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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 344272 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 09, 2005, 06:24:20 PM »

Is evolutionary theory compatible with the Orthodox Christian faith? This is a question I had to come to terms with while taking Anthropology 101 this year.

Please consider Evolution & Orthodoxy by Fr. John Matusiak:

"I might begin by stating that, if by evolution one is referring to the theories and teachings of Charles Darwin, the Orthodox Church surely does not subscribe to evolution in any manner. Orthodoxy firmly believes that God is the Creator of all things and that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, are unique among all created beings. At the same time Orthodoxy is not literalist in its understanding of the accounts of creation in Genesis, and I have encountered writings by Orthodox Christians which attempt to balance the creation accounts with a certain ongoing -- evolutionary, if you will -- process which, on the one hand, affirms that while humans may have evolved physically under the direction and guidance and plan of the Creator, their souls could not have evolved any more than the powers of reasoning, speaking, or the ability to act creatively could have simply evolved. In such a scenario the Creator intervened by breathing His Spirit into man and giving him life, as stated in Genesis. Such thinking, however, while admitting the possibility that the Creator guided a process of physical evolution, is not identical with the theories of Charles Darwin, which in my limited understanding implies that man's soul also evolved and denies the active participation on the part of the Creator. This poses a variety of questions and problems beyond the scope of your original question.

In short, then, Orthodoxy absolutely affirms that God is the Creator and Author of all things, that He is actively engaged with His creation, and that He desires to restore His creation to full communion with Himself through the saving death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This, unlike Darwinism, is not a matter of ideology but, rather, a matter of theology.

Orthodoxy has no problem with evolution as a scientific theory, only with evolution -- as some people may view it -- eliminating the need for God as Creator of All."
http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/Q-and-A_OLD/Evolution-and-Orthodoxy.html

Discuss...
« Last Edit: January 09, 2005, 06:32:54 PM by Matthew777 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2005, 07:43:12 PM »

http://fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm  This is the stance I agree with. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2007, 07:38:29 PM »

Just thought I'd open up a discussion on creationism and evolution (if one like this has already happened I cannot find it and would be happy for someone to direct me to the right place). Being around fundamental pentacostal christians the answer for them is obvious and not problematic at all for them (creation is literal) being around so many protestants I have found very few (like 2) that don't take creation literally. The thing I had problems with was the logical inconsistencies, I have read through the history of the church there have been many different stances but I would like to see the general concensus on oc.net.

For everyone's benefit, I'm making this thread a sticky and recommending it as a good place for discussion of this topic. There are numerous threads on this subject already, among them the ones listed below:

Genesis, Creation, and Orthodoxy

Can Someone Help Me Understand Sin, God, and the Devil?

Creation Museum Family Visit

"Creation Science" Isn't Science

Young Earth Creation?

Genesis, Creation, and Early Man

Science and Knowledge of Things

Evolutionist, ID, or Creationist? Cast Your Vote!

In What Ways Might God Value Creation?

The Evolution Thread to End All Evolution Threads

I Am Turning into a Creationist

God Is Wonderful in His Creation

Materialistic Evolution

"Youg Earth Theory" and the Early Church Fathers

There Is No Theistic Evolution

Behe the Creationist

"Creatio Ex Nihilo" Is Gnostic Dualism?

Mesopotamian Flood Myths and Creation Myths?

God and Darwin--Washington Post Editorial

Altruistic Chimps Shed Light on Evolution of Altruism

Another Rend in Darwin's Seamless Garment?

X-Men and Philosophy

Evolution and Orthodoxy

Evolution and Oriental Orthodoxy

Darwinian Evolution: The Beginning of Heresy

Bad Arguments for Evolution

BBC: Human Evolution Is "Speeding Up"
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2007, 08:37:07 PM »

(if one like this has already happened I cannot find it and would be happy for someone to direct me to the right place).
Here is a poll on the subject which took place last year: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8688.0.html
and here's a couple of more threads on the subject:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9986.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7497.0.html
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2007, 09:05:57 AM »

I simply cannot understand, just what this so-called "creationism" is about. One might as well establish a movement called "anti-electromagnetism." Biological evolution is a FACT, just like the existence of electricity is a fact. That life on the planet Earth is being diversified because of the biological evolution is a valid scientific theory, just like that the potential in an electric circuit is determined by the electromagnetic field is a valid scientific theory. There is no "crteationism," it's just silly, stupid, ignorant.
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2007, 10:16:56 AM »

I particularly like this lecture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk

I think evolution should be dealt with on a scientific basis, not on a theological basis.  Here's the whole lecture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg&mode=related&search=

God bless.
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2007, 03:51:32 AM »

recently in philosophy Heorhij we have talked about the authority over science but just to be the devils advocate we dont know that evolution is real so you cannot compare that analogy to this situation.
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2007, 07:14:35 AM »

recently in philosophy Heorhij we have talked about the authority over science but just to be the devils advocate we dont know that evolution is real so you cannot compare that analogy to this situation.

Prodromas, I've just sent you two links that describes evolution as fact, as "real."
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2007, 07:33:19 AM »

I simply cannot understand, just what this so-called "creationism" is about. One might as well establish a movement called "anti-electromagnetism." Biological evolution is a FACT, just like the existence of electricity is a fact. That life on the planet Earth is being diversified because of the biological evolution is a valid scientific theory, just like that the potential in an electric circuit is determined by the electromagnetic field is a valid scientific theory. There is no "crteationism," it's just silly, stupid, ignorant.

See my reply here:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8688.msg171699.html#msg171699
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007, 07:53:52 AM »

recently in philosophy Heorhij we have talked about the authority over science but just to be the devils advocate we dont know that evolution is real so you cannot compare that analogy to this situation.

