Post # 1
I start by saying I do not intend to offend anybody with this post. Fiance is Catholic, and I am Agnostic. We are watching the “Bible” series on the history channel right now (which is really well done actually!), and we started to have a discussion (dangerous, I know).
Fiance believes in the Creation Story, and I believe in Evolution (although I don’t think believing in Evolution is 100% contradictory to Christianity). I also think that Fiance is starting the think about the Creation story with a bit more skepticism than he used to as well.
I asked him how he and other Christians explained the existence of dinosaurs and how they fit into the creation story. He told me he had never thought about it and never heard anyone talk about it before. I’m curious how there are can be glaring holes in many stories/beliefs and no attempted explanation for these things. Are there any Christian bees who have thought about/heard about explanations of this? Fiance and I are both genuinely curious.
There are other things I am skeptical about, of course, but the dinosaurs is just one example. Fiance seems to be of the opinion “I know it doesn’t make sense but I choose to believe it blindly anyway”, although he is changing a bit toward educated questioning of some things in the bible to change his views to a more “modern” view of Christianity.
I am of the opinion that it’s okay to question things and mold your beliefs. I think you can still uphold Christian values and follow Christ even if you question traditional biblical writings/belifes. Of course, my views are different from many others (including my FI’s).
So what do you think Bees? Any opinions on the matter? Let’s keep it friendly and respectful!
Post # 3
Behemoths and great beasts are mentioned in Job chapter 40. I think they’re mentioned elsewhere as well.
You could also note that it’s mentioned that a human day is a blink to God (2 Peter 3:8 is a good one) so the Creation could’ve taken 7 “God days” and not 7 “Human days”. He was the one who invented the definition of a “day”… He’s God. He’s not limited by hours and days like we are and try to do to Him. So, in the Creation story where God is creating animals, dinosaurs would be included as well. One “God day” would therefore be thousands upon thousands of human years, thus giving dinosaurs time to live and die off before humans were created in the end.
Post # 4
When I did consider myself a Christian I asked my preacher about an explaination of where the dinosaurs fit in. His response was “our duty as a Christian is to not question, but believe.”
A while later, after deciding I was not a Christian, I had a converstation with a former co-worker who was also a preacher. He couldn’t give an answer about the dinosaurs either, but offered the theory that the “great beasts” in the Bible were dinosaurs.
Like you, I also believe in evolutionary theory…my scientific mind needs proof of anything otherwise.
I look forward to seeing other’s beliefs on the matter!
Post # 5
@mepayne: Interesting! I was unaware of that information! Thanks for sharing.
@MissCountryGirl727: I’m with you! I was raised Christian but I’m too scientific-proof oriented. The reason of “we don’t question, we believe blindly” doesn’t cut it for me.
I hope more people respond so I can hear some more viewpoints!
Post # 6
All the Christians I know accept the archeological evidence that plants and animals have changed over hundreds of millions of years.
People in biblical times didn’t really have the same modern empirical distinction between metaphorically true vs. provably true. So modern people tend to get really caught up in trying to figure out which parts of the Bible fall where in that distinction, even though that question wouldn’t mean the same thing to ancient people. In a way it’s a literary question – most modern people have a really hard time with the literary paradigm of the Bible, although we can understand in our own literary paradigm that a modern book, say about WWII, is factually true even if it has a metaphor like “The Germans marched across Europe with the boots of giants.” It would probably be clear to ancient Hebrews which parts of the Bible are more or less of what we call literal, but it isn’t to us.
To understand the Bible I think you have to understand literature and history somewhat. But all the Christians I know agree that God wants them to use their reason as much as possible to understand the world. That includes acknowledging reasonable scientific evidence.
I think your Fiance should read the theologian Thomas Aquinas – he thought a lot about how faith and reason interact and are compatible. He was very much not OK with the idea of believing things that are contrary to reason.
Post # 7
Personally, I’m not a fan of religions that don’t encourage questions. Darling Husband was raised Catholic, but that was a major reason as to why he isn’t anymore.
Some stories in the bible are that, stories. Yes, I do find meaning in them, but don’t take everything literally.
Also, things could only be written at the level of knowledge at the time. People weren’t going to understand genetics when there was no knowledge about genes, DNA, etc.
Post # 8
My Christian Fiance likes to say (only half-joking) that dinosaurs were “Earth Beta.” Like, God created the animals, including the dinosaurs, then decided for whatever reason that these giant lizards needed to be destroyed. Adam and Eve came afterwards.
