Bridge for Faith

A Scam and Intelligent Design

A bizarre phone call I got last week ended up in a surprising manner. Here it is as best as I recall.

“Hello, Grandmama. This is your oldest granddaughter,” my caller said.

I responded, “Oh, and what is your name?” Since I don’t have a granddaughter, I knew this could be an interesting conversation.

“You tell me,” the bubbly voice answered.

“What you’re doing is wrong.” I said, deciding to lay the cards on the table. “I’m going to note your phone number and report you.”

“Good luck with that, dearie,” she said. “I’ve been told that for ten years, and no one has succeeded yet.”

Since my phone’s Caller ID was leaving out a number and was unreliable at other times too, she had me there. Hardly expecting much result, I said, “Well, God knows what you are doing, and it’s wrong.”

She said, “You’re living in the past. There isn’t any God. Don’t you know that two documentaries in the last five years have proved that there isn’t any God?”

“That doesn’t agree with science,” I said.

“You don’t know anything about science,” she challenged.

Now I happen to have a big interest in science and do have fourteen college credits in biology, six of which are on the graduate level in genetics and microbiology, but overall that’s not terribly impressive. Besides, I didn’t want to argue about my qualifications, so I brought up what came to mind about intelligent design.

“Think about the butterfly,” I said. “A caterpillar goes into a cocoon and basically commits suicide. It falls apart. Then, because of a prior design, its parts are rearranged into a butterfly.”

She snickered. “You believe in God because a butterfly goes into a cocoon?”

“Do you believe everything happened just by chance?” I asked.

“No.” And she didn’t elaborate.

I decided to carry on. “Okay. Think about the DNA in each of your cells. DNA is like an encyclopedia, and each cell has to be able to read the DNA in order to function. That’s from design.”

She changed the subject before I could explain further. She said, “I went to church for two years and read the Bible from beginning to end. It didn’t do anything for me.”

“I hope you’ll read the New Testament some more,” I said.

“Well, I don’t’ know if I’ll do that,” she replied.

“It’s real important,” I said. “I believe in God for two reasons, no three reasons, no four. First, because of all the intelligent design in the world. Second, because I don’t believe the people who saw the resurrected Jesus would have died for a lie. Third, because God changed my life, and fourth, because God has answered many, many of my specific prayers.”

She said something about “if you’re so smart,” but I don’t recall the rest of the remark.

Finally, I said, “Knowing God is a lot more important than money.”

She mumbled something and hung up.

In case you’re not familiar with this type of scam, the person says that the grandchild has an emergency, such as being in jail, and needs to have grandma send him or her money immediately. In looking back on the phone call, I’m sad the woman had so many wrong ideas about God and the Bible, but I’m thankful for her willingness to keep talking with me.



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