Prodromas, we do know that... If we define evolution as the change in the genetic makeup of populations, then we can verify objectively that this change takes place. Population geneticists have already done it in the 1920's - 1970's.
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 10:20:44 AM »

I simply cannot understand, just what this so-called "creationism" is about. One might as well establish a movement called "anti-electromagnetism." Biological evolution is a FACT, just like the existence of electricity is a fact. That life on the planet Earth is being diversified because of the biological evolution is a valid scientific theory, just like that the potential in an electric circuit is determined by the electromagnetic field is a valid scientific theory. There is no "crteationism," it's just silly, stupid, ignorant.

No its not a "fact"...it is a theory with no evidence at all to back it up. I am not the most scientific person in the world but there are more and more books by reputable sciencists showing the weaknesses in the arguments for it from a purely scientific point of view.

Theologically of course what you just wrote is blasemphy.

You make God responsible for all the suffering, misery, sin and death- you are saying that the creation He brought out of nothing and described as very good wasnt really that good at all. You accuse Him of creating this world in a fallen state- of using "natural selection". If that is all true what does that make of the Cross of Christ? You also accuse of the Holy Spirit of lying to Moses when He inspired him to write the account of the creation of the world in Genisis. You accuse our Holy Fathers who noetically rose above time and in the Uncreated Grace of God and beheld the beginning and end of all things as being in Prelest.

You have also just called the righteous St John of Kronsdaht "just silly, stupid, plain ignorant"-

 "The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Were you with God when He created the universe? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?" And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God."

MY LIFE IN CHRIST

[Translated, with the Author's sanction, from the Fourth and Supplemented Edition by E.E. Goulaeff, St. Petersburg]

(p. 41,42) 

Now that you have seen what that Holy man of God has written will you repent of your blasemphy?

Theophan.
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 10:24:44 AM »

ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN

ORATIONS

[Translated by Martha Vinson]

ORATION 44

On New Sunday.

5. What? Someone will say. Was not the first Sunday, the one after the holy night and the torchlight procession, the feast of dedication? No, my holiday-loving friend; your visions of high merrymaking make you confuse the two days. That one brought salvation; this one is the anniversary of the gift of salvation; that one marks the resurrection from the tomb; this one marks simply the second rebirth. The intention is this: just as it is clear that the original creation was begun on a Sunday since Saturday, which signals the cessation from labor, is the seventh day after it; in the same way, the second creation also begins anew on Sunday, which is the first of the days that follow and the eighth after those that precede it, a day more sublime than the sublime and more wondrous than the wondrous, for it looks to our life in heaven. This is, I think, the meaning of the divine Solomon's enigmatic expression also, to give a portion to seven, that is, to this life, or even to eight, that is, the life to come: he is alluding to our good works on earth and our reinstatement in heaven. And even the great David's Psalms entitled "For the eighth" appear to be hymns for the same day, just as in another psalm that speaks in its title of the dedication of a house, the reference is to this day of dedication. The house is ourselves, we who have been found worthy to be and to be recognized and to become God's temple.

ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

HOMILIES ON GENESIS

[Translated by Robert Charles Hill]

VOLUME ONE

HOMILY SIX

(10) Do you see the wisdom of the Creator? He merely spoke, and this marvellous body came into being, namely, the sun. You see, it calls this light great and says it was brought into existence for governing the day. In other words, the sun renders the day brighter, shedding its rays like flashing lights and day by day revealing its own beauty in full bloom: as soon as it appears at dawn, it awakes the whole human race to the discharge of their respective duties. This beauty the blessed author reveals when he says: "The sun beams, like a bridegroom emerging from his chamber, like a giant in the running of his course; its span extends from one corner of heaven right to the other corner of heaven." Do you see how he revealed to us both the sun's beauty and its speed of movement? That is, in saying, "Its span extends from one corner of heaven right to the other corner of heaven," it indicated to us how in one moment of time it traverses the whole world and scatters its rays from end to end, making its great resources available: it not only supplies heat to the earth but also dries it up, and not only dries it up but enkindles it, and supplies us with many different resources, so marvellous a body is it, quite beyond one's power to describe adequately.
(11) I mention this to you and sing the praises of this heavenly body so that you may not stop short there, dearly beloved, but proceed further and transfer your admiration to the creator of the heavenly body. After all, the greater the sun is shown to be, so much the more marvellous is the revelation of the Creator.
(12) Pagan peoples, however, in their wonder and stupor at this heavenly body were unable to look beyond it to praise its creator; instead, they sang its praises and treated it as a deity. Hence the reason for the blessed Paul's saying, "They worshipped and served the creature instead of its creator." What could be more stupid than people failing to recognize the creator from the creature and being caught up in such error as to put creature and artefact on the same level as their creator? So then, foreseeing the inclination of slothful people to error, Sacred Scripture teaches us that the creation of this heavenly body took place three days later, after the growth of all the plants from the earth, after the earth's taking its own form, so that afterwards no one could say that without this force these things would not have been brought forth from the earth. Hence it shows you everything completed before the creation of this body lest you attribute the production of the crops to it instead of to the Creator of all things, the one who said from the beginning, "Let the earth bring forth a crop of vegetation."
(13) But if they were to say that the sun's virtue also contributes to the ripening of the crops, I would not gainsay them. After all, it's similar to the case of the farmer: in saying he contributes to the processes of the soil, I don't ascribe everything to him: even if thousands of farmers did their best, their efforts would be fruitless unless the One initiating the process through his own design from the beginning willed to put in train the very creation of the crops. In exactly the same way, I say, even if after the farmer's work there is assistance from the work of the sun, and the moon and the mildness of the climate, this would likewise be to no effect unless the hand from above did not play its part; once, however, this mighty hand is ready, the work of the elements makes its most efficacious contribution.
(14) Give close attention to this so as to bridle those still intent on deceiving themselves, and have nothing to do with assigning to creatures the honor due to the Creator. Accordingly, Sacred Scripture not only shows us the sun's beauty, and immensity and usefulness in the words, "It beams like a bridegroom, like a giant in running its course," but also its limitations and powerlessness: listen to what it says elsewhere, "What could provide more light than the sun? Yet even it fails." Don't be deceived by appearances, it tells us: unless the Creator willed so to direct, it would disappear as though it had never existed. If pagan peoples had understood this, they would not have fallen victim to such deception, but would properly have seen that from contemplation of created things one should move on to the Creator. Accordingly, he created it on the fourth day lest you think it is the cause of the day. In other words, what we said about the plants we will say also about the day, namely, that three days occurred before the creation of the sun. The Lord wanted to make daylight more brilliant by means of this heavenly body also- something we would say is true in the case of the lesser light as well, by which I mean the moon; after all, three nights occurred before its creation. Still, once created, the moon makes its own contribution, banishing the gloom of the night and accomplishing (you could almost say) the same things the sun does in other respects.


