Monday, September 24, 2012

How Does God Act in Creation?

How does God work in his creation?  This is a question that not only Christians but the general public directs to the Church. This is the question  at the center of Theology. Many Christians have heard that evolution is not a problem for Catholic theology but few understand why this is the case.

The Catholic Times' interview with Fr. Oh Kyeong-hwan introduces us to the recent book he translated into Korean, How God Acts: Creation, Redemption and Special Divine Action, by Prof. Denis Edwards. In the Korean Church there are few who are studying the relationship of Science and Religion, Fr. Oh  laments.  He spends a great deal of time acquainting us with the compatibility of science and religion with his website, research team, and lectures.

Fr. Oh spent over a year working on translating the book by Prof Denis Edwards, a senior lecturer in systematic theology in the School of Theology of Flinders University, South Australia. He made efforts to put the words into Korean that the ordinary readers would have little difficulty understanding. The book shows us the way God is working in his creation.

Fr. Edwards shows that God does not interfere in his creation with  arbitrary acts contrary to the laws of nature. To create, he follows the self-regulatory laws of creation, of evolution, chance and order. Fr. Oh explains that Fr. Edwards emphasizes that God does not break these laws of nature with miracles. Although there are no miracles that break these laws, there are many incidents that we are not able to understand with the knowledge that we have presently of the laws of nature. We can not use our beliefs to disregard the discoveries of science. As Pope John Paul II said, "Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes."

Fr. Oh hopes that we will have many more who will try to explain the place of science in our lives and to see the relationship between science and religion.The conflict is certainly present but it is the conflict between some of the scientists and some of the religious people but not between  science and religion. Truth is one. There are different ways of arriving at truth and different concerns of those seeking the truth but truth does not contradict itself. A well-known cardinal said many hundreds of years ago, "Religion teaches us the way to go to heaven and not how the heavens go."

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