Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
When the Kolbe Center was established twenty years ago, it was almost impossible to find Catholic publications that defended the traditional doctrine of creation from the perspective of theology, philosophy and natural science. Beginning with Eric Bermingham’s Creation vs. Evolution, Fr. Victor Warkulwiz’s The Doctrines of Genesis 1-11, and the proceedings of our first International Catholic Symposium on Creation in Rome in 2002, we have been blessed to publish a whole series of books that thoroughly explain and defend the traditional doctrine of creation.
In recent years we have been privileged to discover the work of Mike Gladieux who has devoted several decades to an exhaustive examination of authentic traditional Catholic commentary on Genesis 1-11. I am delighted to announce the publication of his magnum opus as an e-book entitled The Genesis Documents. In more than twenty years of study in this area, I have not encountered any work by a contemporary Catholic author who has so thoroughly researched the riches of traditional Catholic commentary on the sacred history of Genesis. I hope that this work will serve as another powerful tool to help you to understand and defend the traditional Catholic understanding of the creation and early history of the world. As Mike Gladieux explains:
This is a commentary on Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Genesis means origins. It is the ancient story of how this world, humanity, and the nations of the earth came to be.
Why would anyone today undertake to write a commentary on Genesis? Think of the obstacles and problems that they must confront! If Genesis were true, as the universal faith of the ancients held, then consider what such a belief would mean in the midst of the huge mountain of knowledge that has accumulated in the last two to three centuries. We now “understand” that the universe has come into its present state via the outworking of natural processes that have been going on for billions of years. We now “understand” that life arose through a gradual complexification of species that has been going on for more than several hundred million years. The earth itself is over “four billion years” old, and the major geological features on the earth—such as the continents and the oceans—were formed by geological processes that have been operating from deep within the earth for most of that time. If Genesis were true then all of these theories would necessarily be condemned as false—and we now understand them to be “proven scientifically” to be true.
That is not all. The very text of Genesis has been carefully explained as having arisen from the cumulative effort of primitive ancient people who worked over many centuries, adding to it and gradually massaging it into its present form. Their input into the book, especially those sections that deal with “origins,” was taken largely from the creation myths that were so widely prevalent among many ancient civilizations in the Middle East in the two or three millennia before Jesus walked on earth. How could a book that was put together from such sources, in such a hodge-podge manner, that was rooted in the primitive cultures that existed back when men were so unknowledgeable, actually have anything to say to us in the twenty-first century? What could it add to our enormous and impressive body of wisdom about mankind and its origins?
Anyone who ever thought of writing a commentary on Genesis would inevitably have to address all such issues in some manner. It would be an overwhelming and bewildering task. How could anyone have the breadth of scholarship to even begin such a task, and how could the final product in any way consider all of the issues?
This book is going to do exactly that. I never meant to write such a book. But over three decades ago I was confronted with the conflict between secular theories of origins and the claims of Genesis. I sought an explanation—a resolution—to that conflict, and I was given one. It was an answer to a prayer whose broad implications I have only come to understand over many years. I am going to share with you the encounter with God that began my quest, and the outworking of that quest. I will not attempt to disprove any of the modern perspectives on origins by intricately investigating them, but I will confront them directly and I will cast doubt on them. I will show the basic philosophical bias from which they have sprung. In fact, they are scientifically and intellectually bankrupt, as can be easily seen. I will present to you extremely powerful evidence for the truth of Genesis— inherent in the book itself—recognizing that to accept that evidence will topple the many theories that people naively hold sacred and foolishly consider to be true in our day. I ask only that you follow my logical presentation with an open mind and read to the end.
This book is a carefully organized, logical, and reasonable explanation of the book of Genesis—and it is a defense of its historical accuracy. Certainly, I present many simple and logical reasons for the position that I take, especially reasons for believing that the accounts of Genesis should be taken as true in their entirety. The reasons, as we shall see, are inherent in the book of Genesis itself—reasons that are rooted in a few simple observations that have arisen because of archeological discoveries in the past century.
But as always in the history of Christianity, the acceptance of God’s word and our belief in it must ultimately rest in our own choices. It is the sovereign determination of God that each person must choose, either to receive His truth and believe Him or to reject His word. In that case the person will, inevitably, decide to place his or her trust in some other source of knowledge, in some other person or belief system. In our day and age many competing ideologies clamor for our attention and demand our adherence to their tenants. These are often in direct contradiction to the Ancient Faith and the Scriptures.
For this reason I recognize that whatever I say, and however carefully I present these arguments for the truth of Genesis, it will always resolve according to a choice that each person has made in their hearts: Do I accept and believe that God is true, or do I trust in the ideas and theories of men? For the issue when you read this book is not whether or not what I say is true. It is whether God is true. If you are inclined to believe that the Bible is true—that it is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, which is what all of the men of old firmly believed—then you will welcome this book as a very helpful and insightful work that undergirds the Ancient Faith of the Church and the truth of Genesis. If you are inclined to trust in some of the many and varied theories about origins that are prevalent in our society today, then this work probably will not convince you.
Let me put this differently: The world in which we live today is corrupt and disintegrating on basically every level, and it has discarded the Christian faith and its world view. In this work I am saying that, although our age has abandoned the Ancient Faith and has immersed itself in intellectual theories and ideas that contradict it at every point, still the Ancient Faith is—and always has been—true. As you read, consider carefully the reasons that I advance on behalf of the Ancient Faith. Observe also the utter absurdity of the modern theories of origins, their inadequacy and bankruptcy, and be willing to question them and the naturalistic premises upon which they stand—the world view from which they have sprung.
With a prayer that The Genesis Documents will help many souls to embrace and defend the true Catholic understanding of the origins of man and the universe, I am
Yours in Christ through the Holy Theotokos in union with St. Joseph,
P.S. Today is a First Saturday. Our Lady of Fatima explained the Five First Saturdays to Sr. Lucia dos Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries, on Dec. 10, 1925, in the following way:
“See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the … mysteries of the Rosary.”
Why five First Saturdays in particular? Jesus explained this to Sr. Lucia on May 29-30, 1930, saying:
“Daughter, the motive is simple: There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
First: blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
Second: against her Virginity
Third: against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of mankind
Fourth: those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother
Fifth: those who revile her directly in her sacred images”