Intelligent design may be the missing link to restoring relations between the Muslim world and the West. So argues Mr. Akyol in an exciting and, no doubt, provocative essay. Here’s a preview:

That “revolutionized worldview” — in which God is denied, attacked, and ridiculed — is the grand problem we Muslims have with the West. It is true that some fanatics among us hate the West’s liberty and democracy, too. Yet for the sane and pious Muslim majority, those are welcome attributes. This majority’s only problem is the materialism that encompasses the West. And they would welcome those who would save the West — and thus the whole world — from it. That’s why something called the Wedge Document — although horrifying to America’s secularist intelligentsia — offers a message of hope for Muslims.

Read the full article here.

A secondary issue arising from Mr. Akyol’s essay is a challenge to the often conservative assumption that Islam is at heart a brutal, demeaning, and violent religion. The existence of pious Muslims like Mr. Akyol who are not Islamo-facists argues that the Taliban or Wahabi Saudi Arabia are not the most accurate models of orthodox Islam. If this is the case, it would make taking sides with Muslims against materialism much more palatable for many members of the Right.

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Posted by Tex

11 Comments

  1. If I may coin a term.

    Pan-theism: theology’s pan-Slavism.

    (The dash is essential.)

    Reply

  2. Jim, with me your word’s good as gold.

    I’ll mint a mite of my own, if I might.

    Anti-theism: naturalism’s anti-Slavism.

    (Dashes make this game easy).

    Reply

  3. Your term is already taken. It’s Christopher Hitchens’s.

    On a more serious note, it seems strange that a call for bland ecumenism would be seen as “exciting” on a site called “Mere Orthodoxy.”

    More light-heartedly, the ecumenical movement is a precursor to the Antichrist

    Bill Dembski?!

    Reply

  4. Shucks…your dash was more original than mine. You win.

    A bland call to ecumenism? I’d say that was hardly the thrust of Mr. Akyol’s essay. Joining with other traditional theists against a common opponent, for the sake of political peace between two cultures that are increasingly placed in opposition to one another, is a long shot from being ecumenical.

    Reply

  5. We have a new piece on Intelligent Design this week that I think you will find fascinating reading. Chalk us up as one group of Christians not buying Intelligent Design.

    Intelligent Design, Roman Catholicism, and theSupreme Court

    Excerpt: “If a new Scopes trial reaches the Supreme Court, a Roman Catholic majority on the bench would probably give a sympathetic hearing to Intelligent Design. That doesn’t mean they would certainly rule in favor of any particular case, but if they did, the Culture War would reach a new low. The secularists would be incensed and the traditionalists would only have set the clock back and reinforced the very ideas that led to Darwin’s success in the first place.”

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  6. The difficulty I have is that Aykol, as most evolution-bashers do, presumes that anyone who studies God’s creation is instead insulting God.

    In our interfaith groups here in Dallas we have several Moslems, and they are quite clear that Islam has no difficulty with any science, though any conclusion that God does not exist is a problem.

    Aykol presumes science comes to that conclusion. He is wrong. He’s worked up a dudgeon based on his own misunderstanding of science.

    And so have most ID advocates.

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  7. Mr. Aykol and the ID advocates that I have read, do not presume that science concludes God does not exist. In fact, ID advocates are energetically trying to get their conclusions from scientific research be accepted as a possibly correct interpretation of the data.

    Rather, Mr. Aykol and other ID advocates conclude from the available evidence that anyone who practices science based upon a naturalistic theory of life insults God by denying the possibility of His existence.

    This has nothing to do with science, if by science you mean the disciplined study of the physical world. It has everything to do with the theory that presupposes that God cannot exist, and then goes about interpreting the data in light of this assumption.

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  8. Aykol presumes all science insults God. IMHO he’s a charlatan as a Moslem, but I’m only going on the views of learned Moslems I know.

    In any case, he’s a charlatan as a researcher. His statements about what science does and hopes to do are just wrong. He knows it. He persists.

    Remember, this is one of the guys who played along in the Kansas Edukation Kommisar’s show trial last May. He’s no defender of democracy or fairplay. Anything he says should be at least suspect.

    As Darwin noted, regardless how God created life as we know it, nature shows evolution. Aykol presumes that whatever God shows is false. Aykol presumes God to be a deceiver. If you know of any way that can be reconciled with Islam, please let us know.

    Why you’d defend that, since it’s completely at odds with Christianity, is another matter entirely.

    God is not a deceiever. Those who claim nature shows that should be corrected.

    Reply

  9. Ed,

    Perhaps you could provide some links to Aykol’s “statements about what science does” that are “just wrong.” I’d be very interested to hear more about this as I have been unable to come across anything of the sort at Aykol’s website or through a cursory Google search.

    Your statement that “regardless how God created life as we know it, nature shows evolution,” is highly debatable. In fact, it is the question around which the ID/naturalism debate is centered. Many theists, Aykol included, do not find it obvious that nature shows evolution. They find that nature shows intelligent design not constrained or guided by natural selection. ID proponents are not saying, “Despite the clear evidence to the contrary, we will maintain that nature was created by God.” Rather, they are saying, “The evidence clearly points to a designer (God) of nature and emphatically rules out the possibility of Darwinian evolution.”

    As a Christian, I believe that God is NOT a deceiver. However, I also do not believe that nature shows evolution nor that an objective study of nature inevitably leads to naturalism and Darwinian evolution. God is not a deceiver but rather has revealed himself even in the natural world. Thus, when nature declares His handiwork and points in bold letters to his purposeful design, I gladly concur.

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  10. But when nature declares God’s handiwork, and points in even bolder letters to evolution (like in heritable traits, father to son, mother to daughter; like in DNA typing; etc.), then you don’t concur with what God hath wrought.

    That’s my point. You only approve of God’s work when God works the way you want God to work. As Abraham Lincoln noted, the question is not whose side God is on; the question is whether we are on God’s side.

    Reply

  11. Ed,

    By my count, this is coming in five years later. Is that right?

    If so, congrats. That’s officially the longest delay I’ve ever seen in the middle of a conversation. : )

    matt

    Reply

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