Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creation- Catholic view

St Augustin and the Catholic view of Biblical science/history
St. Augustin noted apparent contradictions with history and the bible.
His statement, back in the 4th century or so, as history records was-
that the bible is not a textbook, or a history book.
Catholics believe the bible to be written in language that its readers can understand, for their spiritual, not their physical edification. They believe that the bible should be interpreted in context, via Tradition (the interpretation/teaching of the early church, as recorded and kept in history). This means interpreting verses with the intended meaning, interpretation of the church, and prayer for guidance, if the others are not available, or even if they are available.
Bible living words, not just phrases
“The spirit is truth” and “the letter is death”. The bible should be seen for the meaning, for what God is saying to his people, and not simply for twisted interpretations, that lead to death.
Problem with Genesis
Genesis states that plants flourished, in one day, and then notes that the sun and stars and moon were created in the next day. Plants cannot grow without the sun, therefore direct creationism, can never be accepted as a official Catholic doctrine. Catholics therefore believe that God created the world, but do not specify whether or not it was done literally or not. They believe that it is not the place of the church to influence science based on the bible, where a book in (or part of) the bible is not of the sort that should be interpreted literally.
John Paul II and evolution
A further statement by Pope John Paul II, that evolution was more than simply theory, further illustrates this stance against the fanaticism present in pure creationism.
Therefore, Catholics do not believe it the place of religion to determine science, rather, that the bible is written for spiritual benefit, and our salvation. There is a place for religious ideas, and a place, where one admits that God was speaking to people who could not understand science, but could understand stories and metaphor.
Three views prevalent in Christian circles
- Literal Creation (Generally rejected as not beneficial, by society)
-Day/age theory
-God created the heavens and the earth, but how this is done does not matter
Resources on Creation 
Scripturelink Search
Vatican on Evolution
Vatican on Creation
Catholic Encyclopedia


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