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falafel333
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« Reply #90 on: May 05, 2007, 10:56:48 PM »

Physical death is a natural biological process, which would have occured even had the fall not come about.

GIC, I suppose then you would call yourself a Pelagian despite the fact that this was a heresy that was condemned firstly in a local council and then later by at least two ecumenical councils.

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men...death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam." (Rom 5:12 & 14)

Scripturally and patristically death and corruption is portrayed as foreign to human beings and exists only as the result of sin. Therefore, sin and death are intricately wound together. Furthermore, typically when the term 'death' is used within scripture or tradition no distinction is made between the physical and spiritual and all is alleviated through Christ's life-giving sacrifice. And hence the final abolition of sin results in the abolition of death altogether. Man is a a single entity: body, soul and spirit and from the beginning it was the intention of God glorify the entire man and not a single aspect only.

Random biological mutations in the brain. Not all mutations are benificial, that's where survival of the fittest and natural selection comes into play in human evolution. You seem to seek for meaning in these things, I object, I do not believe there is any meaning; but on the bright side, I do believe we will one day be able to find a cure.

Furthermore, I disagree that these people are inclined to a greater form of evil. These people are ill, and taking this into consideration, it could easily be argued that the crimes they commit are lesser sins because they do not commit them with full knowledge, reason, and responsibility. Also, I do not believe that such crimes as murder are the greatest of sins, there are infinitely worse sins that many so-called righteous people commit every day: Pride, Vainglory, Prelest, and Blasphemy, especially the latter through the disrespect of the Image of God in man.

This sounds as though evil is purely a biological process and if that is the case then who can ever be found to be guilty or accountable of any sin or crime...
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« Reply #91 on: May 06, 2007, 02:34:35 AM »

GIC, I suppose then you would call yourself a Pelagian despite the fact that this was a heresy that was condemned firstly in a local council and then later by at least two ecumenical councils.

I am perhaps a semi-pelagian, if one takes that term to its extreme, but I am by no stretch of the imagination a Pelagian. I do not believe that Christ was merely a man who achieved divinity by perfecting himself; and I do not believe that men can become God through their own personal effort alone...so, clearly, I'm not a Pelagian.

Quote
Scripturally and patristically death and corruption is portrayed as foreign to human beings and exists only as the result of sin. Therefore, sin and death are intricately wound together. Furthermore, typically when the term 'death' is used within scripture or tradition no distinction is made between the physical and spiritual and all is alleviated through Christ's life-giving sacrifice. And hence the final abolition of sin results in the abolition of death altogether. Man is a a single entity: body, soul and spirit and from the beginning it was the intention of God glorify the entire man and not a single aspect only.

So you believe that cancer, heart disease, small pox, pneumonia etc. are simply the result of sin, and not natural biological functions? Wow, we must really have pissed God off when we learned how to cure small pox and pneumonia, I guess that was pretty close to blasphemy against the divine will Roll Eyes Please, be wholistic when addressing the question at hand, don't try to ignore everything you learned in Biology 101. If you fail to make the distinction between biological and physical death, you have just reduced the Christian soteriological traditon to absurdity.

Quote
This sounds as though evil is purely a biological process and if that is the case then who can ever be found to be guilty or accountable of any sin or crime...

On a philosophical level, there may be something too this; and such facts as the likelihood of repeat offences gives more creedence to this position. Hopefully as our knowledge of nanotechnology, computational biology, and neurology advances over the next few decades we'll gain more insight into this phenomena. Unfortunately, for the time being, our current system, though far from perfect, is the best we have.
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falafel333
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« Reply #92 on: May 06, 2007, 12:03:57 PM »

I am perhaps a semi-pelagian, if one takes that term to its extreme, but I am by no stretch of the imagination a Pelagian. I do not believe that Christ was merely a man who achieved divinity by perfecting himself;

I think you're confusing Pelagianism with Nestorianism

and I do not believe that men can become God through their own personal effort alone...so, clearly, I'm not a Pelagian.

