Thanks for your well thought out question that once again requires more than a simple answer. St. John Damascene is one of many Orthodox theologians or teacher's. Many of his writings are seen as eternal teachings that have reached the level of interaction throughout the centuries of the Church. Those teachings are honored and have become part of the theolegumen (Theological thought or opinion) of the Church, his teaching is not dogma. We must remember however that in some cases he was utilizing thought and learning that was specific to his century. This topic is one of them. He is not representative of modern Orthodox teaching about the planetary system of the universe, he is speaking as a well educated man of his time not of our century. As one progresses in the understanding of Orthodox Doctrine, one must separate the dated from the eternal. In all such cases I recommend that one discuss these issues with a local Orthodox priest or trained Orthodox theologian who can perhaps illuminate you better on this matter.
In order for this to be more openly debated and discussed, I am transferring this to another forum.
Convert Issues Forum Moderator.