the superb craftsmanship behind the workings of our physical world.
A biblical journey of faith following Jesus Christ through the cross, invites us to discover the eternal workings of righteousness, holiness, and faith in the areas of character and truth, in the same way that God invites mankind to discover Him through the accessibility and intelligibility of the natural world.
If God does not in actuality and in reality speak to Abraham…to leave Haran and travel to Canaan…then the story of Abraham is merely a flat, conventionally bland tale in antiquity of a person going from one location to another.
If the conversion and ministry of Paul is interpreted through a humanistic lens alone…without the supernatural participation of Jesus Christ crafting Paul into a world-class apostle of the faith…then what is the value of what Paul has to say to us about surrendering and yielding our lives to the leading of Jesus Christ?
Jeremiah 31:31-34 calls for believers to personally know God from the least to the greatest.
This claim is absurd if God does not exist in actuality…but the larger point is that this concept lies outside of human imaginative origination.
What is our frame of reference for inventing the idea we can get to know personally the living God…if in reality He does not exist?
No one would or could invent the narrative stories of faith in the Bible. How or why would someone invent the idea of knowing God personally through a journey of faith…if such a journey of faith would quickly be dispelled by the non-participation of a non-existent God?
One of the key points of the Bible that validates its supernatural content is that God does actually call people to know Him personally in every century of human history.
God skillfully maneuvers events and circumstances in a humanly unimaginable way so that people reach the point where they recognize their need for God’s help in the midst of their calling, brought into clear investigative focus through faith and trust.
The logical extension of the revolutionary discovery that many of the factors that support complex life in the universe are also the same factors that set up an observational platform optimum for conducting scientific investigation of the natural world…is the recognition of an intelligent designer of enormous foresight and cleverness.
This in turn validates and confirms the significance of a biblical journey of faith from an entirely new direction.
If we can comprehend the craftsmanship of God through an understanding of the intricate workings of our natural world, we can also begin to appreciate the brilliance of the totally unconventional apprenticeship program of Joseph’s training to become governor of Egypt, or David’s challenging character growth route to the kingship of Israel.
We can begin to appreciate the unimaginably creative foresight in refashioning the forgiving grace extended to Paul on his way to Damascus, into the evangelical missionary gospel message of love-filled grace preached through Paul to the idol-worshipping, polytheistic Gentiles in the first-century Greco-Roman world.