I think the main issue with Pelagianism is that they denied some form of inherited corruption and as such your position would definitely be defined as being Pelagian...

So you believe that cancer, heart disease, small pox, pneumonia etc. are simply the result of sin, and not natural biological functions? Wow, we must really have pissed God off when we learned how to cure small pox and pneumonia, I guess that was pretty close to blasphemy against the divine will Roll Eyes Please, be wholistic when addressing the question at hand, don't try to ignore everything you learned in Biology 101. If you fail to make the distinction between biological and physical death, you have just reduced the Christian soteriological traditon to absurdity.

In scripture and tradition sin and death and corruption are intricately linked and so we
have in scripture for example the paralytic (Mk 2:1-12) who was healed by having his sins forgiven we have the same also in the account of the man who had an infirmity for thirty eight years (Jn 5:1-16). Jesus was also questioned regarding the man born blind as for the sinful cause of his sickness just as Job was accused of sin for his affliction. St Paul speaks of those who have fallen ill due to partaking of the sacrament in an unworthy manner and the Apocalypse speaks of the afflictions that will fall on those to come for various reasons.

Although sin and illness are not linked in every single circumstance well at least not personal sin to personal illness one can identify that there is a close relationship between the two.

I do not believe that man could have suffered from these things while in Paradise otherwise then it would not have been Paradise. I imagine Paradise to be just that a place where man would have shared in perfect communion with God without pain, fear, disease or anxiety. These things then must be the result of the fall and the loss of man's perfect communion with God and hence the harmony that he once possessed with nature itself was also brought into disarray...

On a philosophical level, there may be something too this; and such facts as the likelihood of repeat offences gives more creedence to this position. Hopefully as our knowledge of nanotechnology, computational biology, and neurology advances over the next few decades we'll gain more insight into this phenomena. Unfortunately, for the time being, our current system, though far from perfect, is the best we have.

What does all of this make then of the judgment, reward, glorification, free will, etc...
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« Reply #93 on: May 06, 2007, 01:01:17 PM »

Thank you all so much for the welcome.

Yes, it does look like a very interesting forum, and I would be happy to stick around, especially now that the university semester is over. I am teaching biology and health subjects at a small provincial Southern US university.

What an interesting thought about Adam and Eve being first *truly* human couple by virtue of receiving the Spirit of God. Of course, I am not a theologian by any stretch, but this is something definitely worth thinking about. Smiley

May our Lord bless you al  richly!

George
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« Reply #94 on: May 06, 2007, 01:12:16 PM »

I think you're confusing Pelagianism with Nestorianism

No, I'm not...they're really not even close. To the Pelagian Christ started out as man and became God through his actions, to the Pelagian there was only one nature and one person of Christ, infact to look at their Christology in these terms, they were really monophysites, though monophysites with a strange twist. To the Nestorians Christ was two persons, one Human and one Divine, the former sanctified by the latter.

Quote
I think the main issue with Pelagianism is that they denied some form of inherited corruption and as such your position would definitely be defined as being Pelagian...

That is semi-pelagian at best, the main problem with Pelagianism was the notion of salvation and deification independent of God, or even, potentially, contrary to the will of God. But this danger is negated by a basic neo-platonic ontology.

Quote
Although sin and illness are not linked in every single circumstance well at least not personal sin to personal illness one can identify that there is a close relationship between the two.

At times there is an accidental relationship between the two, hardly the foundation of good Dogma. Furthermore, you must view this in the light of the times; this was an era of, with few exceptions, superstition and ignorance on matters of medicine and biology. We cannot leave modern science out of this discussion.

Quote
I do not believe that man could have suffered from these things while in Paradise otherwise then it would not have been Paradise. I imagine Paradise to be just that a place where man would have shared in perfect communion with God without pain, fear, disease or anxiety. These things then must be the result of the fall and the loss of man's perfect communion with God and hence the harmony that he once possessed with nature itself was also brought into disarray...

