Author Topic: Genesis, Creation and Orthodoxy  (Read 2244 times)

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Offline Christodoulos

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Genesis, Creation and Orthodoxy
« on: December 29, 2007, 10:28:38 PM »
God bless !

What is the Orthodox Patristic Doctrine of Creation (and not of secular science)?

In the Holy Fathers we find the "mind of the Church"-the living understanding of God's revelation. They are our link between the ancient texts wich contain God's revelation and today's reality. Without such a link it is every man for himslef - and the result is a myriad of interpretations and sects.

Blessed Father Seraphim Rose

St Gregory the Theologian about the Hexameron of St. Basil the great:

"When I take his Hexameron in my Hand and read it aloud, I am with my Creator, I understand the reason for creation, and I admire my Creator mor than I formerly did when I used sight alone as my teacher."

From Blessed Father Seraphim Rose;Questions and Answers:

The creation of Adam and Eve:

Student: Did God create one man and one woman? Or are Adam and Eve representatives of a particular kind of person or group of persons?

Fr. Seraphim: He created the whole human nature in one man - the first man, Adam- and out of his flesh took the first woman. From them comes the rest of mankind.

St:When God created Eve out of the rib of Adam, did He take those qualities that are particular to womankind from Adam, or did He endow her with other, complementary qualities ?

FrS: We aren't told. He gave her whatever quality He needed to give her, starting from the rib. The rib of man does not produce a woman; therefore, it's a miracle. God took the part from Adam simply to show that the origin of mankind is one.
The whole  of mankind is already present in the original man. Everyone produced after that-from this one man- has the same nature, the same image of God, which is seen in the soul.

St:Were the body and the soul of man origianlly meant to be seperate ?

FrS:No.If Adam had not did, we would not need to talk about body and soul, because the body would itself become refind and soul-like. In the end we would have the state of the spiritual body.

St:Did God breathe a soul into Eve too ?

FrS:In whatever way He knows, He gave her the same thing He gave to Adam. We are not told details lik that. The whole is simply a miracle of God.

St:Why is Christ called the second Adam ?

FrS: We are the offspring of Adam. Even if Adam had not fallen and the animal  mode of reproduction had not been instituted, there would have been some means of generation from this one man. All men come from Adam, and therefore Adam is like humanity. Adam ruined the whole plan for mankind, but God was "smarter" because He had already "figured out" how to bring this plan about without Adam. Therefore the One through Whom man's original nature is restored, through Whom we have the opportuninty to be in Paradise once more, is called the Second Adam.

St:Doesn't St. Paul say something about how death came to all through one man?

FrS: That's right, death came from one man and life come from one Man. Because Adam tasted of the tree, our nature was changed. Therefore when the Holy Fathers speak about natuture of man, sometimes they refer to the fallen, corrupted nature we have as a result of the fall:but sometimes thy (for example Abba Dorotheos) speak about the original nature of mankind, in order to give an image of what we are supposed to get back.
The RC idea, by the way, is different. They say that in the beginning man was natural, and that he had extra grace which made him supernatural:and then when he fell, he lost the grace and went back to the state he was made in. That is a whole different conception, and it fits inn with evolution, because it sounds as though the whole creation was natural to begin with, and God didn't create everything incorrupt. In the RC view, Adam was not made immortal: he became immortal when God added grace to him. But in the Orthodox view, man was created immortal; his whole nature was different, and when he fell that nature was twisted and changed. We can still get back to the original state, of course, but only if the grace of God through Christ raises us up.

St:But the state we're striving for is not the state that Adam was in; it's the state that Adam was meant to be in.

FrS:Right. But the original state is an image of that other state, because it was close to it already.


Please don't disrespect the moderators by bypassing the lock on a locked thread to continue this discussion on another board.  Could you have at least waited until cleveland reopened this thread as he promised?  - PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 11:58:33 PM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Genesis, Creation and Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 01:39:55 AM »
This thread returned to where it was started, since it was intended to be a discussion separate from the more general Creationism vs. Evolution thread from which it originated.  Since we already have the Creationism vs. Evolution thread in Religious Topics for more general debate, please limit discussion here to the specifically Orthodox/Patristic views of Genesis and creation.  Thank you.

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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Genesis, Creation and Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 03:47:03 PM »
The first Darwinist. Archelaus writes;

And with regard to animals, he affirms that the earth, being originally fire in its lower part, where the heat and cold were intermingled, both the rest of animals made their appearance, numerous and dissimilar,all having the same food, being nourished from mud; and their existence was of short duration, but afterwards also generation from one another arose unto them; and men were separated from the rest (of the animal creation), and they appointed rulers, and laws, and arts, and cities, and the rest. And he asserts that mind is innate in all animals alike; for that each, according to the difference of their physical constitution, employed (mind), at one time slower, at another faster.

 John of Damascus writes:

That man has community alike with inanimate things and animate creatures, weather they are devoid of or possess the faculty of reason. Man, it is to be noted, has community with things inanimate, and participates in the life of unreasoning creatures, and shares in the mental processes of those endowed with reason. For the bond of union between man and inanimate things is the body and its composition out of the four elements

Post moved from "Young Earth Theory" and the Early Church Fathers, since this reply addresses the subject of evolution without saying anything of Young Earth Theory.  -PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 12:09:42 AM by PeterTheAleut »