Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I find myself thinking about creation, in a larger context of God, humankind, the Bible, truth, and on and on. Here's a concept that I came upon not long ago: God did not create the universe; God is creating the universe -- it's a work in progress, as are we, and that leaves open the possibility that God may be as surprised by the outcome(s) as we are.

FYI, I believe in a Creator-God, intelligent, benevolent, and interested in creation as more than merely an amusing experiment. Frankly, I consider the idea of our being here by happenstance to require a greater leap of faith than the idea of a Creator being there to ignite the Big Bang. And I usually look for the simplest path.

As a Roman Catholic -- albeit a "liberal" Catholic, not a "good" (viz., obedient) Catholic -- I reject the notion of predestination. We have free will; we choose our paths, for better or worse. God knows the possible outcomes, but doesn't know our choices till we make them. (For him to know our choices before we know them mocks the notion of free will.)

Because of my heretical liberal POV, I see no difficulty with the idea of God and (not or) evolution. A recent visit to a Christian bookstore turned up a volume titled Creation vs. Evolution (or maybe it was the other way around)...a puzzle to me. Versus? What would make them antithetical to each other? Well, the Bible, I suppose. A great many of my acquaintances are so chained to a literal reading of Scriptures (and these are not all so-called fundamentalist people, either, but mostly members of "mainline" churches) that they cannot/will not let God out of that little box long enough to consider wider possibilities. Growing up in the Catholic church of the 1960s and 1970s, we were taught that the Bible is, in toto, God's truth--not that every verse of every chapter is literally "correct."

Thus, when Genesis indicates that the earth was created in six's wrong! We know that the earth was created over the course of millions of years (and indeed is still being created: see above). What's right is the overarching truth (to believers) of Creation, viz., God created (is creating) the heavens and the earth. God chose to pull this off in his own way and in his own time, and science is slowly discovering that truth.

Some 25 years ago, while a college student, I was roped into attending a "Creation Seminar" at a church in Omaha, Nebraska. What an education! The speaker approached the subject thusly: The Bible can't be wrong, so anyone who says anything contrary to biblical accounts must perforce be wrong. Huh! Then he went on to sarcastically enumerate the occasions where science has been mistaken or purposely misled, and jumped from that to the conclusion that science is therefore always wrong! Huh! again. Well, the whole thing was just silly, and having wasted a Friday night sitting in an incredibly hot church basement, I declined to waste all day Saturday listening to the same blather.

Of course science has been wrong--more correctly, scientists have been wrong. Scientists are human beings. Human beings get things wrong; have their own agendas (sometimes subconsciously); can be misled; need to learn and grow and adapt.

And--oh, yeah--the Bible was written by human beings.