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Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Catholicism > B005LPGVKC
  1. CAN CHRISTIANS STILL BELIEVE? The Beginning of the Universe, Evolution and Human Origins, Original Sin, and The Jesus of History and the Jesus of Faith
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  2. CAN CHRISTIANS STILL BELIEVE? The Beginning of the Universe, Evolution and Human Origins, Original Sin, and The Jesus of History and the Jesus of Faith

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The four chapters of this book are like four interconnected experiments carried out with the intention of discovering whether Christians can still believe today.
Experiment 1. Christians believe in a personal and loving God who created the universe. Have the discoveries of modern scientific cosmology undercut or eliminated the rational foundations for this belief?
Experiment 2. Christians believe that the universe has meaning and purpose, and God directly created the human soul. Have the discoveries of the evolutionary biologists and paleoanthropologists undermined these beliefs?
In Chapter 1, we looked at the origin of the universe. Here we want to look at its evolution, especially the emergence of human life. Before, we saw that the simple fact alone that we live in a particular kind of universe was a robust foundation upon which to start to build a philosophical cosmology. Here the particularity of the universe takes on another meaning. We live in a universe that has physically evolved in a certain way from the hot, dense state of the big bang into galaxies and planets, a universe which has given birth to living beings. Is this an accident? Or does the universe have just those characteristics that would allow life to come about?
Experiment 3. Can Christians still believe in the doctrine of original sin, or has the advance of the sciences and the application of the historical-critical method to its scriptural foundations consigned it to the dustbin of dogmas?
It is certainly understandable if we wonder today what has happened to the doctrine of original sin. Is the traditional teaching still in force with Adam and Eve, their special prerogatives, the Garden of Eden and their sin that affected us all, even infants? We understand that evolution, at least in some form, is acceptable and the first chapters of Genesis cannot be interpreted literally. But we might have also heard the distant rumblings and roarings of heavy equipment as theologians after the Second Vatican Council attempted to dismantle the traditional formulation of original sin, or have read something about their work that shows it to be far distant from what we had been accustomed to. Therefore the question remains today in all its actuality, "Whatever happened to original sin?" One of the best ways to try to answer this question is to look at the history of the modern Catholic theology of evolution and original sin. Since a full fledged history is yet to be written we will have to make do with the following sketch.
Experiment 4. Have the findings of the historians about Jesus made it more difficult, or impossible, to believe in the Jesus that faith proposes to us?

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