The Daily Beast: If you think faith and science can’t share common ground, think again. Experts in both realms met last week at the Vatican Observatory to prove their theory that you can’t have one without the other. “If you have no faith in your faith, that is when you will fear science,” said Brother Guy Consolmagno the Vatican’s chief astronomer, whose works include such titles as “Would you Baptize an Extraterrestrial?”
Pope Francis is not the hard-core creationist some of his predecessors were (and many Evangelicals in America are).
In 2014, he told a Pontifical Academy of Sciences conference not to always take the Bible literally.
Opinion: If I were to decide to create a brand-new religion that would provide Christians with information not found in the Gospels, I would begin by telling my followers that the Bible, in particular the Old Testament, is a wonderful collection of ancient stories written thousands of years ago to teach basically illiterate people how to live.
I would then appeal to simple logic that it would be best to let me interpret the Bible because the parts of scripture that are not stories, are allegory.
Wham-o, my followers would be spared the task of actually reading and studying the scriptures. I would then tell my followers that we would follow the leadership of the Apostle Peter.
Symbolic/allegorical Bible reading began in the 3rd Century AD:
The early church bishop, Gaius, was the first church father to interpret the Millennium as symbolic, thereby rejecting the book of Revelation, which would necessarily negate most of the OT prophecies, as 278 of the 404 verses in Revelation are near quotes from OT prophecy.
Early church theologian, Origen, commonly noted as the ‘father of the allegory’, began a quest of allegorizing (spiritualizing or explaining away) those prophetic passages that asserted the promises to Israel – which is more than 4/5 of OT prophecy.
And continued in the 5th century:
John Chrysostom (Archbishop of Constantinople), the “Golden Mouth” was a very influential church father who took a vitriolic view of the Jews, hence accelerating animosity toward the Jews while at the same time accelerating the allegorical view of Bible prophecy.
All of this culminated with Augustine who, in his work ‘City of God’, Book 20, explains away and ignores most of the promises to Israel and the Jews and declares Israel an enemy of God to be placed under the Messiah’s footstool when He comes to reign (Ps. 110). He then interprets the City of God to be Christ’s earthly kingdom – the current church in our current age. The church is “militantly” fighting against Satan and his minions. Augustine, being the leading church father at the time, incorporated all this into church doctrine (circa 428) which still thrives throughout Christendom today – more popularly known as ‘Replacement Theology.’
The Apostle Peter, who is no doubt rolling over in his grave said this:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.“ 1 Peter 1:20-21
I can’t help but wonder if Peter knew this would happen. The scripture Peter was referring to was the Old Testament.