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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 10:33:56 AM »

Prodromas, we do know that... If we define evolution as the change in the genetic makeup of populations, then we can verify objectively that this change takes place. Population geneticists have already done it in the 1920's - 1970's.

I don't know much about this subject but isn't what you described called "microevolution"? I don't think even creationists dispute microevolution.
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2007, 10:39:14 AM »

Now a question to the other side. Couldn't it be said that Moses wrote in a way that was theological, not historical? I do not think that any father of the Church argued that Genesis or even the Gospels were historical narratives; rather, they were theological reflections (on true events of course).  Hence why we see different views in the four gospels.  The Gospels are not "biographies of Jesus" no more than Genesis is a "manual of God's creative processes" and to suggest it is seems to me to take away from what it is, which is an account of man's fall and God's salvation.

Another point I would like to pose is why is it so objectionable that God took a lower primate and gave it the breath of life, when creationists posit that God created man from dust?  Why is dust superior to lower primates?

Death before the fall is certainly a valid objection to evolution which I have not properly examined. Will have to think about that.
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2007, 10:41:01 AM »

Continuing to bounce both sides, because I truly am curious and have no agenda, to the evolutionists I ask, why is it that whenever someone challenges evolution (for instance Darwin's Black Box, by an obviously intelligent professor with valid credentials) he is pounced on as someone with an agenda, etc? Isn't it strange that those pushing Darwinism and not allowing any challenges to it are usually atheists--isn't that an agenda? Or is it proven that those opposed to evolution in the scientific community really are quacks? Can I see some discussion of this?
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2007, 10:52:40 AM »

Continuing to bounce both sides, because I truly am curious and have no agenda, to the evolutionists I ask, why is it that whenever someone challenges evolution (for instance Darwin's Black Box, by an obviously intelligent professor with valid credentials) he is pounced on as someone with an agenda, etc? Isn't it strange that those pushing Darwinism and not allowing any challenges to it are usually atheists--isn't that an agenda? Or is it proven that those opposed to evolution in the scientific community really are quacks? Can I see some discussion of this?

Kenneth Miller is a staunch defender of evolutionism while opposing creationism and he is a Roman Catholic. It just doesn't seem that there are any credible persons within the scientific community, atheist or otherwise, who are opposed to evolutionism. Those opposed to evolutionism usually do have an agenda such as creationism or intelligent design.
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2007, 10:54:01 AM »

No its not a "fact"...it is a theory with no evidence at all to back it up. I am not the most scientific person in the world but there are more and more books by reputable sciencists showing the weaknesses in the arguments for it from a purely scientific point of view.

Theologically of course what you just wrote is blasemphy.

You make God responsible for all the suffering, misery, sin and death- you are saying that the creation He brought out of nothing and described as very good wasnt really that good at all. You accuse Him of creating this world in a fallen state- of using "natural selection". If that is all true what does that make of the Cross of Christ? You also accuse of the Holy Spirit of lying to Moses when He inspired him to write the account of the creation of the world in Genisis. You accuse our Holy Fathers who noetically rose above time and in the Uncreated Grace of God and beheld the beginning and end of all things as being in Prelest.

You have also just called the righteous St John of Kronsdaht "just silly, stupid, plain ignorant"-

 "The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Were you with God when He created the universe? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?" And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God."

MY LIFE IN CHRIST

[Translated, with the Author's sanction, from the Fourth and Supplemented Edition by E.E. Goulaeff, St. Petersburg]

(p. 41,42) 

Now that you have seen what that Holy man of God has written will you repent of your blasemphy?

Theophan.


Are you suggesting infallibility for any of those you have quoted?
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2007, 10:57:41 AM »

Kenneth Miller is a staunch defender of evolutionism while opposing creationism and he is a Roman Catholic. It just doesn't seem that there are any credible persons within the scientific community, atheist or otherwise, who are opposed to evolutionism. Those opposed to evolutionism usually do have an agenda such as creationism or intelligent design.

What about the guy who wrote Darwin's Black Box? That was pretty popular a few years ago and the guy was some kind of qualified neurobiologist or something. Correct me if I am wrong.
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2007, 10:59:35 AM »

I am an evolutionist, not an atheist, and have no agenda nor any conflict in my Faith.
However last year I had a running shoot out over 'evolution' on another forum and don't have the energy to re-do it right now.
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2007, 11:21:18 AM »

Now a question to the other side. Couldn't it be said that Moses wrote in a way that was theological, not historical? I do not think that any father of the Church argued that Genesis or even the Gospels were historical narratives; rather, they were theological reflections (on true events of course).  Hence why we see different views in the four gospels.  The Gospels are not "biographies of Jesus" no more than Genesis is a "manual of God's creative processes" and to suggest it is seems to me to take away from what it is, which is an account of man's fall and God's salvation.

Another point I would like to pose is why is it so objectionable that God took a lower primate and gave it the breath of life, when creationists posit that God created man from dust?  Why is dust superior to lower primates?

Death before the fall is certainly a valid objection to evolution which I have not properly examined. Will have to think about that.