Well, I believe that Paradise is a theoretical metaphor, so sure, why not say we couldn't have suffered in this non-existant and never-existant myth. Anyway, back to reality.

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What does all of this make then of the judgment, reward, glorification, free will, etc...

Apokatastasis...perhaps? Wink
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« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2007, 04:23:39 AM »

No, I'm not...they're really not even close. To the Pelagian Christ started out as man and became God through his actions, to the Pelagian there was only one nature and one person of Christ, infact to look at their Christology in these terms, they were really monophysites, though monophysites with a strange twist. To the Nestorians Christ was two persons, one Human and one Divine, the former sanctified by the latter.

Here are the doctrines of Pelagianism that I was able to extract from the Catholic Encyclopedia as recorded by deacon Paulinus of Milan and submitted to the bishop Aurelius:

(1) Even if Adam had not sinned, he would have died.
(2) Adam's sin harmed only himself, not the human race.
(3) Children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall.
(4) The whole human race neither dies through Adam's sin or death, nor rises again through the resurrection of Christ.
(5) The (Mosaic Law) is as good a guide to heaven as the Gospel.
(6) Even before the advent of Christ there were men who were without sin.

Below are the canons of Carthage which condemned Pelagianism as heresy:

(1) Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.
(2) New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.
(3) Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.
(4) The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God's commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.
(5) Without God's grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.
(6) Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.
(7) The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, "Forgive us our trespasses", not only to others, but also to themselves.
(Cool The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness.
(9) Some codices containing a ninth canon (Denzinger, loc. cit., note 3): Children dying without baptism do not go to a "middle place" (medius locus), since the non reception of baptism excludes both from the "kingdom of heaven" and from "eternal life".

That is semi-pelagian at best, the main problem with Pelagianism was the notion of salvation and deification independent of God, or even, potentially, contrary to the will of God. But this danger is negated by a basic neo-platonic ontology.

Below is the doctrine of semipelagianism as recorded by Prosper of Aquitaine:

(1) In distinguishing between the beginning of faith (initium fidei) and the increase of faith (augmentum fidei), one may refer the former to the power of the free will, while the faith itself and its increase is absolutely dependent upon God;
(2) the gratuity of grace is to be maintained against Pelagius in so far as every strictly natural merit is excluded; this, however, does not prevent nature and its works from having a certain claim to grace;
(3) as regards final perseverance in particular, it must not be regarded as a special gift of grace, since the justified man may of his own strength persevere to the end;
(4) the granting or withholding of baptismal grace in the case of children depends on the Divine prescience of their future conditioned merits or misdeeds.

At times there is an accidental relationship between the two, hardly the foundation of good Dogma. Furthermore, you must view this in the light of the times; this was an era of, with few exceptions, superstition and ignorance on matters of medicine and biology. We cannot leave modern science out of this discussion.

I don't think this has much really to do with superstition and ignorance but is a central component of dogma in that the fall or separation from God who is the true source of being and life will always lead to spiritual corruption and may also result in physical corruption...

Well, I believe that Paradise is a theoretical metaphor, so sure, why not say we couldn't have suffered in this non-existant and never-existant myth. Anyway, back to reality.

I never suggested that Paradise was a literal fairy land but more than anything it metaphorically reflects the perfect relationship man possessed with God and hence through God his harmony with nature...

Apokatastasis...perhaps? Wink

I think you stretch the notion of Apokatastasis much further than many of the ancient fathers may have or would be willing to do so...
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JSOrthodoxy
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« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2007, 04:46:41 PM »

Falafel,

The Council of Carthage is a local western council and is neither infallible nor binding on Orthodox Christians.  I reject the Augustinian view of original sin and grace.  I guess you can say that I'm almost Pelagian.  Salvation is synergistic and God grants grace simultaneously with our use of free will.  By the way, my understanding is that Pelagius was never condemned in the East.  Is that true?  I have met an Orthodox scholar who suggested that no one in Byzantium had a problem with Pelagius.

