I am glad the Vatican has chosen to clarify the situation with Kim Davis, and I want to believe that Pope Francis doesn't support her position. Given his long record of opposing gay marriage, I doubt that his view of it strays far from hers. Gay and transgendered people have been brutalized by the Catholic church for so many years, and I am weary and defensive. The institution that he represents is steeped in violent homophobia and misogyny. I appreciate Pope Francis' courageous statements about climate change. I believe that the subjugation of women and the earth is one and the same; the same element that persecutes gay people and enslaves women is the one that perpetuates genocide against indigenous people and rapes the earth for short-sighted gain. So to me, the protection of nature and the civil rights of women, gay people and transgendered people are parallel and interdependent. And next week, the safety and well-being of so many gay and trans kids and adults around the world will be determined by the message that the pope has projected. -ANOHNI
Next to these great beliefs, a biological theory seems pretty unimportant. That impression is correct. Do I "Believe in Evolution" like I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Absolutely not! I accept the Theory of Evolution like I use the Quadratic Formula; they are both useful for a certain class of problems that I sometimes have to solve. I certainly do not place my eternal life and soul in the care of a scientific theory or a mathematical formula. I am no atheist. I place my entire being in the hands of God Almighty through his Son, Jesus Christ.
It is not correct that the working out of God's plan here on earth must be smooth, linear, and predictable. The apparently chaotic path of evolution matches the history of Israel better than a smooth straight path! And that's a good thing, because the history of Israel is our story. It's your story, and it's my story. It's my story because my faith did not hold perfectly steady from infant baptism until now. Perhaps the story of evolution can be viewed as a cautionary tale, but a tale with hope for us all. God can work through the jumbled mess of human history. He can work through the jumbled mess of natural history, too.
Yes, we 21st-century Americans would prefer a quicker and more efficient approach. But God doesn't always do things the way we would do them, as St. Paul tells us in Romans 11:33-34: "Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are His wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His methods! For who among us can know the mind of the Lord? Who knows enough to be His counselor and guide?" Consider the history of the nation of Israel, from the call of Abraham to the birth of Jesus. Does this history demonstrate a smooth, straight, linear path leading to the birth of the Messiah?
God chose a certain method to spread the Gospel message: Tell people, and then those people will tell other people, and so on. We humans could easily conclude that this method is cruel and inefficient by looking at human history. Jesus Himself was crucified for spreading the message this way. St. Stephen, St. Paul, and all the Apostles except for St. John are thought to have suffered violent deaths for spreading the Gospel message. We can see that this method is inefficient because 2,000 years later there are still people in the world who have not heard about Jesus. Some people have heard the message so poorly communicated that thay are not inclined to accept it. Yet we do not deny that God chose to use this method to spread the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Neither can we conclude that God did not use evolution because to us it seems cruel and inefficient.
It was degrading to watch the articles in Variety, The Daily Telegraph, Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc. start to appear. Eclipsing earlier notices of congratulations, now the papers were naming me as one of two artists to have been “cut” by the Academy due to “time constraints”. In the next sentence it was announced that Dave Grohl, not nominated in any category, had been added to the list of performers.
In the Old Testament, the book of Hosea gives a prophecy in which numbered ""s do NOT refer to 24-hour days:
6:1 Come, let us return to the Lord;Hosea is referring to Israel's present condition in verse 1. Surely the prophet's message cannot be proclaimed throughout the land in just 48 hours (2 days in verse 2)! By the time most of the kingdom would have gotten this message, the prophecy would have expired. The invasion and occupation of Northern Israel by Assyria under Tiglath-Pileser III lasted longer than three 24-hour days. Furthermore, Ezekiel 4:4-6 uses numbered days to represent years.
for He has torn us, that He may heal us;
He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us;
on the third day He will raise us up,
that we may live before Him.