I am guessing you are going to say that animals naturally die and might well have died before the fall. This could be true. Certainly we have what St Gregory of Sinai told us about plant life in paradise that might support that opinion. However just as leaves in paradise when they fall of the trees there do not give out a putrid stench so the "law of the jungle" would not have existed without the fall. Animals may well have died but they would not have had a painful and certainly not a violent death. God created all things very good. Evolutionists deny this. They make God the origin of evil, the God who died on the Cross to blot out our sins and is seeking constantly to bring us into Heaven whos joys even the greatest saints here cannot even imagine. If that isnt blasemphy, if that isnt downright evil I cant imagine what is.

The second point is that the Orthodox Church reads the Bible as interputed by the Holy Fathers who were noetically pure and filled with the Holy Spirit so that they could understand it as it was meant to be. All the Holy Fathers are very clear that the creation took place in seven days, that Adam was formed from virgin soil, etc.  They read it as an historical narrative. Certainly it contains other types of Truth aswell. I do not deny that. However the essence of the Biblical narrative and the essence of Darwinism are diametrically opposed. I have already posted examples of how the Holy Fathers read Genisis.

The Biblical and evolutionary accounts of the creation of man are clearly contradictory in many basic respects: in the role of the Creator (central in the Bible, excluded by the evolutionists), in the role of chance (excluded by the Bible, all-important according to the evolutionists), in the fixity and perfection of species (affirmed by the Bible, denied by the evolutionists), in the uniqueness and original incorruption of man (affirmed by the Bible, denied by the evolutionists), in the finished nature of creation as a whole (affirmed by the Bible, denied by the evolutionists). One most choose between Christ and Darwin.

Christ has the power to save, He also has the power to damn.

Darwin has neither.

Theophan.
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« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2007, 11:27:58 AM »

I have read St Basil's Hexameron and he seems to suggest we should leave science to the scientists, no?  He uses the science of his day when it can butress his argument but that is a secondary perspective. You seem to be much more focused on the philosophical underpinings of the evolutionist mindset and I agree that what I read from many evolutionists is diametrically opposed to Christ; no dispute there.  My concern is actually much more clinical: did a scientific process happen? If it did, I simply would accept that God caused it to happen. Seven days? Seven ages? A day for God being an age for us? Was time in place at that point? These all seem like secondary concerns to me.

The Church's job of course should be to refute the secularist underpinnings rampant in Darwinism, a philosophy which of course gave rise to eugenics and the evils of the 20th century. You will have no dispute with me there.

Again, this is something I have really not given much thought to over time. I probably should.
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2007, 11:30:46 AM »

What about the guy who wrote Darwin's Black Box? That was pretty popular a few years ago and the guy was some kind of qualified neurobiologist or something. Correct me if I am wrong.

Even if no reputable scientist came forward and disputed the theory of evolution would that really make a difference?
Who do Christians place their trust in? God and the saints inspired by His Spirit of Truth or possibly demonized fallen men who do not belong to His Church?

To Eve our mother a man gave birth, who himself had had no birth. How much more should Eve's daughter be believed to have borne a Child without a man! The virgin earth, she bare that Adam that was head over the earth! The Virgin bare today the Adam that was Head over the Heavens. --St Ephraim the Syrian, Hymn I on the Nativity of Christ

But they who make "Unbegotten" and "Begotten" natures of equivocal gods would perhaps make Adam and Seth differ in nature, since the former was not born of flesh (for he was created), but the latter was born of Adam and Eve. --St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration XXXIX

She was not made of the same earth with which he was formed, in order that we might realize that the physical nature of both man and woman is identical and that there was one source for the propagation of the human race. For that reason, neither was man created together with a woman, nor were two men and two women created at the beginning, but first a man and after that a woman. --St. Ambrose, On Paradise

But if there are any who suppose that, because he did not get it from a man’s seed, he received a different body, this in no way makes it unlike our bodies. Since we agree that it was born of Mary, it was like ours. Mary was not different from our bodies-for Adam was not from a man’s seed either, but was formed from earth! --St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion Book III

For how could I now possibly prove that a man was made of the dust, without any parents, and a wife formed for him out of his own side? And yet faith takes on trust what the eye no longer discovers. --St. Augustine, On Original Sin

But when it came to man, the earth did not bring forth man. One father was made for us; not even two, father and mother: one father, I say, was made for us, not even two, father and mother; but out of the one father came the one mother; the one father came from none, but was made by God, and the one mother came out of him. --St. Augustine, Sermon XL

For man is created in justice, but born in sin. Adam was the first to be created, but Cain the first to be born. --St. Gregory the Great, Morals on Job, Book IV

We have an analogy in Adam, who was not begotten (for God Himself moulded him), and Seth, who was begotten (for he is Adam's son), and Eve, who proceeded out of Adam's rib (for she was not begotten). These do not differ from each other in nature, for they are human beings: but they differ in the mode of coming into existence --St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book I

Dost thou accept Adam to have been molded out of clay and produced without natural birth, dost thou accept Eve to be the offspring not of intercourse but of a rib, yet being unable to ascribe these things to natural law? For the successive multiplication and birth of men, keeping as it does a different order of procession, does not permit us to believe the procreation of those to have been the work of nature, nor, on the other hand, contrary to nature. --St. Photius the Great, Homily IX

Just as He made the woman from the man’s side, as we said above, just so He borrows flesh from Adam’s daughter, Mary the Theotokos and ever-Virgin, and, having adopted it, is born without seed like the first man. --St. Symeon the New Theologian, First Ethical Discourse

Rather, he should turn his gaze upon the power of the Almighty God, Who created the whole world from nothing, and Who needed no parents-old or young-for the creation of the first man, Adam. --St. Nikolai Velimirovic, Prologue of Ohrid, September 23
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2007, 11:35:22 AM »

St. Athanasius has believed we were the only ones that received the grace of being immortal, while everything else around us are "impermanent."  I suppose that's one way of showing that there were those who believed animals died before the Fall (if not evolution, the fossil evidence is undeniable).