On a related note, I have one question.  If physical death was introduced because of the fall, then was it physical death for all animals or only for human beings?  Are we to understand that the rest of creation would push forward with the cycles of life and death and that only human beings would have been preserved from natural death had they not fallen?  Perhaps, if God did create some literal garden of paradise, then human beings living in the garden would be immune to the ordinary natural consequences of being part of the biological order.  Perhaps, it was after they were expelled from the garden that they then came to suffer death and degredation.  But I ask these questions because when I grew up Southern Baptist, we were taught that evolution had to be false and the age of the earth had to be young because there was no death before Adam's sin.  We were taught that death amongst animals was also a result of the fall.  Of course, if that is true, then science is virtually worthless since it isn't really studying the natural order anyway, but rather the abnormal order.

Joe
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« Reply #97 on: May 07, 2007, 05:14:48 PM »

Well, just a note on Augustine and Pelagius, I'd recommend reading Dr George Demacopoulos' book, Five Models of Spiritual Direction for a look on early Christian views in the early church over grace, sin, etc.  I'd recomend to start with Chapters Three and Four, using his bibliography to expand further then.
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« Reply #98 on: May 07, 2007, 09:27:08 PM »

Well, just a note on Augustine and Pelagius, I'd recommend reading Dr George Demacopoulos' book, Five Models of Spiritual Direction for a look on early Christian views in the early church over grace, sin, etc.  I'd recomend to start with Chapters Three and Four, using his bibliography to expand further then.

Sounds good.  Thanks for the research suggestions.

Joe
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« Reply #99 on: May 07, 2007, 09:39:06 PM »

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I grew up Southern Baptist, we were taught that evolution had to be false and the age of the earth had to be young because there was no death before Adam's sin.

How many people that you grew up with completely lost their faith when they found this simply couldn't be the case?
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« Reply #100 on: May 07, 2007, 09:53:44 PM »

How many people that you grew up with completely lost their faith when they found this simply couldn't be the case?

Great question.  From what I can tell, the vast majority simply refused to accept that it wasn't true.  It was thoroughly drilled into us, before we entered college, that Satan was in control of much of higher education and that the sciences were based on lies.  I know some of my family members simply refuse to even investigate the possibility that they could be wrong.  None of them would ever read a book written by an evolutionist.  The only books they would ever read would be things from creation scientists.  And I mean real creation scientists, not the Intelligent Design folks.  I'm talking about the folks who claim that dinosaur fossils are really only 3,000 years old.  I grew up with the Jerry Falwell brand of baptist Christianity.

Last time I talked to my mom about this, she informed me that I needed to get my salvation worked out and that I was out of the will of God.  Then she said, I know what the Bible says and no matter anyone says, "I know that I know that I know."  By the way, that little diatribe on Genesis that I posted here I sent to a few friends and family members, a few who are creationists.  It will be interesting to see if I get a response.  Living in Georgia and being an ex-southern baptist, I have to be careful.  There are a number of things I believe that would get me labelled as unpatriotic and unchristian, like:

1) believing that darwinian evolution is compatible with Christian theology
2) believing that the Iraqi war is wrong
3) believing that our policy toward the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one-sided and that we should defend the rights of palestinians (this puts me on the side of the antichrist, by the way).
4) believing that the bible is not 100% literal, scientific history and there may even be erroneous assertions in it (as in a technically wrong date or figure here and there).
5) believing that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, that I am not saved, but I am being saved, and believing in the necessity of confession of sins and living a liturgical, sacramental life.
6) I should add that my reluctance to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, my belief that America was not founded as a "Christian nation", my belief that Marx had a good point here and there, and my belief that homosexuals are not the cause of hurricane Katrina doesn't help either.
7) Oh, and I hate most country music.
 Smiley

Joe
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« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2007, 10:01:53 PM »

I forgot to mention that since I believe that it is possible that non-Christians may be saved, that lands me squarely in the "unsaved" boat down here.

