My reply is also for @Eddie, who wrote a lengthy commentary on my view of Romans at
The Hump of the Camel. (http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2018/01/17/natural-theology-id-and-lutherans-a-response-to-davis-murphy-and-swamidass/ )
My own attitude toward natural theology is somewhere in between that of George Murphy and “Eddie.” If I felt that natural theology were entirely illegitimate, or had no value, I wouldn’t have edited the title chapter of Polkinghorne’s Belief in God in an Age of Science for BL. It’s natural theology, pure and simple, and I like it a great deal: https://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature/belief-in-god-in-an-age-of-science-john-polkinghorne-part-one
I also talked about how one might still do natural theology after Darwin–a possibility that I believe Darwin foresaw–here: https://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature/darwin-evolution-and-god
I can’t claim to speak for everyone at BL on this, but my own attitude should be clear enough. I don’t think Darwin killed natural theology (nor do some other historians of science and religion), but I do think he made the old-style natural theology of Boyle and Paley largely without a solid foundation. Arguments from biological “contrivances” or “gaps” in the fossil record are mostly outmoded, I would say. Instead, one needs newer arguments, based on the physical conditions that make all biological contrivances and evolution itself possible in the first place. That’s what Polkinghorne calls “new style” natural theology.
Most ID proponents think that the new style NT is just not enough. Casey Luskin (e.g.), the chief spokesperson for Discovery for several years, strongly criticized BL for "promot[ing] viewpoints that are scientifically flawed, theologically hostile, and apologetically weak,” in a lengthy diatribe against us here: http://www.equip.org/article/new-theistic-evolutionists-biologos-rush-embrace-consensus/
I’m not sure exactly what Luskin finds “apologetically weak” about a view such as Polkinghorne’s, to which we gave prominent exposure at least a year before his article was published. I see nothing weak there, or it wouldn’t have interested me enough to edit it for our readers. Perhaps it’s Polkinghorne’s early statement, “The world is not full of items stamped “made by God”—the Creator is more subtle than that—but there are two locations where general hints of the divine presence might be expected to be seen most clearly.” Perhaps “general hints of the divine presence” aren’t enough for Luskin, who seems to want slam-dunk answers to jump-shot questions (to borrow my own language from a lecture I’ve been doing around the country for a few years). I don’t think that sin is the only barrier to seeing God with absolute clarity in nature, any more than answers to prayer are obvious to all rational, objective people. We see, as Paul said, through a glass darkly. There are many mysteries we aren’t yet allowed to peer into.
Or, perhaps, Luskin’s biggest problem with new style natural theology is that it “offers no scientific reasons” for believing in God. I agree with the way he put this, incidentally, but I don’t think Luskin fully grasped how precisely he had stated the truth. The kinds of natural theological inferences offered by Polkinghorne aren’t actually scientific, in P’s view–or in mine. Although they are based on science, insofar as they use scientific information, the conclusions about God’s existence and the ultimate nature of reality go well beyond science. Luskin and most other ID proponents think that one must be able to make scientific arguments for God. Here, they seem to agree with Richard Dawkins, who holds that the existence of God is a scientific question. Perhaps that is why Luskin finds new style natural theology inadequate; perhaps he just doesn’t agree with me (or Polkinghorne) that inferences to God’s existence or non-existence are metaphysical rather than scientific. If so, I’m fine having this difference of opinion with Luskin, Steven Meyer, Bill Dembski, or any other ID proponent.
As for Eddie’s objections to my interpretation of Romans One and what I suggested might be a distinctly Lutheran approach to origins, I repeat what I said about my conversations at Concordia–a very conservative, and very strongly Lutheran, seminary. I deliberately asked several scholars there (at dinner one evening, so there were indeed several scholars present and they were all part of the same conversation) whether I was out to lunch. No one spoke against my interpretation, and more than one or two affirmed my approach to that passage, while one of them specifically connected it with the theology of the cross, not the theology of glory (using that language).
If anyone still doubts what I’ve said about this (theology of the cross, Luther, and natural theology), they are invited to read the opening essay in this very recent issue of a Lutheran journal: https://issuu.com/concordiasem/docs/17018a_concordiajournalsummer17_a12
"The Scientist as a Theologian of the Cross" was written by Chuck Arand, a leading Missouri-Synod theologian: https://www.csl.edu/directory/charles-arand/
Note how he quotes George Murphy with much approval. Also: the seminary invited Murphy to speak as part of a series of talks on science and theology.
So, to sum up: critics of BL who say that BL is tone deaf to traditional Christian theology need to get hearing aids themselves. Some of the most conservative Lutheran scholars on the planet agree with the interpretation I offered of Romans One, based on what I had learned from George Murphy but also on my own knowledge of Greco-Roman thought. And, those who say that BL is “weak” b/c we don’t provide scientific reasons to believe in God, need to think more carefully: we can and do offer cogent arguments for the existence of God, and some of them are based on scientific information. We just don’t think those arguments themselves are scientific. We think they go well beyond science, just as so many aspects of our being also go beyond science. Truth is too small to fit only in a scientific box.