I’m pretty sure virgin birth and an empty tomb fly in the face of most “settled science”.
Well, science has no way to investigate those specific and unique claims of Scripture and the Church, right? They go against the standard behavior of nature for sure. Can we expect God to allow the scientific method to be applied to those unique events? God could allow that discovery, right? If God willed it. Some people assign a materialist scientific value to the Shroud along these lines.
In the case of the development and age of the earth, well established and well-settled scientific research, observation, and documentation has revealed much. God apparently has willed to allow specific scientific documentation of these matters.
How can I excuse myself from accepting common sense revelation?
How far can I go in ignoring the world around me. God heals people in scripture without benefit of medicine or doctors.
Am I justified in ignoring basic scientific medical advancements when my children are sick, because Scripture seems to contradict medical science?
I am certainly free to do so, but that would be an abuse of my freedom.
I would argue that it’s not that science has no way to investigate the claims, rather it doesn’t bother. It’s patently obvious that nobody (zombies excerpted of course, and perhaps other members of the undead, like vampires, although we could argue whether or not they actually died - but I digress) rises from the dead. Likewise, nobody is born from a virgin - ever. And yet - we peculiar people - choose to believe it. Why?
Because the Bible (and other Christians that we respect, like the Magisterium) tell us so. So it’s simple - all of us, have a point at which we start taking events in the Bible literally. I believe that a man, literally born of a virgin, died and literally rose again. I believe this in spite of everything else in the world that tells me it’s impossible. And I believe it because I believe what the Bible tells me is truth.
Some of my Christian brothers and sisters believe that the world was literally created in 7 days, around 6,000 years ago. The believe it because they believe what the Bible tells them. I disagree with them. But I’m not going to call them ignorant for their beliefs, no more than I would call a Catholic ignorant for theirs. To do so would be…un-Christian.
I’m not calling them ignorant as a pejorative, I am observing a fact: they are ignorant of basic science and it’s revelation of the world around us. I’m ignorant of lots of things, no problem.
You can debate all day long why God did not allow science to investigate The Virgin Birth, but has allowed earth and medical science to broaden our horizons .
The fact is, we haven’t and we can’t investigate the resurrection or virgin birth. But Scripture is not revelation in a vacuum. That is why we need the Church for context:
Scripture is taken in the context of the whole of revelation. It is part of revelation. In reading scripture, the authority of the Church informs us, our reason also informs us.
That’s the beauty of Catholicism: it appreciates humanity as whole people: faith, science, scripture, authority, Tradition. It is holistic in that sense.
We can run a full genome on a human being. The only way you get a genome is from 2 discrete DNA/RNA strands - one from mom, and one from dad. I would argue that science has investigated TVB and declared it impossible.
But Ok - forget about TVB and the Resurrection. When do you start believing what the Bible says is literally true? Do you write off the entire OT? What would science say about 3 days in the belly of a whale? My bet is the biologists would have a field day over that one. Or how about my personal favorite - Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo hanging out in the fire - and coming out not even smelling of smoke?! Let’s do an experiment on consumables and fire - we’ll need a test subject - you first.
I would argue that faith often asks us to believe in spite of what our reason informs us. Take this story from Matthew for example:
28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Peter’s reason overcame his faith. We can’t walk on water after all. It’s scientifically impossible.
I’m not a biblical literalist. I am right with the CC.
Scripture conveys saving Truth with a capital and bold T. That’s not the same thing as historic accuracy, although the bible is firmly rooted in history.
That’s not the same thing as scientific truth, although the bible makes wise observations about the world around us.
But the bible’s historic and scientific elements all serve salvation, not the details themselves. God wills to save us through human words, not give us scientific or historic certainties for their own sake.
I think you are about at least one part though, no (along with me)? The resurrection is sort of a key part of the story that you have to take literally, right? It’s not a metaphor is it?
