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ialmisry
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« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2011, 12:41:29 AM »

on which page is the footnote that says St. Symeon taught that man needed to eat before the Fall? that sounds strange to me because St. Symeon is quite explicit that the only reason anything dies in all of creation is because of man's sin, but to say that they had to eat implies that they would have died had they not eaten.
Of course they would have. Hence why God tells them to eat, just not from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
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« Reply #91 on: March 30, 2011, 12:45:22 AM »

I am still reading the article by Heiromonk Damascene that jckstraw72 linked to.  I must say that it is very interesting and full of citations, however it seems to me that some of the Fathers were engaging in speculation at times.  For example,

It mentions in the footnotes that St. Symeon wrote that man needed to eat before the fall, while SS. Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Sinai wrote that the need to eat was a mark of the corruption that happened after the fall.

In one of the passages cited from St. Symeon, the saint writes:

...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

That sounds like reasoning and personal interpretation to me with regards to the subject that he was addressing.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but it does not sound like he is stating dogmatic truths.  Many of the writings of the Fathers use such terminology, qualifying what they are saying as being "reasonable," or it "seems to be,"  "we can infer," etc.

There is nothing in Holy scripture that goes into the kind of detail that some of the Fathers do about such things.  Did they receive this understanding from unwritten tradition, or personal reasoning?  Another issue is, to what extent was a particular Father simply professing what he had read in an earlier Fathers writings?  As generations go by, Father C repeats what Father B wrote, which he learned from the writings of Father A, resulting in us stating that Father's A, B, and C all believed such-and-such.

To what extent do we view the writings of the Fathers as speculation/conjecture?  Did any claim that their writings were divinely inspired, or that what they were writing was revealed by God?  This is important to the entire discussion.  Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?

Partly.  The main point of the Fathers is that by their striving in the Faith they achieved a point at which what they wrote down on their Life in Chrsit can be taken out as a witness of living out the Gospel.  That is how their consensus develops, because like a whiell with spokes, the closer you go towards teh center, the closer you are to each other.
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« Reply #92 on: March 30, 2011, 12:48:56 AM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?
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« Reply #93 on: March 30, 2011, 12:52:16 AM »



...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

i dont think this indicates that he arrived at the idea through mere human reasoning, but rather simply that the truth he is teaching can be stated and demonstrated to be quite reasonable. and even if it is human reasoning, its highly purified human reasoning. the Saints would still be reasoning based on spiritual insights that most of us know nothing of.

You can't be in the Church and know nothing of it.  If you could, we would need two sets of rules like the Druze, one for the enlighted, and one for the great unwashed.  The only unwashed the Church has is the unbaptized.


Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?

as i see it, if the answer is "no" then there's no reason to be Orthodox. i didnt convert cause i thought the Fathers had neat opinions.
LOL. I didn't know it was about you.

They reflect, embody, record and pronounce the Church's dogma, but they are not inidividually infallible beings.
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« Reply #94 on: March 30, 2011, 12:57:03 AM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?
Next to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (note, btw, "Knowledge of Good and Evil," not "of Knowledge" period.  Many like Frank Zappa are confusd on that point), there was the Tree of Life, which was not forbidden to man until the Fall.  Indeed, God cites that as the reason why man must be expelled from the Garden, lest he eat again of the Tree of Life.

Also note, He does not say "I will kill you," He says "you shall surely die."
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« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2011, 01:07:57 AM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....
Most Fathers do not indulge in speculation.  Those that do, many do have to bend Genesis:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply... Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."...So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed."

But they do not explain away Christ's explicit exegesis on it (Mattew 19:)4 He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"  That they are ashamed of His words, I argue against.



but again, the teaching that man was virginal in the Garden does not contradict this ....
But the teaching that Adam and Eve were to remain so, living like brotehr and sister forever, does.

you're treating this as if there's some obvious, glaring contradiction that the Fathers either were too stupid to see, or ignored because of some perverted agenda on their part. im not ok with either of those options ...
How are you on St. Jerome's "all intercourse is unclean....even the blood of martyrdom cannot wash away the defilement of marriage"

Yes, he had a rather perverted agenda: "I praise marriage because it gives me virgins."
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« Reply #96 on: March 30, 2011, 01:16:19 AM »

That surprised me as well (St. Jerome's sayings).  Fortunately, like Augustine, he is not as important in the East as he is in the Roman Church.  It is a blessing from God that we don't have to contend with their teachings in Orthodox theology (or Anslem's, Aquinas, etc.)
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« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2011, 01:43:48 PM »

I'm confused.  So Adam and Eve didn't eat anything before the Fall?  Or they didn't need to but seem to have indulged their physical animalistic desire of eating?
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« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2011, 01:56:35 PM »

^Fwiw, a point brought up by Panayiotis Nellas in his book Deification in Christ might be of some interest here:

Quote
Before he dressed himself in the garments of skin man wore a "divinely woven" [99] attire, his psychosomatic dress which had been woven with grace, with the light and glory of God. Our first parents "were clothed in glory from above... the heavenly glory covered them better than any garment could do." [100] This refers to the attire of the "in the image," the prelapsarian human nature formed by the breath of God and endowed with a deiform structure. This attire shone with "the likeness to the divine" which was constituted, not by a "shape" or a "color," but by "dispassion," "blessedness" and "incorruption," the characteristics by which "the divine is contemplated as beauty." [101]

The first man, according to the succinct expression of St Gregory the Theologian, was "naked by virtue of his simplicity." [102] This means, as St Maximos explains, that his body did not contain within it the mutually contradictory "qualities" which now pull it in different directions, scourge it with corruption and make it decay, but it possessed "another temperament which befitted it, a temperament maintained by simple qualities compatible with each other." It was "without flux or wastage," free from "constant change depending  on which quality was predominant," and for this reason was not bereft "of immortality by grace." [103] If we understand the "nakedness" as transparency, we can say that the body of Adam was so simple that it was in reality transparent, open to the material creation without resisting it in any way, and without the world offering any resistance to the body--the world had been surrendered to it. The human body, while maintaining its own peculiar constitution and separate identity with regard to the world, was nevertheless not divided from it at all.