But the original Hebrew word has more meanings than that. can mean the planet, the land and its inhabitants, ground, soil, country, or territory (Zodhiates, page 1600-1601). When the late Menachem Begin and other Zionists speak of , or Greater Israel, they are referring to Israel's pre-1967 boundaries plus Jerusalem and the West Bank of the Jordan River. They are not laying claim to the Himalayas. If we understand to mean the region of the Middle East, then the story of Noah's flood does not have to cover Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet.Let the Earth Bring Forth.
The phrase "let the earth bring forth..." occurs three times in Genesis 1 (verses 11, 20 with water, 24). It does not refer to simple growth from nutrients, because this chapter is about creation. The literal meaning of this phrase matches theistic evolution better than any other creation theory! It's almost a definition of theistic evolution, which is why I put it at the top of this essay. God commanded the earth to produce animals, and the planet did so according to His command.These verses contradict the idea of direct creation of non-human life forms. Carnivores
There are several verses in Genesis that are taken to mean that animals were vegetarian until the Flood. Genesis 1:30 states: "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." After the Flood, God states in Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."I like the idea expressed in Genesis 1:30 of God's providence for all creatures. I also like the idea of the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion lies down with the lamb and there is no violence. We don't have a clear indication of when the carnivorous animals switched to eating meat, because Genesis 9:3 refers only to mankind. Job 39:27-30 could indicate that eagles were created as carnivorous animals, but it's not clear enough by itself. I have looked at the sharp teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and they don't look like something created by an to chew vegetation. Since I understand the references to death in Romans 5:12 to mean spiritual death, the presence of carnivorous animals does not pose a theological problem. This issue is not essential for salvation. I simply don't know how Genesis 1:30 fits in with what I can observe about animals. When taken with verse 29, the two verses could be merely a description of who gets to eat what kind of vegetation (man - seeds and fruit, animals and birds - grasses and plants). I do know that verse 30 occurs in a section that describes God's providence for all creatures, and that is the faith message I can take from it.With regard to pre-history and evolution, we do not know how long satan has been allowed some measure of influence and interference in the world. The Garden of Eden sounds somewhat like a sanctuary set up by God to guard Adam and Eve against the outside world. Was there trouble and danger out there even before the Fall of Mankind?In any case, the creation account in Genesis 1-2 is incomplete. Astronomy shows us this in a spectacular fashion. I think that the biological account in Genesis is also incomplete. Who can completely describe the mighty work of creation in just 2 chapters? Not Moses, nor any other possible human author of Genesis. God Almighty rested for the only time recorded in the Bible! I think there is a lot more that happened historically than just those relatively few words in Genesis 1-2. I think a few sentences cover millions of historical years, such as in Genesis 2:7: "The time came when the Lord God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person."Is the Bible incomplete? Yes, John says so at the end of his Gospel, in 20:30-31: "There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name." John repeats the "incomplete" assertion in 21:25: "There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written."What we have is sufficient for Faith. The details left out are interesting, but they are not needed for Faith and Salvation. So we need not worry about the Bible being incomplete. We have enough testimony, both for our own faith and to witness to the world. I don't usually grind through the beginning of Genesis verse by verse, trying to match each one individually with a scientific or historical finding. I think that that approach obscures the greater faith message of the Author.
I like the idea expressed in Genesis 1:30 of God's providence for all creatures. I also like the idea of the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion lies down with the lamb and there is no violence. We don't have a clear indication of when the carnivorous animals switched to eating meat, because Genesis 9:3 refers only to mankind. Job 39:27-30 could indicate that eagles were created as carnivorous animals, but it's not clear enough by itself. I have looked at the sharp teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and they don't look like something created by an to chew vegetation. Since I understand the references to death in Romans 5:12 to mean spiritual death, the presence of carnivorous animals does not pose a theological problem. This issue is not essential for salvation. I simply don't know how Genesis 1:30 fits in with what I can observe about animals. When taken with verse 29, the two verses could be merely a description of who gets to eat what kind of vegetation (man - seeds and fruit, animals and birds - grasses and plants). I do know that verse 30 occurs in a section that describes God's providence for all creatures, and that is the faith message I can take from it.