Explaining creation & Rapture
Question from on 05-02-2007:
EXPLAINING CREATION -
This if for MTP, who was unsure how to explain creation to her son. I don’t know of any books to explain creation, but this is what I am telling my sons, who are also asking the same questions.
First, God created everything, including the very laws of nature that science is beginning to understand. His 7 days to create the universe and the earth and all that lives on it are not days measured by the orbiting of the moon, as our days are. They are spiritual or ‘God’s days’.
God used what He created – the laws of nature, the laws of physics and the laws of biology to bring order from chaos and to build the universe and, ultimately, us. However, the details of how we got here, the details of what laws He set in motion and how many rotations the earth went around the sun before the first man appeared is for science to discover.
Who were Adam and Eve and where was the Garden of Eden? Remember that the first books of the Bible are not written as factual historical accounts, but as inspired works that a people used to explain their presence and to explain their relationship with God in a time before we understood science. This doesn’t make these books of the bible less important by any means, but the way in which they are read changes from a literal account of history to a theological understanding of why we are here.
Since that time, God has blessed many of our forbearers with the intelligence to seek out and discover the “how” we came to be. But we must never lose sight of the “why” we came to be. We came to be because God willed for us to be. We are here because God’s love is deeper and more immeasurable that we can even begin to comprehend. And that is what the story of the Garden of Eden teaches us.
So when I talk to my sons about dinosaurs and the universe, I tell them that God created them and us. We talk about the wonders of the universe and the beauty of the world God gave us. And when he asks why the Bible tells us about Adam, Eve, a snake and 7 days, I tell him the Bible is telling us about how much God loves us and that even though the very first people sinned, God still loved them and stood by them even though they couldn’t live in the Garden anymore. I remind them that everyone makes mistakes, but Mommy and Daddy still love them, and God still loves them.
I hope that helps, and as always, I hope that is in keeping with Catholic teaching.
For Susan, who was asking about Rapture and the last days, it’s my understanding that the idea of Rapture is not part of Catholic teaching, nor is it supported in the Bible.
See: “Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind” by David Currie
Also, remember that one of the greatest weapons the devil has is fear. If he can paralyze us with fear, oftentimes, we forget to trust in God. No one knows the day or the hour. Jesus, himself, told us this.
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 05-02-2007:
Thank you very much for your response.