I appreciate Jim Stump’s reply affirming that both theistic evolutionists at BioLogos (BTEs) and Christians who are pro-ID (CIDs) believe Christ supernaturally resurrected. My article never questions this, and happily calls BTEs fellow Christians. When I observed BTEs believe “God must always use natural causes,” the context was cosmological and biological origins, not the resurrection or other miraculous human events.
Stump’s clarification highlights important differences between BTEs and CIDs: If BTEs reject natural causes for Christ’s resurrection, why insist upon strictly material explanations for origins?
Stump says it’s because our faith’s “foundation” is Christ and his resurrection, not science. But CIDs would say the same, never claiming science can take someone completely to faith. In Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer affirms his Christianity, but also writes, “Though the designing agent responsible for life may well have been an omnipotent deity, the theory of intelligent design does not claim to be able to determine that.” (p. 428)
God supernaturally and miraculously resurrected Christ to demonstrate his love and power (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:19-20), to show Christ is God and savior (John 2:18-22; Acts 2:24-36, 13:30-39), and to urge repentance. As Paul writes, “He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Romans 1:31)
The theological principle—that God supernaturally intervenes to reveal important truths—applies not just to the resurrection, but also to nature. Paul explains that God’s existence and power are “clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
By insisting upon strictly material explanations for origins, BioLogos struggles to affirm these truths: Francis Collins writes that life’s origins “appear a random and undirected process” and one BioLogos article admits, “Evolutionary creation does not necessarily add apologetic value.”
Though not a proof of the supernatural, ID empirically demonstrates that nature reveals more than material causes, establishing intelligent agency in natural history. The CID notion that nature shows evidence of design historically traces not to the “enlightenment,” as Stump asserts, but rather to pre-enlightenment scholars like Plato, Paul, Newton, Boyle, and others.
Stump misstates my explanation for why many BTEs accept evolution, claiming I say it “must be social acceptance.” Rather, my article says it “in part, is cultural pressure.” People facing these pressures deserve compassion, but there’s a reason why BTE literature acclaims “the consensus.”
Analyzing BTE viewpoints sometimes feels like finding a moving target—but if Stump’s reply is accurate, I welcome that movement. He claims BioLogos challenges the consensus. Great—then do it. He disavows that “God must always use natural causes.” Great—defend an evidence-based case for intelligent design.
He says BTEs “follow the evidence,” but adds, “the burden of proof lies with the dissenters.” That represents not unbridled truth-seeking, but a philosophy that avoids challenging the consensus.
My article proposes a better approach: “follow the evidence wherever it leads, unhindered by presuppositions”—and cites peer-reviewed data dissenting from the consensus. If that evidence offers “apologetic value,” why can’t we follow it?