How does God bring good out of evil: When a 5 year old girl is raped and murdered?


#42

OK. the stories in Genesis are to be taken literally. However,
according to Catholic teaching, God is immovable. If God is immovable, how come He was observed walking in a garden in the cool of the day?
Genesis 3:8.
And Enoch walked with God also. Genesis 5:22, 24. And Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9.
How can God be immovable if He was walking around on earth?
And Genesis also reports that God repented and grieved that He had made man upon the earth. Gen 6: 6. For God to repent, would that not mean that He thought that He had done something that He wished He had not done? Since this is to be taken literally, and at face value, would that strike a blow at the perfection of God since He already knew ahead of time that He would repent of what He was planning to do?


#43

As I understand it the official Catholic doctrine on the proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is,

…we don’t know.

I guess StAugustine has some insight that the Catholic Church is lacking. Somehow I don’t find that surprising.


#44

Um, you are confining the meaning of ‘immovable’ to motion.

Suppose you ask a person to change his mind on a topic. He says, "No, I am immovable’. Does it follow then that the person never moves?


#45

Actually the Catholic Church teaches in Trent and Vatican I that the proper interpretation of scripture is found in the unanimous consensus of the fathers. And they are literalists so I am too. Read St. Basils Hexameron on the six days of creation.

I don’t know more than the Church, I abide by her traditional teachings and interpretations. If others don’t, well I guess they’re simply ignorant or lazy. Or any combination. Most likely just unaware of the dogmas. Which isn’t surprising given our culture of subjectivism and the current idolatry of sentimentality.


#46

Vatican I dogmatically says-

  1. Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same Church I most firmly accept and embrace.

  2. Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.


#47

Literal interpretation is not literalistic. The literal interpretation of a passage is that interpretation which corresponds with the intent of the sacred writer.

Moreover, the Church has dogmatically established at least some of the aspects that are to be taken literally, as in her account of original sin- it’s nature and it’s effects. Distinctions.


#48

There are 4 senses of scripture.
The primary sense of scripture is the literal sense, and the Church doesn’t use the word literal the way 21st century English speakers use it.
The literal sense should not be conflated with historical and scientifically factual. That’s not what is meant by the literal sense. The bible is not a work of journalism, although it has elements of it. The bible is not a science textbook, although it has elements of science. The bible is rooted in history, but is not a history textbook.

Once a literal sense is established and respected, spiritual senses derive from them.
The danger of biblical fundamentalism is that it locks the scriptures in the reader’s context and understanding. And scripture was not written in the reader’s context and understanding, but rather in the human author’s context and understanding.


#49

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28


#50

All of these things taken together, point to one inescapable truth. The Catholic Church doesn’t know how to interpret its own scripture. Although StAugustine will adamantly deny this, and perhaps quote some obscure passage to bolster his position, but the truth is the Church doesn’t know what’s to be taken literally, and what isn’t.

But one thing is for certain, you can’t trust StAugustine to give an unbiased opinion on the subject.


#51

This is an assertion, not a rational argument.
Can you explain why you think “the Church doesn’t know what’s to be taken literally” etc…

yes of course StAugustine has a bias, everyone without exception has a bias. Bias is neutral per se. We need to determine if our point of view is well founded.
Are the events and information that have formed us true, or not true, or partially true? Are the conclusions we reached well founded or not?
Are we open to new information and reformation?

Do you demonstrate a bias in your point of view above?


#52

Absolutely and unequivocally yes, but my bias is this, that I don’t know what the truth is, and you don’t know what the truth is either.

Now, do you wish to challenge either of these two biases?


#53

You don’t know that if you jump off the roof you’re going to get hurt?
That’s a pretty basic truth. You must know that for sure.
What else?


#54

Certainly there are things that I can be fairly certain of, but when it comes to what parts of scripture should be taken literally, I don’t know, and I don’t think that you or StAugustine know either.


#55

I think I have a reasonably good certainty based on Church writings etc… I think the Church has a good handle on it.
Have you read much about it? Do you believe the Church is mute on the interpretation of scripture?

What sources have you read on Genesis for instance? Have you read Theology of the Body, which is one of the best existing expositions of Genesis?


#56

Of course you do, that’s your bias. The question now is, which of our biases are more likely to be correct, mine, which holds that neither of us knows how to interpret scripture, or yours, that holds that indeed one of us does, and it’s you.


#57

If we are not meant to interpret scripture, then what’s the point?
Scripture is part of revelation. Revelation is God’s revealing of himself. Revelation is meant to be approached, pondered, prayed about, and absorbed, and understood to the best of our abilities. Always with the mind of the Church, which holds the fullness of it.

What story have you read and just thrown up your hands in indifference to the message it conveys? Do you do that with any other form of communication?
No.


#58

Ah, what is scripture? What’s its purpose? Again, I don’t know. But I have noticed something, it seems to be more of a window into the heart and mind of the one interpreting it, than it is into the heart and mind of the one who wrote it, or inspired it.

As much as it gives me insight into the mind of its author, it gives me a much greater insight into the mind of those interpreting it, for they see in it what they want to see in it. And that tells me a great deal about the kind of person they are… and perhaps that’s its purpose, to reveal the true nature of the one reading it.

If one sees in it a book of forgiveness, is it because, in your heart, you’re forgiving. And if one sees in it a book of judgment and condemnation, is it because in your heart, you’re the same.

People see in it, what they want to see in it. Or perhaps, they simply see themselves. So perhaps it’s not a window, but a mirror, or both.


#59

The purpose of Scripture is to reveal God. God wants us to embrace salvation. Scripture points us to that economy and to God himself.

But I have noticed something, it seems to be more of a window into the heart and mind of the one interpreting it, than it is into the heart and mind of the one who wrote it, or inspired it.

Both/and

As much as it gives me insight into the mind of its author, it gives me a much greater insight into the mind of those interpreting it, for they see in it what they want to see in it. And that tells me a great deal about the kind of person they are… and perhaps that’s its purpose, to reveal the true nature of the one reading it.

We do gain insight into those who read scripture by the way the receive and talk about it. But again the purpose is to reveal God.


#60

Some possible thoughts: Perhaps if this had not happened, the girl would have grown up to sin mortally, and deprive herself of heaven.

This suggests that God intentionally prevented the girl from her final, free choice to reject him. Thinking of it this way, it seems Heaven or Hell is merely a matter of dying at the right time. Isn’t that a bit odd?


#61

You’re not totally off the mark, here. But if you don’t mind me saying, you seem to rather be critiquing a Protestant view of Scripture — one that sees the Bible as a sort of “blueprint” or manual we must consult to construct our worldviews and theologies. Even our churches.

But the Church preceded the Bible. This is not a mere Catholic apologetic point. This is the basic reality that informs the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is the Book of the Church. It reflects the history of a People, Israel and finally, the Church. If we want to know what Scripture means, we look to Christ and the community he called out, the Church.

It’s like finding a family album. Do you embark on discerning all the details on your own without consulting the real people that the album depicts? No, if you want the full picture, you have to be in communion with the family itself — the family that knows its own stories and history.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.