Monday, March 02, 2009

Still More on the Vatican Conference

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an article on the upcoming Vatican Conference. She writes:

Devout Christians often are portrayed as if they view evolutionary biology as an attack on the Bible's account of creation, and scientists are portrayed as atheists. While there are high-profile examples of both, a truce was reached long ago in most major Christian traditions, including some streams of evangelicalism.

The Vatican conference, which marks the 150th anniversary of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," is one example of scientists and theologians working together to transcend the culture wars and forge a lasting peace.

I wish I could share here optimism. The recent Gallup and MORI polls suggest otherwise. She does point out some truths that ought to be self-evident to these same people that take the Genesis account literally:

The Catholic Church has never had a rigid reading of Genesis. The third century theologian, Origen, pointed out that the Bible says God created light three days before creating the sun, moon and stars.

"He concluded that the passage was speaking figuratively about realities other than scientific truth claims," said Bill Wright, who teaches biblical studies at Duquesne.

"These chapters in Genesis are an answer to fundamental questions about who God is and what a human being is, but they address those questions in symbolic and figurative language."

Read the whole thing.

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