Romans 1:20 tells us that God's power and divinity are obvious through what has been made, and skeptics are without excuse for their unbelief. Yet secular philosophies like naturalistic evolution persist all over the culture. During this week's broadcast, John Stonestreet discusses the wonder and truth of God's creation with filmmaker Steve Greisen and author and theologian T. M. Moore.
Moore, who is Dean of the Centurions Program and longtime theological adviser to Chuck Colson, is also author of a rich and intensely devotional book, "Consider the Lillies: A Plea for Creational Theology." Despite the title, the book focuses not on the lightning-rod issue of Creationism vs. evolution, but on a question Moore says has been glossed over in the course of that debate: What is creation for?
"When you look in Scripture," he explains, "it clearly points to the creation and says, ‘Look, God is revealing Himself there. His loving kindness is throughout the earth, his name is in all the earth, His glory is in everything that He has made.
Drawing upon medieval Christian thought, Moore speaks of two "books "of revelation—inspired Scripture and creation. The first gives us a specific and vital picture of who God is in history and in Christ. But without contemplating the revelation of the Creator's power and eternal attributes in the things created, Moore says our Christian lives will be impoverished.
"The universe is drawing us into God," he says. "The whole creation is inviting us to know Him more personally and more deeply. And to take what we learn there back to our study of Scripture, so that when the Scriptures liken God to a majestic mountain, we having been there and stood on that mountain and experienced that presence of God and that sense of majesty...read the Scriptures differently, more fully, and our knowledge of God is enhanced and enriched.”
Christians have understood this for millennia. Whether it's Clement of Alexandria, who wrote about the world speaking in the glory of God, or Ephraim the Syrian who wrote seven hymns about the redemption found in Christ based on a pearl he picked up on the beach, theologians have continually extolled the revelation of God in creation.
And the Scriptures themselves testify to creation's importance as a book of general revelation. Psalm 111 says, "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." Psalm 19 tells us, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
Many Christians, says Moore, are practical deists. We often treat God as the cosmic Watchmaker who wound up the mechanisms and set the universe loose like a machine.
"But the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is intimately, constantly and every way involved in upholding the universe and all things in it at all times," he says. "And therefore, if He is making this thing work, if He is making this thing continue to exist, His hand-print, His fingerprint is in all of this. We ought to be able to discern that to our advantage and His glory."
A new and breathtaking documentary does just that. Our second guest on this week's show is Steve Greisen, producer of "The Master Designer: The Song," from Exploration Films. "Master Designer" zeroes in on some of nature's most incredible animals, and the marvelous features of purpose and intelligence they reflect.
"The basic concept behind science," says Greisen, "is this grand idea that the world is orderly, it's all been ordered...And it was really that assumption that drove all the founders of early science to...uncover and discover the order that’s been imposed on the world."
But which creatures stand out in nature as the best witnesses for the order the Creator planned? That's the question this film seeks answer by offering six spectacular examples of foresight and design: wolves, bison, bees, crickets, elk and camels.
Greisen describes what he considers the most exciting of these, and some of the features that make them uniquely astounding:
"Bees are just masters at so many things. For instance, it takes 556 bees flying 55 thousand miles to gather nectar from 2 million flowers to give us one pound of honey that we enjoy on our table...
"The queen bee lays 200,000 eggs a year and the bees communicate with these things called pheromones in the hives where they pass on these chemicals to each other. And when that report reaches the queen, she knows more about the hive.
"They’re mathematicians. They build…hexagons which is this really interesting geometric shape. But it’s not easy to build because two sides are even and unless you build this absolutely perfectly, you could never network these hives together the way they’ve done. And these cells they create hold the most amount of honey that math can produce, and they’re angled 9-14 degrees toward the center of the hive. So when they fill them up with honey, it doesn’t run out.
"They’re also these amazing dancers. And they actually use two dances, and science has now figured out what’s behind it. They do a thing called a “round dance” and a “figure-eight” dance or a “waggle dance.” And these two dances essentially become GPS coordinates... And they can fly directly to the spot where the good food is and bring it back to the hive."
These are just a few of the facts you'll learn about these remarkable insects in "Master Designer." But the glimpse viewers are offered into the hives of bees is followed up by an exploration of five other creatures, each equally astounding.
The film, says Greisen, is meticulously researched. “In this particular series, I’ve had a fantastic scientific team that’s been working with us since the beginning. These guys are all absolutely the top in their fields in the U.S.”
But at bottom, his goal in producing "Master Designer" wasn't to awe viewers with scientific discoveries about the natural world, or even to make a case against Darwinian evolution, but to inspire a sense of worship.
"At the core of all this is, the more science and information we get, the more it will reveal about our Creator, and the incredible, master design that He put into the world. And I think for a lot of people, nature speaks to our soul in a very deep way. Why is it that we’re at peace when we go out for a walk in the woods and we enjoy the beauty around us? What is it that touches us that deeply?"
Scripture gives us the answer: The creation around us testifies to its Creator. It pours forth speech. And it's our job to listen.
"BreakPoint This Week" is hosted by John Stonestreet, co-host of the BreakPoint daily radio commentary as well as The Point.
To listen to previous episodes of "BreakPoint This Week," click here. To find a broadcast partner near you, click here.