I do have to say that I sympathize within everyone struggling with the issue of modern science and the Bible, no matter their position.  I don't think that there is a position that one can work out that doesn't have some difficulties.  But, I also think that the evidence for Darwinian evolution is so strong and so solid, that we risk being put into a permanent intellectual ghetto if we do not admit it.

Now, I have another question.  A friend of mine who is Roman Catholic wasn't terribly impressed with my summary and said that it is defined teaching of both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that God singled out a pair of human beings and blew his spirit into them, so that man did not simply evil, but that God took a pre-human ancestor and miraculously changed it into a human and that this event was outside of the ordinary process of natural selection.  What do you all think?

Joe
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« Reply #102 on: May 07, 2007, 10:54:52 PM »


1) believing that darwinian evolution is compatible with Christian theology
2) believing that the Iraqi war is wrong
3) believing that our policy toward the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one-sided and that we should defend the rights of palestinians (this puts me on the side of the antichrist, by the way).
4) believing that the bible is not 100% literal, scientific history and there may even be erroneous assertions in it (as in a technically wrong date or figure here and there).
5) believing that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, that I am not saved, but I am being saved, and believing in the necessity of confession of sins and living a liturgical, sacramental life.
6) I should add that my reluctance to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, my belief that America was not founded as a "Christian nation", my belief that Marx had a good point here and there, and my belief that homosexuals are not the cause of hurricane Katrina doesn't help either.
7) Oh, and I hate most country music.
 Smiley

Joe

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« Reply #103 on: May 07, 2007, 10:55:04 PM »

... so that man did not simply evil, ...
In the context from which I snipped this phrase, I take you to mean "that man did not simply evolve"?  Very important distinction here.  Wink
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« Reply #104 on: May 07, 2007, 11:08:13 PM »

In the context from which I snipped this phrase, I take you to mean "that man did not simply evolve"?  Very important distinction here.  Wink

Ah, yes, thank you.  Darned typo.  I think it is too late to go back and edit.

Joe
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« Reply #105 on: May 07, 2007, 11:32:23 PM »

Darned typo.
Or Freudian slip?  Wink
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« Reply #106 on: May 07, 2007, 11:40:42 PM »

Falafel,

The Council of Carthage is a local western council and is neither infallible nor binding on Orthodox Christians.  I reject the Augustinian view of original sin and grace.  I guess you can say that I'm almost Pelagian.  Salvation is synergistic and God grants grace simultaneously with our use of free will. By the way, my understanding is that Pelagius was never condemned in the East.  Is that true?  I have met an Orthodox scholar who suggested that no one in Byzantium had a problem with Pelagius.

Though the council of Carthage was a local council its canons were ratified by two later ecumenical councils, ie Ephesus 431 and Trullo 680. Furthermore, while the council of Orange may seem somewhat at odds with Orthodox dogma in no way is the council of Carthage as it does not take the Augustinian view of original sin and grace to its extreme.

As a representative of the east St John Cassian tried to find a middle way between the extreme views of Augustine and Pelagius and it is his view that the church largely holds to today.
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« Reply #107 on: May 08, 2007, 12:57:06 AM »

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7) Oh, and I hate most country music.

DUDE!!!  You're totally going to heaven!!!  Grin

I'm a NJ/NYian living in WV at the moment (and in a very very very rural area), so I know how you feel at the moment.

Plus, I look like a terrorist, so I have to stay away from certain "areas," especially Logan, WV, which I wanted to do my rotations in.

