Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Reason # 796 To be Catholic: You Can Visit The Museum of Natural History And Not Shipwreck Your Faith

Yesterday we visited the American Museum of Natural History in NYC with my two boys. It was really fun and got me thinking quite a bit how I used to view natural science with suspicion and fear because it directly countered my evangelical beliefs about creation.  As an evangelical, my original teachers told us that the world is only 6000 years old and evolution was really just "evilution."  Genesis was not only a good history book but was also a science book as well and an accurate explanation of the way the earth was created, or so we were told.
    But how did I explain fossils that date more than 40 million years? What could I say when I see a piece of petrified wood that was over 30 million years old? How did I justify primordial forms of invertebrate and vertebrate life? How did I explain to my kids that Tyrannosaurus Rex was really less than 6000 years old and walked the earth with Adam and Eve, despite a fossil record that shows T Rex lived 65.5 million years ago?   I used lousy arguments from Ken Hamm's Creation Science which "proved" that carbon dating is completely inaccurate. Even though I myself was a scientist of sorts, I did feel a little sheepish trying to get my extremely bright and inquisitive second- born son to buy into this. By third grade, I knew that he knew that the theory of the 6000 year old earth was improbable and didn't buy my arguments anymore.
   Now, being Catholic has freed me from the fear of going to a natural history museum. I don't have to shut my brain off or tell myself "fossils were put here by Satan to deceive us."

The Catholic Catechism says this:

159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."


Anonymous Nikki said...

I, and then my husband collapsed into laughter upon reading your title to this post. Love it, and forwarding it to friends. SO true!

May 07, 2012 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Rachel Baer said...

so true. My brother-in-law (a Pentecostal-based Evangelical preacher) once said that "Satan placed bones in the ground to confuse christians". Thank goodness we Catholic christians haven't ever had the need for such contrived explanations.

May 07, 2012 8:56 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

To be Catholic is to live in truth, not denial. I have seen in my life, as a non-Catholic Christian, that I needed a pretty aggressive denial mechanism to really make everything "fit." If some folks could believe that Satan would be hiding fossils around, why couldn't they also believe that Jesus started a Church that the gates of hell wouldn't prevail against? (Especially since Jesus himself said it)

May 07, 2012 8:59 PM  

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