Origen (and I'm going to qualify this because Sts. Basil and Gregory Nazienzen qualified this too) did not believe the Trees of life or Knowledge were literal plants with some sort of edible fruit that provided you Life or Knowledge.

This is in a nutshell why I find it quite preposterous to dispose of evolution as "against Christianity."  I've always seen science as my "other Bible."  If what we observe and conclude in our scientific findings are misleading, then by all means seeing icons and seeing the words of the Bible would be equally misleading.

God bless.
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2007, 11:40:18 AM »

All the Holy Fathers are very clear that the creation took place in seven days

I believe most of the fathers believe this at least to be metaphorical or at least possibly metaphorical.
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2007, 11:43:31 AM »

Are you suggesting infallibility for any of those you have quoted?

Orthodox Christians believe in the infallibility of the Patristic consensus. What St John of Kronsdadht wrote fits into that consenus perfectly.

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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2007, 11:48:33 AM »

St. Athanasius has believed we were the only ones that received the grace of being immortal, while everything else around us are "impermanent."  I suppose that's one way of showing that there were those who believed animals died before the Fall (if not evolution, the fossil evidence is undeniable).

Origen (and I'm going to qualify this because Sts. Basil and Gregory Nazienzen qualified this too) did not believe the Trees of life or Knowledge were literal plants with some sort of edible fruit that provided you Life or Knowledge.

This is in a nutshell why I find it quite preposterous to dispose of evolution as "against Christianity."  I've always seen science as my "other Bible."  If what we observe and conclude in our scientific findings are misleading, then by all means seeing icons and seeing the words of the Bible would be equally misleading.

God bless.

God of course is the only "Thing" if you can refer to Him as a "Thing" that is immortal.

Impermanence is not the same thing as the law of the jungle.

Origien was a heretic. He also believed a lot of other nonsense.

The "fossil" evidence is a result of the great flood.

Science comes from fallen men if not from the demons. To refer to it as another Bible is blasemphous.

Theophan.

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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2007, 11:50:49 AM »

I believe most of the fathers believe this at least to be metaphorical or at least possibly metaphorical.

Really falafel?

I have provided evidence to the contarary. Where is yours for this bold assertation?

Theophan.
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2007, 11:54:00 AM »

I believe most of the fathers believe this at least to be metaphorical or at least possibly metaphorical.

St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, Chapter 7:


Concerning light, fire, the luminaries, sun, moon and stars.

The course which the Creator appointed for them to run is unceasing and remaineth fixed as He established them. For the divine David says, The moon and the stars which Thou establishedst, and by the word 'establishedst,' he referred to the fixity and unchangeableness of the order and series granted to them by God. For He appointed them for seasons, and signs, and days and years. It is through the Sun that the four seasons are brought about. And the first of these is spring: for in it God created all things, and even down to the present time its presence is evidenced by the bursting of the flowers into bud, and this is the equinoctial period, since day and night each consist of twelve hours. It is caused by the sun rising in the middle, and is mild and increases the blood, and is warm and moist, and holds a position midway between winter and summer, being warmer and drier than winter, but colder and moister than summer. This season lasts from March 21st till June 24th. Next, when the rising of the sun moves towards more northerly parts, the season of summer succeeds, which has a place midway between spring and autumn, combining the warmth of spring with the dryness of autumn: for it is dry and warm, and increases the yellow bile. In it falls the longest day, which has fifteen hours, and the shortest night of all, having only nine hours. This season lasts from June 24th till September 25th. Then when the sun again returns to the middle, autumn takes the place of summer. It has a medium amount of cold and heat, dryness and moisture, and holds a place midway between summer and winter, combining the dryness of summer with the cold of winter. For it is cold and dry, and increases the black bile. This season, again, is equinoctial, both day and night consisting of twelve hours, and it lasts from September 25th till December 25th. And when the rising of the sun sinks to its smallest and lowest point, i.e. the south, winter is reached, with its cold and moisture. It occupies a place midway between autumn and spring, combining the cold of autumn and the moisture of spring. In it falls the shortest day, which has only nine hours, and the longest night, which has fifteen: and it lasts from December 25th till March 21st. For the Creator made this wise provision that we should not pass from the extreme of cold, or heat, or dryness, or moisture, to the opposite extreme, and thus incur grievous maladies. For reason itself teaches us the danger of sudden changes.

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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2007, 11:56:06 AM »

I believe most of the fathers believe this at least to be metaphorical or at least possibly metaphorical.

St. Ambrose of Milan, (PL 14.128):


... the year, has the stamp of a world coming to birth, as the splendor of the springtime shines forth all the more clearly because of the winter's ice and darkness now past. The shape of the circles of years to come has been given form by the first dawn of the world. Based on that precedent, the succession of years would tend to arise, and at the commencement of each year new seedlings would be produced, as the Lord God has said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb and such as may seed, and the fruit tree, yielding fruit after its kind. And immediately the earth produced the green herb and the fruit-bearing tree (Gen. 1:11). By this very fact both the constant mildness of divine Providence and the speed in which the earth germinates favor for us the hypothesis of a vernal period. For, although it was in the power of God to ordain creation at any time whatsoever and for earthly nature to obey, so that amid winter's ice and frost earth might bear and produce fruits under the fostering hand of His celestial power, He refrained. It was not in His eternal plan that the land held fast in the rigid bonds of frost should suddenly be released to bear fruits and that blooming plants should mingle with frosts unsightly.

Wherefore, in order to show that the creation of the world took place in the spring, Scripture says: This month shall be to you the beginning of months, it is for you the first in the months of the year (Ex. 12:2), calling the first month the springtime. It was fitting that the beginning of the year be the beginning of generation and that generation itself be fostered by the gentler breezes. The tender germs of matter would be unable to endure exposure to the bitter cold of winter or to the torrid heat of summer.

At the same time, one may note, since it belongs here by right, that the entrance into this generation and into this way of life seems to have occurred at the time when the regular transition from this generation to regeneration takes place.