So, since I'm Arab American, I'm definately not saved to them  Grin
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« Reply #108 on: May 08, 2007, 01:11:20 AM »

I think it's very important to mention one thing.  The connection between sin and corruption (diseases, death, and all that jazz) is a connection not because of our present conditions, but because of "Adam," however you want to define this "Adam."  Because of some sort of fall due to the sin of some "Adam," death (and evolutionistic properties) spread to all.  Mind you, I think it's a complete abhorrence to say that all animals died because of Adam.  It is true that nature changed due to our rational involvement, probably mostly for the worse, but death and "corruption" as we define them to ourselves are completely natural, and in no way "evil" because God created them.  God did not create these natural conditions for human life however, and that is the important issue.

Since, even though we existed through evolution, God loved man so much that He decided to take us out of this world into His own paradise, typified by Genesis as the "Garden of Eden."  Now, through some sort of disobedience to God, even though not eating from some literal tree (as Origen said, it's obviously preposterous to believe that man received knowledge or life through some sort of Tree).  I think it's awesome that the word "tree" is used, considering that now, we are mature enough through our knowledge of good and evil to partake of life.  Christ's salvation unites those "two trees" into the cursed Tree He was crucified on.

But besides the point, I think it's not so preposterous to believe in some sort of Fall, that man or a group of human beings was indeed in Paradise away from the world, collectively sinned, and "fell" back, "regressed to their evolutionary roots" in the natural world as JSOrthodoxy was describing.  It's just as believable as the Resurrection of all in the end of days.

God bless.
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« Reply #109 on: May 08, 2007, 01:15:31 AM »

I think it's very important to mention one thing.  The connection between sin and corruption (diseases, death, and all that jazz) is a connection not because of our present conditions, but because of "Adam," however you want to define this "Adam."  Because of some sort of fall due to the sin of some "Adam," death (and evolutionistic properties) spread to all.  Mind you, I think it's a complete abhorrence to say that all animals died because of Adam.  It is true that nature changed due to our rational involvement, probably mostly for the worse, but death and "corruption" as we define them to ourselves are completely natural, and in no way "evil" because God created them.  God did not create these natural conditions for human life however, and that is the important issue.
I need to get back to my "school"work, so I'm not going to take the time now to look up a specific reference, but I think this is actually the position St. Athanasius took in his understanding of salvation.
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« Reply #110 on: May 08, 2007, 08:56:34 PM »

(as Origen said, it's obviously preposterous to believe that man received knowledge or life through some sort of Tree).

Origen said... Origen said... Origen said...

For the sake of those non-Orthodox who read this thread, let me state that Origen is not Orthodoxy's champion.  Most of his teachings are in fact heretical, condemned by the councils.  In this case, he undermines the capacity of a LITERAL tree to give us knowledge, where in fact it was on a LITERAL tree that man was saved, i.e. the cross!

But I digress.  Many people use Origen's word because it blends well with their opinions.  Let St. John Chrysostom speak and let many deny the truth known since ancient times.

But perhaps someone will say: How is it that Cain had a wife when Sacred Scripture nowhere makes mention of another woman? Don’t be surprised at this dearly beloved: it has so far given no list of women anywhere in a precise manner; instead, Sacred Scripture while avoiding superfluous details mentions the males in turn, though not even all of them, telling us about them in rather summary fashion when it says that so-and-so had sons and daughters and then he died. So it is likely in this case too that Eve gave birth to a daughter after Cain and Abel, and Cain took her for her wife. You see, since it was in the beginning and the human race had to increase from them on, it was permissible to marry their own sisters.
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« Reply #111 on: May 08, 2007, 09:03:45 PM »

Origen said... Origen said... Origen said...

I don't think it's very easy to dismiss what Origen said.  For the sake of the non-Orthodox who are reading, no one condemned Origen's teachings in at least what was compiled in his Philocalia, which were compiled by none other than St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Basil.  So if you have beef the fact that they both agree with Origen that the trees in Genesis are not literal, or at least they allow that as an Orthodox belief, then your beef is really with those two Orthodox saints (this is also an indication that this was a widely held Alexandrian belief, very much plausible in the realm of Orthodoxy).