So I’ll ask again - at what point in the Bible does the metaphor stop, and the literal truth begin? (I’m guessing the whole whale thing is deep in metaphorical territory?)
If I may venture an answer …
It is the wrong question to ask at what point, as if there is a specific book or point in time where everything after it is an unerring historical account. Indeed, there are discrepancies between the gospels. The Last Supper had to be on the Passover or it did not, it can’t be both. We have two versions of the Beatitudes, two versions of the Lord’s Prayer.
Yes, the miracles and the resurrection occurred.
Judas Maccabees existed, the Babylonian exile occurred, the Temple was built three times, David and Solomon were real Kings of Israel. Moses led the Hebrews out if Egypt. The Patriarchs existed. Adam and Eve existed.
Here is a Bible passage. Is it literal?
“For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands,” – Isaiah 55:12
Is that literal or metaphorical. How do we know? Obviously is is metaphorical, but why? We know from observing the world – the world that God created. Using God’s world to interpret God’s word is surely allowable:
“In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.”
– Thomas Aquinas, Summa
Miracles are, almost by definition, exceptional events. The sun rising in the east is not a miracle; rising in the west would be. Hence it is not likely that science will have an explanation for miracles, or at least any explanation will be of a rare event, with a great many assumptions and caveats.
For example, the Virgin Birth. A possible scientific explanation is that Mary was married and her hymen will have had a small hole in it – all hymens do. Without that hole there would be no monthly bleeding for virgins (and major medical problems). Given a husband and a very strong swimmer among his sperm… Is that true? I have no idea, since science cannot study that specific event. Is that the way God did it? Maybe, maybe not. An omnipotent God has a very wide choice of possible methods. If the Turin Shroud is genuine, then a DNA analysis of the blood might shed some light on the possible scientific options.
pretty much i mean many catholics today interprent genesis as a literal story and in acient times some said that origen was wrong for propossing a metaforical interpration of book of genesis
Again, we have been conditioned to believe the earth is that old, but observational, testable, repeatable science has not “proven” the earth is billions of years old. That is just a number that is taught in schools & colleges, but when pushed to provide testable evidence for that age, there is no way you can use science to prove this. And, again, Jesus rose from the dead - you didn’t. And He professed a young earth. So, no offense intended, but if I have to choose between you & someone Who rose from the dead, I’m going with the God-Man.
You are living in fantasyland if you believe that.
You are living in fantasyland if you don’t believe that. See how easy & subjective that was, and how it took literally zero effect to claim that?
Scientists who believe in Christianity, who also believe in a young universe, don’t claim God created it with a “15 billion year history built into it.” There are several young universe models to account for things like distant star light traveling light years to earth in only a few thousand years.
You misunderstand science. Proof is for mathematical theorems, science is always provisional. Newton’s theory (not theorem) of gravity was never proved, it was only ever “the best answer we have at the moment”. Later Einstein came along with a better answer, which replaced Newton’s answer. In time Einstein’s answer will be replaced by an even better answer when we have developed a theory of Quantum Gravity.
By saying “proven” you are showing that you misunderstand the provisional nature of science. We have not yet discovered all that there is to discover in the universe, so nothing in science can be final. We may always find something new which changes our theories: a ‘Black Swan’ as it is often called.
Evolution is a very well established theory. It is accurate to 12 decimal places, while Einstein’s gravity is only accurate to 8 decimal places.
I realize that there are different YEC theories and I have mentioned that more than once. Indeed, I do not know how prevelant the history-built-in belief is amoung creationists. I suspect it so much, but it gets mentioned on this forum as a cause.
BTW how do they account for light from distant stars?
Glad you agree but He stated in his bible that He took six days not 3,000 quintillion years or a femtosecond.
I’m basing it on what is written in the bible, if it said God took 2 million years then I would believe that.
Two days after God created Adam he was two years old but seemed like an adult?
So why are you yourself putting a time on Him by agreeing with the extremely old Earth theory?