The sons of Israel left Egypt in the season of spring and passed through the sea, being baptized in the cloud and in the sea (I Cor. 10:1), as the Apostle said. At that time each year the Pasch of Jesus Christ is celebrated, that is to say, the passing over from vices to virtues, from the desires of the flesh to grace and sobriety of mind, from the unleavened bread of malice and wickedness to truth and sincerity (1 Cor. 5:Cool. Accordingly, the regenerated are thus addressed: This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it is for you the first in the months of the year (Ex. 12:2)

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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2007, 12:45:46 PM »

I think Anastasios raises some good points, that really, taking one side or the other really misses the point.  What matters I think the most is that God was indeed involved in creating men, and thus any atheistic interpretation of evolution that God had nothing to do with creating us would indeed be very wrong.  Beyond that I do not know enough to comment Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2007, 01:01:34 PM »

Looks like the usual confusion between organic evolution and cosmology to me.

'Orthodox' proof-texting at its finest. That's it!

"The Evolution of Proof-texting"!
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2007, 01:11:10 PM »

Against a Literal Six-day Creation


Origen
And since he makes the statements about the “days of creation” ground of accusation,—as if he understood them clearly and correctly, some of which elapsed before the creation of light and heaven, and sun, and moon, and stars, and some of them after the creation of these,—we shall only make this observation, that Moses must then have forgotten that he had said a little before, “that in six days the creation of the world had been finished,” and that in consequence of this act of forgetfulness he subjoins to these words the following:  “This is the book of the creation of man, in the day when God made the heaven and the earth!”  But it is not in the least credible, that after what he had said respecting the six days, Moses should immediately add, without a special meaning, the words, “in the day that God made the heavens and the earth;” and if any one thinks that these words may be referred to the statement, “In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth,” let him observe that before the words, “Let there be light, and there was light,” and these, “God called the light day,” it has been stated that “in the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.”
But after this investigation of his assertions, as if his object were to swell his book by many words, he repeats, in different language, the same charges which we have examined a little ago, saying:  “By far the most silly thing is the distribution of the creation of the world over certain days, before days existed:  for, as the heaven was not yet created, nor the foundation of the earth yet laid, nor the sun yet revolving, how could there be days?”  Now, what difference is there between these words and the following:  “Moreover, taking and looking at these things from the beginning, would it not be absurd in the first and greatest God to issue the command, Let this (first thing) come into existence, and this second thing, and this (third); and after accomplishing so much on the first day, to do so much more again on the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth?”  We answered to the best of our ability this objection to God’s “commanding this first, second, and third thing to be created,” when we quoted the words, “He said, and it was done; He commanded, and all things stood fast;” remarking that the immediate Creator, and, as it were, very Maker of the world was the Word, the Son of God; while the Father of the Word, by commanding His own Son—the Word—to create the world, is primarily Creator. And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day, and of the firmament upon the second, and of the gathering together of the waters that are under the heaven into their several reservoirs on the third (the earth thus causing to sprout forth those (fruits) which are under the control of nature alone and of the (great) lights and stars upon the fourth, and of aquatic animals upon the fifth, and of land animals and man upon the sixth, we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world, and quoted the words: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.”
(Celsus, 6.50, 60)

St. Cyprian of Carthage
““As the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house l so here also the number seven of the brethren, embracing, in the quantity of their number, the seven churches, as likewise in the first book of Kings we read that the barren hath borne seven”
(Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

St Clement of Alexandria
““That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated, and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the generation: also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth." For the expression "when they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression "in the day that God made," that is, in and by which God made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made," points out the activity exerted by the Son. As David says, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice in it; " that is, in consequence of the knowledge imparted by Him, let us celebrate the divine festival; for the Word that throws light on things hidden, and by whom each created thing came into life and being, is called day. “
(Miscellanies 6.16 [208 AD])

St. Augustine
“But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!”
(City of God 11:6 [AD 419])

Irenaeus
"And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since ‘a day of the Lord is a thousand years,’ he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin" (Against Heresies 5:23:2 [A.D. 189]).
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2007, 01:44:44 PM »

One most choose between Christ and Darwin.

Christ has the power to save, He also has the power to damn.

Darwin has neither.


Do we also have to choose between Christ and Pasteur? Christ healed; Pasteur showed that microorganisms cause disease. Why choose?
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2007, 03:46:57 PM »

Orthodox Christians believe in the infallibility of the Patristic consensus. What St John of Kronsdadht wrote fits into that consenus perfectly.
But when we can't even agree on what constitutes the so-called Patristic consensus or that such a consensus even exists on many issues...  You've done a wonderful job presenting to us what you want us to believe is the Patristic consensus on the origin of life, but what of those Fathers who spoke a contrary opinion?  To be intellectually honest with us, you would have to present their points of view, as well.  But wouldn't that then destroy the "consensus" you seek to make known?  You can't just quote those Fathers who buttress your point of view and squelch the witness of those Fathers who disagree and call this the infallible Patristic consensus.  Yet this is what I see many of the proponents of the so-called consensus Patrum doing.
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2007, 04:05:30 PM »

Against a Literal Six-day Creation



St. Cyprian of Carthage
““As the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house l so here also the number seven of the brethren, embracing, in the quantity of their number, the seven churches, as likewise in the first book of Kings we read that the barren hath borne seven”
(Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

St Clement of Alexandria
““That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated, and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the generation: also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth." For the expression "when they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression "in the day that God made," that is, in and by which God made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made," points out the activity exerted by the Son. As David says, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice in it; " that is, in consequence of the knowledge imparted by Him, let us celebrate the divine festival; for the Word that throws light on things hidden, and by whom each created thing came into life and being, is called day. “
(Miscellanies 6.16 [208 AD])

St. Augustine
“But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!”
(City of God 11:6 [AD 419])

Irenaeus
"And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since ‘a day of the Lord is a thousand years,’ he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin" (Against Heresies 5:23:2 [A.D. 189]).


