A new ABC interview with President Bush reveals more about his faith, and views on a literal interpretation of the Bible and evolution.
Stepping on some hot topics, Bush said the Bible is "probably not" literally true and believes that God created the earth and in evolution. Here's the interview excerpt:
MCFADDEN: Is it literally true, the Bible?
BUSH: You know. Probably not ... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament, for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is "God sent a son."
MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible...
BUSH: That God in the flesh, that mankind can understand there is a God who is full of grace and that nothing you can do to earn his love. His love is a gift and that in order to draw closer to God and in order to express your appreciation for that love is why you change your behavior.
MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can -- it's not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.
BUSH: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life and ...
MCFADDEN: But do you believe in it?
BUSH: That God created the world, I do, yeah.
MCFADDEN: But what about ...
BUSH: Well, I think you can have both. I think evolution can -- you're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president. But it's, I think that God created the Earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty, and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.
The entire article is worth a read, but here's another portion:
In the interview, Bush also spoke at length about his personal faith and how it has informed his presidency. The president said that his relationship with God has grown over time, and began when he decided to stop drinking.
"It is hard for me to justify or prove the mystery of the Almighty in my life," he said. "All I can just tell you is that I got back into religion and I quit drinking shortly thereafter and I asked for help -- I was a one-step program guy."
When asked if he thought he would have become president had it not been for his faith, Bush said, "I don't know; it's hard to tell. I do know that I would have been -- I'm pretty confident I would have been a pretty selfish person."
Bush said he is often asked if he thinks he was chosen by God to be president.
"I just, I can't go there," he said. "I'm not that confident in knowing, you know, the Almighty, to be able to say, 'Yeah, God wanted me of all the other people.' My relationship [with God] is on a personal basis trying to become as closer to the Almighty as I possibly can get. And I've got a lot of problems. I mean, I got, you know, the ego ... all the things that prevent me from being closer to the Almighty. So, I don't analyze my relationship with the good Lord in terms of, well, you know, God has plucked you out or God wants you to do this. I know this: I know that the call is to better understand and live out your life according to the will of God."
After he leaves the White House, Bush told ABC that he will try "to stay on the walk to the last day on the face of the Earth." He said, "I've come to this conclusion -- maybe I'm wrong, I don't know -- that the full understanding of Christianity is going to take a full lifetime of study."