Sunday, April 20, 2008

EXPELLED
...no intelligence allowed

"IN THE BEGINNING GOD..."

I went tonight and saw Ben Stein's controversial and stimulating documentary on the issue of Intelligent Design (ID) vs. evolution called, "Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed." It is the most successful release of a documentary in the history of American film... bar none. It is well-researched, equitable, factual, enlightening, educational, and wonderfully entertaining. Mr. Stein effectively demonstrates in this documentary what the universities have denied for years: that freedom of speech fosters freedom of inquiry; and such pursuit is most profitable based upon logic, truth, reason, and systematic discovery evidenced in an objective view of the facts. IOW, an arrogant elitist academic intolerance to scientific truth claims and its objective inquiry from IDers that differ from the status quo of the heavily biased "Darwinist religion" is nothing short of censorship. Refreshingly, Mr. Stein doesn't serve up mental malnutrition or cognitive constipation in this brilliant movie. I hope this is a portent of things to come. This film is a must see.



To wet your appetite, here is an interview that my friend Dr. R.C. Sproul conducted with Ben Stein a few months ago about his film. It is brilliant and captivating in the William Buckley, Jr. tradition. Favorite line of the interview is when Stein says to Sproul, "Holy cow, where did you learn all this stuff? You are very, very well educated... I am stunned! -You are very, very, very, very, very smart and well informed." Don't you love it when a great thinker, White House speechwriter, lawyer, humorist, educator, cultural commentator, writer, actor, and conservative advocate like Stein "discovers" one of ours representing the Christian faith isn't spiritually stuttering when talking to mainstream media figures, but is actually a gifted logician, thinker, biblicist, author, philosopher, historian, apologist, AND pastor/theologian too?

This is Sproul in his wheelhouse demonstrating apologetics 301 flawlessly. He posits the biblical worldview without sacrificing courtesy, logic, intelligence, or once compromising the faith.

ABC... are you listening?
Genesis 1-2

(I am "live-blogging" this from my home 
about four hours after I saw the movie... live.)

14 comments:

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

I am currently working on my degree in mathematics and while I see this movie as a good tool for opening that scientific as well as the educational communities eyes to the major denial that is occurring, it should not be considered as another tool to promote unity through ecumenism! It should be used to point to the obvious fact that there is a creator, that we are separated from Him because of sin. The only hope for all mankind is not found in the fact that there is a God, it does not even get mankind close! The only hope is that all men repent from their sin and turn to the savior and messiah Jesus Christ, turn to the cross that the creator was crucified on for the sins of all mankind!!!
No matter how we put it, no matter how well educated or reasonable it sounds there is only one message that brings hope and that is the Gospel message in it's entirety, in the power of it's entire truth. This means we tell men what they need to know, even the things that they do not want to hear, such as the reason they are separated from God and that reason is their sin. This is absolutely the most loving thing that we can do. As Paul endeavored to do, let us do the same and that is to preach only Christ and Him crucified!
I hope that R.C. had a opportunity to share the Gospel with Ben Stein, apart from Christ he is lost and even the best work he can do and does is as filthy rags! He needs Jesus! Let's use the door of opportunity that this movie opens to preach the Gospel to those that are lost.

SJ Camp said...

Gig
Completely agree.

However, this wasn't an apologetic on defending the gospel; but it was an apologetic Sproul offered on God Himself as Creator of all things.

He was a biblical voice in that environment on this issue with Stein; and Stein was drawn into that discussion with him. I am confident, knowing R.C. a bit over the years, that he presented to him the truth claims of the gospel privately - no question.

Christian voices like this in the general marketplace are powerful voices for the gospel. If Scripture speaks to all of life; so may the man of God address all of life from a biblical worldview. That is what I believe Sproul did so masterfully in this instance.

I would compare this to what Keller attempted at UC Berkley a few months ago. Night and day...

Thanks as always for your thoughts here.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Romans 1:18ff

dtking said...

Dear Steve,

Thank you so very much for posting this clip!

DTK

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Thanks for the response. I agree with you as well and believe that it is very important that as Christians we let our voices be heard on social issues and it is imperative that we speak and address all issues that are raised against the truth, we are to be lights in a dark world!
God has granted yet another opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and this movie is a good one to stimulate conversation. I saw R.C. at a conference a few months ago and he struck me as one who would not pass on a opportunity to share the Gospel with Mr. Stein.

Debbie said...

Now, THIS is how it should be done! Watching Dr. Sproul in this very important conversation was like a breath of fresh air! He covered more ground in this short 27 minute exchange than some preachers do in a month of Sundays or professors do in a semester. I don’t know him, but he seems like someone you would respect, not only for his mastery of the subject, but also for his humility and pleasant demeanor. I really like that.

I’m reading “The Knowledge of the Holy” by A.W. Tozer and was so pleased to hear how clearly Dr. Sproul articulated the timeless truth about the attributes of God that Tozer writes about. His ability to discuss the topic of Intelligent Design with such fluidity in terms of science, history and philosophy all from a biblical worldview was impressive and encouraging. What a wonderful testimony to the power of a well studied, focused and refined message of uncompromising truth. Very, very well done ….

