I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the importance of believing the book of Genesis for faith in a personal God. I was born and raised a Catholic, but later in my teen years began to drift away from the faith. I had gradually lost faith in the personal God of the Bible - but never considered myself an atheist. I generally tied evolution and God together in my personal faith journey. After marriage and children - I began to critically re-think the faith. I visited my brother and his family in California and witnessed their strong faith in a personal God. I thought that perhaps I had missed something in my Catholic education that needed revisiting. Upon my return, two close friends offered to come to my house to teach a Bible study on the book of John. I accepted their invitation and just loved it. I was so impressed by the words of Jesus and the message he taught. Having said this - I still did not accept Jesus or the events of the Bible as true. I knew that the Bible recorded many supernatural events - things that just could not be explained by natural causes. I saw that these passages could not easily be dismissed without destroying the message of the Bible. I also struggled with prayer. I would let my teachers do all the praying at the Bible study. After all, if God could hear me - then I would be acknowledging the existence of a supernatural realm. This was something that I was unable to do at the time.
Praise God! I overcame this unbelief when I started examining the issue of origins and the book of Genesis. As a trained scientist, I recognized the atheistic implications of the theory of evolution. Evolution, relying solely upon naturalism, purposely excludes supernatural causation - and therefore God - in any direct creative acts. God becomes an unnecessary hypothesis if evolution is properly understood. I was shocked to learn of the many difficulties with the theory in light of 20th century scientific discoveries. I was also impressed with the evidence for the alternative explanation - supernatural creation and the flood. As I studied the difficulties with the theory of evolution - I came to recognize that for evolution to be true - I would have to accept more miracles than are found in all the Bible. I figured that if I were going to believe in miracles then I might as well accept those in the Bible - and please God with my faith at the same time. I immediately returned to the sacrament of reconciliation and confessed my prior unbelief.
I largely credit non-Catholic Christians with my return to faith in a personal God. I found their teachings on Genesis to be very Catholic and continue to maintain a deep respect for them. Books and tapes from Protestant ministries such as Answers in Genesis and The Institute for Creation Research were key to my return to the Catholic faith. Today, I find myself to be in a unique position, defending the literal truth of Jesus' words "This is my body" to Protestant friends, and "Haven't you read, that in the beginning the creator made them male and female" to Catholics. It breaks my heart to hear so many Catholics compromising their faith by attempting to reconcile it with evolution. There are many good Catholics who grasp the importance of the idea that we are created in the image of God - but forget that this is a literal teaching from the book of Genesis. They fail to see the harmful effects of teaching evolution to the faithful that many popes have warned us about. They do not see the connection between evolution and our cultural drift toward secularism and the presence of modernism within the Church. I thank God every day for your apostolate, The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, for exposing these errors and defending the Catholic doctrine of creation.
Thank you, Hugh, for your work.
Engineer, Ballston Lake, New York