When you think of Ben Stein, what do you think of?
Commercials for Visine?
Presidential Speech Writer (Nixon & Ford)?
Game Show Host?
All of these are true, but allow me to add one more to that list:
Intelligent Design/Creationist Advocate.
I stumbled across this article from the Christian Post about an award that Stein recently won. The award, the Philip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth, will be given to Stein in March 2008 for his documentary style movie, entitled Expelled.
The movie investigates the prevalent intolerance in academia and science today against anyone and everyone that might seriously and legitimately introduce Creationism (or Intelligent Design) as an explanation to the origin of the universe. Stein uncovers how professors, philosophers, and top scientists around the world have been blackballed for even suggesting that this ancient way of thinking is a modern, viable alternative to Darwinian Evolution.
I clicked on over to the movie website and watched one of the three trailers. And all I have to say is “WOW!” So far I like what I see. Stein’s style is compelling, his arguments are crisp, and artistically speaking it is on par with other major motion pictures. A win-win-win in my book.
Interestingly, when it comes to the issue of origins, this is one of the unique arenas in which our enemy’s enemy becomes our friend. Here, all of the world’s theists can rally together to agree to disagree with the atheists of our time. Jews, Catholics, Protestants, and even Muslims (as well as honest, logically consistent scientists and philosophers who have no particular religious bend) can agree that there is plenty of evidence that an Intelligent Creator is behind it all.
Just as every building has a builder. And every painting has a painter. It follows logically that a complex, integrated, beautifully arranged universe has an Intelligent Designer as its source. As Hebrews 3:4 reads,
“For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. “
One of the modern, puzzling wonders in our world is Stone Henge. This mysterious rock formation located in Southeastern England has been in existence between 2,000 and 4,000 years. But no one seems to know for certain who built it. There are, however, numerous theories ranging anywhere from the Druids, the Romans, aliens, and even the Devil himself (which is an old Irish tradition). But for all these various ideas, there’s no one legitimately arguing that Stone Henge came into existence purely out of random chance and time. Even with the notion of space aliens, some form of intelligence lies behind every one of these theories.
Furthermore, ascribing the universe to chance is Divinely-insulting at best. Think of it this way.
What if someone came along and began arguing that Michelangelo did not in fact paint the beautiful Sistine Chapel. Instead, this person suggested that it was painted by a drunk monkey on roller skates. How would people respond to that? First of all, it’s a laughable notion to suggest that something of such beauty would come about in such a random way. But secondly, wouldn’t you think that Michelangelo himself would be seriously offended for ascribing his brilliance to a drunk monkey on roller skates? Similarly, to say that the universe and all that’s in it is the result of dumb, mindless chance and time, is to rob God of His glory. Romans describes this perfectly in 1:20-22a
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…”
That’s the gist of Stein’s Expelled. Those who are “professing to be wise” about the issue of origins have in fact revealed themselves to be “fools”.
It’s very possible that Expelled will be treated with the same disdain that it seeks to expose. Whether or not it will be taken seriously by our culture, only time will tell. But nevertheless, it is another much needed voice in the battle for the truth that “We are, because God is.”