Post # 9
I used to be a young earth creationist Christian. At that time we were taught that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, and were the animals mentioned in Job. We were also taught that animals in mythology (dragons etc) were examples of dinosaurs.
Then I realized science didn’t match creationism, no matter how hard I tried to make it, so ended up as a theistic evolutionist for a while, but would now consider myself agnostic.
Post # 10
@AB Bride: Exactly! I agreen 100%
@4cube: Thank you for the Thomas Aquina suggestion. I will pass it along to Fiance. I think his problem is that it was ingrained in him for years and years that to question anything is wrong and would make him a “bad Catholic” so he’s having a hard time getting past that. :-/
I took a class in college about Theology but it looked at the bible in historical and literary context (i.e. which books were just stories, which were letters, which are more accurate historical documents, etc) which I LOVED. So interesting! I wish Fiance had gotten to take that same class!
Post # 11
@hollyberry4: That’s such a shame! I’m agnostic/atheist but I was raised Catholic, and my parents had the completely opposite viewpoint. They wanted me to ask theological questions.
I would definitely recommend to your Fiance that he read more theology. Not sure what he likes to read, but maybe Thomas Aquinas isn’t the best suggestion to start with, since his writing is difficult to follow. I’d recommend getting a synopsis of his work instead… but I brought it up because TA is practically part of Catholic orthodoxy, and he says Catholics are supposed to use their reason and ask questions. So, if some Catholics are saying the opposite, they need to get with their own theology!
There’s so much interesting theological stuff out there, as you know from the class you took. You’re certainly not the only one to notice philosophical problems presented by Christianity – people have spent 2000 years writing about them! If you look in the right place, I think there’s something for everyone. Without knowing what he likes, I might start with C.S. Lewis – his writing style is really engaging and he has both fiction and nonfiction work.
Post # 12
I’m an evangelical, Bible-believing Christian, and, although I am extremely analytical and very logic-based in my thinking — and I have attended only public schools and earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from public, secular universities — I absolutely believe in creation and intelligent design.
I am not at all afraid of science, because I believe that all truth is God’s truth. However, I strongly believe that human knowledge is limited and incomplete. We only know what we know, and the rest is, at best, a theory based on what we do know, not what we do not know. Only God is all knowing and has every answer.
I absolutely believe that there are theories that many humans believe to be true — based upon the information that they have now — that simply are not true. We just do not know that they’re not true yet, and we may never know until we meet the Lord. There have been many medical and scientific theories over the years that have later been disproven when new and more comprehensive information is available or additional evidence is revealed.
As a Christian, I believe it is arrogant and prideful, not to mention a bit ridiculous, for human beings (the creation) to try to tell God (our Creator) why what His Word says is true cannot be true simply because we have not yet found a manner in which to prove that it is true and such concepts are, at present, incomprehensible to us.
I honestly do not know the answers to some questions, and Scripture makes very clear that “now we know in part,” but, when we meet the Lord, then we shall know in full.
Post # 13
I agree that Gods days aren’t necessarily the same time frame of our days. I think god either created them and then planned for them to go extinct for the process of evolution (or gods creation of man) to happen or they survived the creation of man and then when god flooded the earth (this is when maybe the continents split) the dinasours were not destined to be saved so died in the flood.
these are just my crazy thoughts that go through my head at night when god and I take talking
Post # 14
I’ve had this conversation with people before (totally putting my.foot in my mouth taking to my boss’s wife) because I believe that science and religion aren’t ar odds and that while God created the world and all the natural processes that allow it to function, it is not perhaps as literal as some people, especially some young earth creationists would believe. Days didn’t exist in the same idea we have as 24 hours because the sun wasn’t there to revolve around yet.
A speaker I heard once made a good point about it, the Bible wasn’t and isn’t intended to be a science ttextbook, its a book of theology and I don’t believe God would allow us as as humans to have such a deep desire to understand science if He didn’t want us to try. They aren’t opposites science just hasn’t caught up to God.
Also random side note, totally think (in a completely unscientific way) the levathin is a dragon. It is huge, scaly and breaths fire. Or at least smoke. Come on, what crocodile breathes fire? !? Plus the ancient people could kill crocs and hippos if they really had to, they weren’t quite so epic.
Post # 15
I believe when people meet God, he or she will say “Wow, you people really screwed up my whole message!”
Post # 16
@mepayne:+1 This is what I have always believed.