Falafell...Origien is an anathemised heretic. Do you also believe in the pre-existence of souls, the theory behind his refusal to believe what the Church teaches on this subject was based on? Clement of Alexandria also is not an Orthodox saint, not a Holy Father.

As regards the other quoates they can hardly be considered to be AGANIST the literal interputation. I have stated that other interputations- moral, mystical, symbolical are indeed possible but they do not negate the historical Truth of the God-seer Moses's narrative. They can hardly be said to be aganist what the Church teaches with the expection of Origien, who I repeat was a HERETIC.

Theophan.
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2007, 04:10:19 PM »

But when we can't even agree on what constitutes the so-called Patristic consensus or that such a consensus even exists on many issues...  You've done a wonderful job presenting to us what you want us to believe is the Patristic consensus on the origin of life, but what of those Fathers who spoke a contrary opinion?  To be intellectually honest with us, you would have to present their points of view, as well.  But wouldn't that then destroy the "consensus" you seek to make known?  You can't just quote those Fathers who buttress your point of view and squelch the witness of those Fathers who disagree and call this the infallible Patristic consensus.  Yet this is what I see many of the proponents of the so-called consensus Patrum doing.

Name me one holy person from either the 19 th or 20 th century who accepted Darwinism?

Remember the Old Russians and Byzantines dated back from the beginning of Creation and not from the Incarnation like the latins. That in itself shows us something. Within the world of those claiming to be Christian these ideas didnt even exist until the 19th century. Of course the occultist sufis and others might have believed in evolution or something very like it....

What Fathers DENY the literal interputation of Genisis?

Theophan.
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2007, 04:15:37 PM »

Falafell...Origien is an anathemised heretic. Do you also believe in the pre-existence of souls, the theory is refusal to believe what the Church teaches on this subject was based on? Clement of Alexandria also is not an Orthodox saint, not a Holy Father.

As regards the other quoates they can hardly be considered to be AGANIST the literal interputation. I have stated that other interputations- moral, mystical, symbolical are indeed possible but they do not negate the historical Truth of the God-seer Moses's narrative. They can hardly be said to be aganist what the Church teaches with the expection of Origien, who I repeat was a HERETIC.

Theophan. 

You know what, I don't want to get into this discussion... However, don't just throw out Origen because he was condemned - many of the Fathers (um, Saints) used and continue to use what is good that came from Origen, while rejecting the specific things that were bad.

And as for Clement, I think other Fathers quote Clement as well.  I don't have the time to research this now, however, so I understand if you disagree.
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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2007, 04:25:14 PM »

You know what, I don't want to get into this discussion... However, don't just throw out Origen because he was condemned - many of the Fathers (um, Saints) used and continue to use what is good that came from Origen, while rejecting the specific things that were bad.

And as for Clement, I think other Fathers quote Clement as well.  I don't have the time to research this now, however, so I understand if you disagree.

True, but neither of them are Holy Fathers.

Theophan.
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2007, 04:38:11 PM »

Falafell...Origien is an anathemised heretic. Do you also believe in the pre-existence of souls, the theory behind his refusal to believe what the Church teaches on this subject was based on? Clement of Alexandria also is not an Orthodox saint, not a Holy Father.
Actually, Theophan, the Church DOES glorify Clement of Alexandria as a saint and Father.

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As regards the other quoates they can hardly be considered to be AGANIST the literal interputation. I have stated that other interputations- moral, mystical, symbolical are indeed possible but they do not negate the historical Truth of the God-seer Moses's narrative. They can hardly be said to be aganist what the Church teaches with the expection of Origien, who I repeat was a HERETIC.
Just because Origen was condemned by the Church for his universalist heresies doesn't mean that we should disregard EVERYTHING this man had to say.

Name me one holy person from either the 19 th or 20 th century who accepted Darwinism?

Remember the Old Russians and Byzantines dated back from the beginning of Creation and not from the Incarnation like the latins. That in itself shows us something. Within the world of those claiming to be Christian these ideas didnt even exist until the 19th century. Of course the occultist sufis and others might have believed in evolution or something very like it....

What Fathers DENY the literal interputation of Genisis?
If I were to tell you, you would then brand these named holy men and Fathers as heretics irrelevant to this discussion, thus making the circuit of your circular reasoning complete.  You can't say that no Holy Father has ever accepted Darwinism when you make rejection of Darwinism the very criterion by which you declare someone a Holy Father.
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« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2007, 04:39:43 PM »

Against a Literal Six-day Creation


Origen
And since he makes the statements about the “days of creation” ground of accusation,—as if he understood them clearly and correctly, some of which elapsed before the creation of light and heaven, and sun, and moon, and stars, and some of them after the creation of these,—we shall only make this observation, that Moses must then have forgotten that he had said a little before, “that in six days the creation of the world had been finished,” and that in consequence of this act of forgetfulness he subjoins to these words the following:  “This is the book of the creation of man, in the day when God made the heaven and the earth!”  But it is not in the least credible, that after what he had said respecting the six days, Moses should immediately add, without a special meaning, the words, “in the day that God made the heavens and the earth;” and if any one thinks that these words may be referred to the statement, “In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth,” let him observe that before the words, “Let there be light, and there was light,” and these, “God called the light day,” it has been stated that “in the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.”
But after this investigation of his assertions, as if his object were to swell his book by many words, he repeats, in different language, the same charges which we have examined a little ago, saying:  “By far the most silly thing is the distribution of the creation of the world over certain days, before days existed:  for, as the heaven was not yet created, nor the foundation of the earth yet laid, nor the sun yet revolving, how could there be days?”  Now, what difference is there between these words and the following:  “Moreover, taking and looking at these things from the beginning, would it not be absurd in the first and greatest God to issue the command, Let this (first thing) come into existence, and this second thing, and this (third); and after accomplishing so much on the first day, to do so much more again on the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth?”  We answered to the best of our ability this objection to God’s “commanding this first, second, and third thing to be created,” when we quoted the words, “He said, and it was done; He commanded, and all things stood fast;” remarking that the immediate Creator, and, as it were, very Maker of the world was the Word, the Son of God; while the Father of the Word, by commanding His own Son—the Word—to create the world, is primarily Creator. And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day, and of the firmament upon the second, and of the gathering together of the waters that are under the heaven into their several reservoirs on the third (the earth thus causing to sprout forth those (fruits) which are under the control of nature alone and of the (great) lights and stars upon the fourth, and of aquatic animals upon the fifth, and of land animals and man upon the sixth, we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world, and quoted the words: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.”
(Celsus, 6.50, 60)

