Understanding Christianity: Design

What do Christians believe? Why is the cross the symbol of their faith? In this series Pastor Tim Schouten of the Prince George Canadian Reformed Church explains some of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith. Questions? Email [email protected]

Is faith blind?

Last time, in part 1, we looked at the Christian belief in an all-powerful God who created the universe. Understanding this belief is essential to understanding the Christian faith.

The question remains, however, whether or not this belief is reasonable. It may be essential to Christianity, but isn’t it just a good example of the gullibility and blindness of faith?

Every person must answer this question for themselves. Christians, including countless scholars and scientists, have come to the conclusion that belief in divine creation is eminently reasonable. In fact, many people have become Christians through the very process of looking at the evidence.

The most important evidence for creation is the appearance of design in the natural world. This design is evident even to the most fervent atheists. For example, Nobel Laureate Francis Crick once wrote, “[b]iologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”(1) Likewise, Richard Dawkins acknowledged, “the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”(2)

Christians believe that the appearance of design is not an illusion, but is reality. People generally recognize design and assume it to be the product of an intelligent mind. For example, we recognize an ancient arrowhead on the riverbank because we can see that it was shaped by someone for a purpose. In a similar way, Christians believe that the complex and beautiful systems of the natural world were shaped by someone (God) for a purpose. The world looks designed because it was designed.

Design is a recurring theme in the Bible. Already in the first chapter God is described as ordering and structuring all of creation according to patterns and kinds. The authors of the Psalms praise God for the majesty, order, and intricacy of the created world. They express awe at the glory of God on display in what they can see around them. Christians today do the same.

Is faith blind? Part of the nature of faith is belief in what cannot be absolutely proven, but this does not mean that it is blind. Instead, Christians believe that their faith rightly interprets the data of the natural world.

As we will see next time, this too is fundamental to understanding Christianity.

Notes:

1. Crick, Francis. What Mad Pursuit (p. 138). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

2. Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker (p. 21). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Author Rev. Tim Schouten

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