Some Christians maintain the notion that:
“The term ID is an attempt to remove God from the discussion.”
Well, that might be true…
…if God were in the discussion to begin with. Intelligent design is a strategic move to break the strangle hold philosophical naturalism has on most science classrooms.
In that respect the only goal of ID is to lead people to the conclusion that there is a designer. After that, we can move the discussion down the hall from the physical sciences classrooms, many/most with their presupposition of verificationism as the only or ultimate source of truth (which ID satisfies with flying colors btw) into the philosophy/metaphysical sciences classroom. You see, ID is meant to address the “how” of our existence, that being design by an intelligent being while a further discussion on “who” the designer is can and should be shifted to another classroom.
This strategic approach to leading others towards the designer we know as Christ (that is, for ID proponents that are Christians) is nothing new. The cosmological argument for God’s existence is designed only to lead someone to the understanding that there is a God and not necessarily the Christian God. This is mostly because the cosmological argument came to us from Islam.
We should not be afraid to use any and all evangelistic tools at our disposal. Whether it be ID, cosmology, mathematics, etc. If Romans is right then all of creations speaks to God’s handiwork so it logically follows that we ought to be able to use all of creation as a springboard to lead people to Christ.
As for proponents of 6 day creationism1. I am a proponent of it as well. However I do not hold to a 6,000-10,000 year old universe (young earth)((ID is not necessarily opposed to YEC, but the use of scientific arguments does pose a lot of problems for proponents of YEC.)). And it is this, coupled with a poor view of how Scripture ought to be used in relation with non-believers, that led me to my rash comment from earlier. We simply cannot ignore the findings of science, especially when they in no way contradict the text itself, and still hope to maintain any sort of intellectual credibility. And hiding under the “fools for Christ” umbrella is simply not intellectually valid or honest because while it is true that we are called to maintain a historically unpopular position, it is not true that we are called to abandon logic and reason in order to do that. Moreover, an assault on science and the use thereof to lead others to Christ does great harm to the legacy of Christians who, throughout history, have striven to provide a logical and cogent argument to the people of their times.2 ID is no different.
So while I understand that many, especially those who for some reason still hold to a young earth position, will not join with their brothers and sisters in using and promoting ID, the least they can do is get out of our way and not accuse us of holding strange and heretical doctrines like theistic evolution. It is hard enough to advance in the face of overwhelming odds on rough enemy terrain without having to worry about getting shot in the back by friendly fire.