Many thanks for posting this! I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Debbie

Andrew Ramsey said...

Steve,

i saw the movie too. i have to say that i found it ironic that driscoll had a sermon on creation come it last sunday and it was puny in depth compared to the ben stein film.

i will say that i am somewhat blessed that this movie is getting out there even though it is hosted by an Jewish man standing up for what has been known for being a Judeo-Christian issue. if it was someone else like Ravi Zacharias or Lee Strobel hosting this film, the movie would not have gotten as much air time on the web and in the media.

we should all pray that mr. stein will come to know Yeshua as his Lord, Savior and Messiah.

The Seeking Disciple said...

I too believe this is a powerful film. It opens a new door for Christians to put forth a biblical worldview and to show that this view is rational and based on the clear teachings of Scripture. I commend Ben Stein for his bravery in putting out this film. My prayer is that it will replace Michael Moore's liberal documentary films by far.

Douglas said...

My all time favorite book by a Christian is R. C.'s "The Character of God Discovering The God Who Is." Chapter 2 is titled "Who Made You God?" and it leaves me in awe at the aspect of God's incommunicable attribute where He is self existent, it is mind boggling in fact. There is hardly a day passes without me contemplating the fact that God is independent or underived existence, that he relies on no one or no thing outside of Himself for His existence, He exists eternally in and of Himself, He has no beginning and no end, there is never a time when God is not. God always is. All else relies on God for existence. Incomprehensible.

I will miss R. C. when he passes from this life into the next.

theoldadam said...

Thanks for the post!

Way to go Ben, R.C. !

- Steve Martin

littlegal_66 said...

Steve,

Meant to comment sooner, but life's getting pretty busy. Thanks for reporting on the movie. Sounds well worth the time. Is it pretty thought-provoking?.........conversationally stimulating? That goes a long way for me toward choosing a theatrical movie right now.

Anyone else remember Ben Stein as the monotone Science teacher on "The Wonder Years?" I also enjoyed his short-lived "Win Ben Stein's Money."

He really does seem to have a healthy respect for individuals of the scholarly, informed, intelligent ilk; R.C. definitely falling within this category. (R.C. could easily be classified as "informed reformed"). :-)

Thanks again,

LG

Hayden said...

Steve,

Thanks for the post.

If anyone of your readers has not listened to RC Sproul at T4G it is a MUST HEAR. The interesting thing is that he was suffering from vertigo and sat on a stool. He commanded attention from everyone that heard this message and we were totally mesmerized, and he never moved about the platform.

I have heard RC Sproul many times before and I must agree with Dr. Mohler that I have never heard him better. What a blessing he was at this conference.

The best line of his talk was that last one

"our hope is in Christ, and that is enough!" (hope I didn't butcher it)

I thank the Lord for RC Sproul using his extremely powerful mind to praise God. What a gift he is to us :)

nobodyspecial said...

Steve,

I went to see the film on opening night and our theater was sold out. It was great to see that! I do hope that all Christians will support this film not because it is a Christian film but because creationism and ID as rational options for explaining the origin of the universe have been held hostage by academic elitists whose only rebuttal to our defense is that we are "superstitious fools"

I have grown tired of the rhetoric of God-haters like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris who because of their degrees and British accents (Hitchens and Dawkins) play down the rational argumentation of the creationist viewpoint.

I fail to see the intelligence of an argument that complex cell growth took place over billions of years on the backs of crystals. And yet something clear and concise like "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." is deemed as superstition.

The section of the film with Dawkins was telling. The issue for Dawkins is not that scienctific evidence proves rationally that there is no God. The issue is Dawkin's darkened heart and fallen reasoning does not want their to be a God. He hates God. In the end, Dawkins actually supports the Biblical worldview by serving as a perfect illustration of Romans 1.

Thanks for encouraging the saints to see this film!

D.M.

SJ Camp said...

Hayden
I fully agree... Sproul was magnificent at T4G. I couldn't make it, but the quiver in his voice added to him trembling at God's Word on the curse motif of the atonement. It was powerful.

All the speakers had something to offer, but RC and MacArthur were my personal favorites. So needed what they said in this conference; especially since Piper, Mahaney and Dever have really come out in favor of Driscoll and Acts 29. So glad John and RC have remained strong on this issue.

Peace,
Campi

SJ Camp said...

bobodyspecial
I fully agree - great post - thank you.

The Christian faith presented biblically and rationally is a "reasonable faith." Many nonbelievers at Stein's level have not had the privilege of interacting with a great servant of the Lord like a Sproul before.

May this be the first seeds of the gospel planted in Mr. Stein's life. As we support him on this issue, wouldn't it be great in God's sovereign electing love and eternal grace to see him come to know the Lord Jesus Christ?

Thanks again for your comment.
Steve