When describing God’s role in creation, many use language and images that present God as a master designer, fashioning the universe by his hands. Certainly, when looking at the almost machine-like complexity of life, the idea of God as a master craftsman seems fitting. What better way to describe God’s role in creation than an “intelligent designer”?
However, in their book Questions of Truth, John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale argue that viewing God as merely a designer is a poor representation of the process of creation, a process in which the creations themselves play an important role:
“God is never spoken of as a ‘designer’ in the Bible; he is the Creator and Father, and a father does not ‘design’ his children. Even a great creative writer does not exactly ‘design’ his or her characters, and in any performance, whether of a play or a piece of music, the individual decisions and actions of the performer are vital elements in addition to the intentions of the playwright or composer. By endowing us with free will and giving us the capacity to love, God calls us to be in a limited but very important sense co-creators.”
from Questions of Truth, p. 57