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Thread: Benedictus XVI discusses the Big Bang at Epiphany mass

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    Default Benedictus XVI discusses the Big Bang at Epiphany mass

    God's mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday.

    "The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe," Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.

    "Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God," he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people in St Peter's Basilica on the feast day.

    While the pope has spoken before about evolution, he has rarely delved back in time to discuss specific concepts such as the Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.

    Researchers at CERN, the nuclear research centre in Geneva, have been smashing protons together at near the speed of light to simulate conditions that they believe brought into existence the primordial universe from which stars, planets and life on earth -- and perhaps elsewhere -- eventually emerged.

    Some atheists say science can prove that God does not exist, but Benedict said that some scientific theories were "mind limiting" because "they only arrive at a certain point ... and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality ..."

    He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.

    "In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality ... we can only let ourselves be guided towards God, creator of heaven and earth," he said.

    Benedict and his predecessor John Paul have been trying to shed the Church's image of being anti-science, a label that stuck when it condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun, challenging the words of the Bible.

    Galileo was rehabilitated and the Church now also accepts evolution as a scientific theory and sees no reason why God could not have used a natural evolutionary process in the forming of the human species.

    The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism -- the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible -- and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.

    But it objects to using evolution to back an atheist philosophy that denies God's existence or any divine role in creation. It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text.


    Regarding the part I bolded: you're not supposed to kick people whrn they're already down, but I'll make an exception this time and draw your attention to this hilarious commentary:

    Now here is the problem with so many church leaders—they accept the fallible ideas of man (e.g., Big Bang) and claim there is no “conflict with faith,” but there is an irreconcilable conflict with God’s Word! The Big Bang has the sun and stars before the earth, but God said He made the earth before the sun and stars. Furthermore, the Big Bang has the earth beginning as a hot molten blob, but the Bible has the earth at the beginning covered with water.
    Actually this part of the column is spot on, but (from his view, quite understandably) Ken Ham does not make the necessary conclusions:

    Now, if the book of Genesis is an allegory, then sin is an allegory, the Fall is an allegory, the need for a Savior is an allegory, and Adam is an allegory—but if we are all descendants of an allegory, where does that leave us? It destroys the foundation of all Christian doctrine—it destroys the foundation of the gospel.

    If Genesis is an allegory then the first marriage is just an allegory, so marriage can be anything one wants to define it as! Jesus in Matthew 19 quotes from Genesis as real history to build the basis of marriage being one man and one woman.

    There are many articles on the AiG website teaching very clearly that Genesis is history—not allegory—and the history in Genesis is foundational to the rest of the Bible!

    Bottom line: if the Pope believes in the Big Bang and the Pope believes Genesis is an allegory—he is teaching something that contradicts and undermines the Word of God.

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    I agree with some of this article, but I have to say that this:

    then sin is an allegory, the Fall is an allegory, the need for a Savior is an allegory, and Adam is an allegory
    is something of a straw-man/misrepresentation. To my knowledge/in my experience, the "Genesis is an allegory" type crowd usually mean that it is an allegory insofar as the Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit is an 'allegory' of man being disobedient to God (which obviously, following Christian doctrine, would bring about sin and the necessity of a Savior) as opposed to a literal recounting of events. This was also what my parish priest said when I was a practising Catholic and discussed it briefly with him once.

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