First, Origen is an anathematized heretic and as such he isn't really a valid source of Orthodox exegesis. However, this being the case, Origen did hold to a literal, six day creation.

“the Mosaic account of the creation, which teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that.” Origen, Against Celsus, 1.19.

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St. Cyprian of Carthage
““As the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house l so here also the number seven of the brethren, embracing, in the quantity of their number, the seven churches, as likewise in the first book of Kings we read that the barren hath borne seven”
(Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

I will concede St. Cyprian here, as he appears to teach a non-literal account of the seven days. However, he is only one Father.

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St Clement of Alexandria
““That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated, and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the generation: also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth." For the expression "when they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression "in the day that God made," that is, in and by which God made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made," points out the activity exerted by the Son. As David says, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice in it; " that is, in consequence of the knowledge imparted by Him, let us celebrate the divine festival; for the Word that throws light on things hidden, and by whom each created thing came into life and being, is called day. “
(Miscellanies 6.16 [208 AD])

"From Adam to the deluge are comprised two thousand one hundred and forty-eight years, four days" (ANF, Vol. 2, p. 332). St. Clement

Contra GOCTheophan, I see no reason why St. Clement of Alexandria is not a saint. He was decanonized by Pope Clement VIII in the 16th century, but I don't think his decision is binding on us.

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St. Augustine
“But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!”
(City of God 11:6 [AD 419])

“Some hold the same opinion regarding men that they hold regarding the world itself, that they have always been...And when they are asked, how…the reply that most, if not all lands, were so desolated at intervals by fire and flood, that men were greatly reduced in numbers, and...thus there was at intervals a new beginning made…But they say what they think, not what they know.  They are deceived…by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed.”  Augustine, The City of God, 12.10.

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[St.] Irenaeus
"And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since ‘a day of the Lord is a thousand years,’ he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin" (Against Heresies 5:23:2 [A.D. 189]).

St. Irenaeus is here explaining where it says “In that day on which ye shall eat of it, ye shall die by death.” (Genesis 2:17). He shows that the Lord is not a liar by appealing to 2 Peter 3:18. Since Adam died within a thousand years, he died "in that day," but by the Lord's reckoning, not ours. This does not prove, however, that Irenaeus did not hold to a six day creation. Indeed, he did, as the following quote shows:

"For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded... in six days created things were completed..” (Against Heresies 5, 28, 3).

I recommend this site, which has the testimonies I have presented and many others.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 04:44:54 PM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2007, 04:46:24 PM »

Actually, Theophan, the Church DOES glorify Clement of Alexandria as a saint and Father.
Just because Origen was condemned by the Church for his universalist heresies doesn't mean that we should disregard EVERYTHING this man had to say.
If I were to tell you, you would then brand these named holy men and Fathers as heretics irrelevant to this discussion, thus making the circuit of your circular reasoning complete.  You can't say that no Holy Father has ever accepted Darwinism when you make rejection of Darwinism the very criterion by which you declare someone a Holy Father.

The Roman Catholic Church does accept Clement as a saint and a Father . The Orthodox Church does not. Anastasios was kind enough to correct me on this once.

Origen was not only condemned for his teaching on universal salvation but also for his teaching on other subjects, including the pre-existence of souls that was at the root of his rejection of a literal understanding of Genisis.

No righteous person of the 19 th or 20 th century accepted Darwinism. That is a fact that should tell us something. The fact that you cannot even come up with one even new calendarist or Sergianist illustrates my point.  

Theophan.
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« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2007, 04:50:51 PM »

Then I'm sure you GOC boys will love this:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp

Authored by my own metropolitan.
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« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2007, 05:01:41 PM »

You obviously completely ignored what I said:

Quote
Origen (and I'm going to qualify this because Sts. Basil and Gregory Nazienzen qualified this too) did not believe the Trees of life or Knowledge were literal plants with some sort of edible fruit that provided you Life or Knowledge.

I knew exactly that there will be people here who will just discount whatever Origen taught simply because he was "condemned."    That's why I wrote whatever was in the quotes.  Slow down and read; don't be quick to reply and judge.  If there's anything that is Orthodox and praised specifically by both these great Church fathers and saints, it's Origen's "Philocalia," which was an anthology of Basil and Gregory's favorite ORTHODOX parts of Origen, one of which was describing the proper way of interpreting the Bible.

And as far as I know, we seem to disagree on what "impermanent" means (you haven't even told me what you mean be it; you just simply denied it had anything to do with mortality).  St. Athanasius believed man was the ONLY one who received immortality, but because they sinned, the fell from Paradise and went back to Earth.  Obviously then, St. Athanasius specifically believed it was man who fell, not the whole world.  I suggest you read "On the Incarnation."

God bless.
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« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2007, 05:05:01 PM »

Then I'm sure you GOC boys will love this:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp

Authored by my own metropolitan.

What part of that long article did you want us to look at? I don't feel like reading the whole thing right now.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:05:28 PM by Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2007, 05:05:58 PM »

Actually, Theophan, the Church DOES glorify Clement of Alexandria as a saint and Father.

Clement is not a saint. That was what I was taught at SVS.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:06:19 PM by Anastasios » Logged

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