Thursday, 12 February 2009

Blurring lines

The line between Atheism and Christianity is getting blurry! Couple of interesting articles have been brought to my attention

The first is simply the news that the Vatican have made public their belief that Darwin's theory of evolution is compatible with Biblical teaching. Evolution and Christianity have long been at loggerheads, and with this revelation along with this being the 150th year since The Origin of the Species was published, there should be calls made for open debate and more teaching on the matter.

The second is an article by Times columist Matthew Parry - An Atheist who sees a need for God in Africa. A really fascinating read.


Scott McFarland said...

I believe that the two segements of belief have become more acceptable towards eachother mainly due to the change in todays society. Each person is entitled to thier own belief, but i beleive that thier belief should be backed up, and not just built on hear-say. A world renound scientist, who lectures at the university of ulster once said in a lecture "science does not prove anything, it simply gives a strong basis for a good theory" But i also beleive that religions such as Christianity need to be more open, to understanding and taking on board the views and thoughts of other relgions and members of society who would class themselves as an athesist. I myself am a Chrisitian, but i really enjoy learning about other belief systems and what impact these have on peoples daily lives.

Scott McFarland
University of Ulster
Northern Ireland

Catholic Observer said...

Catholics are at perfect liberty to believe in or to repudiate evolution. The article quoted Archbishop Ravasi expressing his belief in evolution, and doubtless this would also be an opinion shared by most bishops, but it is not a magisterial statement, and for The Times to represent it as the opinion of the 'the Vatican' is quite incorrect. The Times has a well-documented record of unprofessional reporting on religious issues:

I myself do not believe that there is a contradiction between evolution and creation. Indeed I would contend that a faithful exegesis of the Genesis creation narrative actually supports evolution. The chronological order in which evolution purpots speciation is remarkably similar to the biblical account (especially coming from a time when most creation accounts promoted the inverse): first all the creation of a stable water circle is required (Genesis 1:6-7), then the formation of continents (Genesis 1:11-12), the very rapid increase (’let the waters teem’; cf Cambrian Explosion) in small sea animals (Genesis 1:20a), the creation of land vegetation (Genesis 1:11-12), the appearance of birds(Genesis 1:20b), the creation of sea mammals (Genesis 1:21), the appearance of land mammals (Genesis 1:24-25) and the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27).

It is especially interesting that in reference to the creation of land mammals, God did not say ‘I will create living creatures’ but instead orders to the land to do so: ‘let the land produce living creatures’. This makes it sound as if God was slightly detached from their creation and to me it implies naturalistic evolution. The word used in the creation of land mammals which is translated in most bibles as ‘produce’ is היה and suggests a progressive evolution from preexisting rudiments and sharply contrasts with ברא used in reference to the creation of the universe in Genesis 1:1 which necessarily is creatio ex nihilio.

bertmart said...

CO - Thanks for that comment. I particularly appreciate your gracious tone.

Some interesting theological things in there- Would never have picked up before on 'let the land produce living creatures' and the possible implications of that.

Thanks again