So, yes, Origen was condemned in many of his beliefs, but this was not one of them.  As St. Jerome argued with the Alexandrian patriarch at the time, not everyone of Origen's beliefs are heretical.

God bless.
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« Reply #112 on: May 08, 2007, 09:10:58 PM »

Or Freudian slip?  Wink

Yeah, that's it  Cheesy
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« Reply #113 on: May 08, 2007, 09:23:39 PM »

I need to get back to my "school"work, so I'm not going to take the time now to look up a specific reference, but I think this is actually the position St. Athanasius took in his understanding of salvation.

Yes, I believe so...I am very much fond of St. Athanasius' teachings.
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« Reply #114 on: May 08, 2007, 09:35:42 PM »

Yes, I believe so...I am very much fond of St. Athanasius' teachings.

Good.  Here's what St. Athanasius says about Adam and the rest of the "righteous men and holy prophets and patriarchs."

For example, which of the righteous men and holy prophets and patriarchs of whom the Divine Scriptures tell ever had his bodily birth from a virgin only? Was not Abel born of Adam, Enoch of Jared, Noah of Lamech, Abraham of Terah, Isaac of Abraham, and Jacob of Isaac? Was not Judah begotten by Jacob and Moses and Aaron by Ameram? Was not Samuel the son of Elkanah, David of Jesse, Solomon of David, Hezekiah of Ahaz, Josiah of Amon, Isaiah of Amos, Jeremiah of Hilkiah and Ezekiel of Buzi? Had not each of these a father as author of his being? So who is He that is born of a virgin only, that sign of which the prophet makes so much? Again, which of all those people had his birth announced to the world by a star in the heavens? When Moses was born his parents hid him. David was unknown even in his own neighborhood, so that mighty Samuel himself was ignorant of his existence and asked whether Jesse had yet another son. Abraham again became known to his neighbors as a great man only after his birth. But with Christ it was otherwise. The witness to His birth was not man, but a star shining in the heavens whence He was coming down.

Now tell me.  Is Adam a real man?
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« Reply #115 on: May 08, 2007, 09:48:04 PM »

Quote
Is Adam a real man?

I guess fundamentally you have to decide which genealogical line its through first off since Matthew and Luke differ.  It's through one of two sons of David, either Solomon (Matthew) or Nathan (Luke).  That's the first problem.

The second if you take the genealogies as true, and can get past the contradiction in the lineage, you have to accept that calculating the time back to Adam (the first human) is completely at odds with what we know of the age of the earth and the presence of humans on it.

So if we are looking at all of this literally, the answer to the question would be no.
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« Reply #116 on: May 08, 2007, 10:42:07 PM »

That's great Theognosis that you show me that, and I'm willing to accept that.  It's just that the Holy Fathers saw no other reason to accept otherwise until today (and the genealogy issue is a strong one too made by Welkodox).  If one understands evolutionary biology, one should have some more sympathy with the question at hand than simply jump with things that might go against scientific proofs.  I am fond of St. Athanasius (in fact, I consider him for the most part, an infallible source), but obviously not everyone will agree with St. Athanasius in, for example, his Biblical canon.  Perhaps, even, St. Athanasius may disagree with St. Paul in that St. Paul believed all living creatures fell because of Adam, while to St. Athanasius it was only man who fell and joined the naturally dying world.

In addition, earlier I did say that I hesitate to believe that Adam wasn't real, but I'm willing to have a discussion and see the possibilities of what this does to important Orthodox dogma.  So, I don't see how you quoting St. Athanasius against me changes anything, when I know it's obvious there was no other belief.  For all I know, Origen, who you are not so fond of, also believed Adam was a real person; does that mean he's wrong?  Wink

God bless.
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« Reply #117 on: May 10, 2007, 08:54:58 AM »

Nobody on this post has yet to mention the alternate creation story of Adam & Steve!  Grin
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