[99] This is the usual characteristic which hymnology attributes to the prelapsarian human attire: "Thou hast dressed me in a divinely woven attire, O Savior" (canticle 6, troparian 1, Canon of the Sunday of Cheesefare). Cf. Romanos Melodos, Kontakion on Epiphany, Oikos 2. See also the study of the Great Canon below, pp. 173-4. For the general condition of the first human beings before the fall according to St Gregory of Nyssa, see J. Gaith, La conception de liberte chez Gregoire de Nysse, 52 ff.

[100] St John Chrysostom, On Genesis 15,4, PG 53, 123 and 16, 5, PG 53, 131. Cf E. Peterson, Pour une theologie du vetement, 5-9, who also gives references to Sts Irenaeus, Ambrose, and Augustine

[101] St Gregory of Nyssa, On Those Who Have Fallen Asleep, PG 46, 521D

[102] St Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 45, 8, PG 36, 632C

[103] St Maximos the Confessor, Ambigua, PG 91, 1353AB


--Panayiotis Nellas, Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person, pp. 52-53

Perhaps "food" as we think of it was entirely foreign to Adam and Eve... if they "ate," maybe it would have been something entirely different...?
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« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2011, 02:05:10 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.
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« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2011, 02:24:48 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

Genesis 1:29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

I think St. Methodius if anything takes quite the middle road.  It's more fitting to think of sex like you would think of food, misproper use of which is sin, and virtuous use of with is ideal, and anything in between well, is a mild pleasure of sorts that need to be abstained from as you would fasting, or an unnecessary pleasure (like perhaps alcohol or arguably smoking tobacco) that is not in and of itself sinful, but surely worthy of abstinence.

It seems wholly proper then that two sides from this developed later on, the radical ascetic side that looks at anything less than ideal is sinful (and most of the Church fathers later on were ascetics; I would wonder what a married Church father would write if he even had time to write while caring for his family), and the more "liberal" side that anything other than clear sins are virtuous.

This is at least my objective view without trying to support the Coptic view.  It's a concession that's not sinful, but not virtue either, i.e. not a striving towards a certain perfection that others might be born with.  Nevertheless, all do have their unique gifts, and in so doing, can properly use them for their own edification.  To some it may be chastity, to others teaching, and others raising families etc.  In each of these gifts, there's an ideal of exemplary attitude.  Therefore, for those who are chaste, they should be in the best chastity as possible, and not merely chaste physically.  For those who can teach, you must present yourself as if you're the best teacher.  For anyone who has a certain talent, they should double it and not hide it to waste, as the parable teaches.

The person who's sick and must eat from things abstained can nevertheless be virtuous in other things.  It's not a concession to sin (because eating meat is obviously not a sin).  Could eating meat be a "necessary evil?"  I don't know.  One can argue that there are many necessary evils in this world that are not sins also, but virtuous if abstained from as well, although they're necessary so as to avoid sins, the greater evils, and necessary implies how almost impossible the abstinence can be.
The issue of meat is interesting.  The Scripture plainly states that man was not originally meant to eat meat. Yet St. Paul is rather emphatic that it is not something we are to be judged on, and a matter of indifference (in itself: in the grand scheme of things that is another matter). It would be interesting to see if the Fathers who make much of their idea that sexuality was not intended in Eden, if they are equally vigorous on the issue of eating meat, and how to deal with the problem that the Lord, as Scripture plainly states, ate meat.
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« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2011, 02:31:56 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?
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« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2011, 02:37:43 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.
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« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2011, 02:39:31 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.

I would hope you would, since you apparently read all pertinent quotes of the Church fathers that talked about pre-Fall conditions.
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« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2011, 02:42:19 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.

I would hope you would, since you apparently read all pertinent quotes of the Church fathers that talked about pre-Fall conditions.

so sorry to disappoint you.
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« Reply #105 on: March 30, 2011, 06:20:22 PM »

I had mentioned previously that I liked what Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev had written on the subject of human sexuality.  His Grace is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

From his work, The Mystery of Faith:

"'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them'.  Because a solitary monad cannot love, being alone, God created not a single unit, but a couple, with the intention that love should reign among people.  Yet the love between the couple is not yet the perfection of love, because the couple is made up of two opposing principles, thesis and antithesis, which must find their fulfillment in a synthesis.  This synthesis may be realized in the birth of a child.  God commands: 'be fruitful and multiply'.  From two human beings the third, their child, is to be born: the fully realized family-husband, wife and child-which is a reflection of the divine love in three hypostases."

The Mystery of Faith, Chapter Five, the Human Person, p. 59



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« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2011, 06:28:19 PM »

I had mentioned previously that I liked what Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev had written on the subject of human sexuality.  His Grace is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

From his work, The Mystery of Faith:

"'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them'.  Because a solitary monad cannot love, being alone, God created not a single unit, but a couple, with the intention that love should reign among people.  Yet the love between the couple is not yet the perfection of love, because the couple is made up of two opposing principles, thesis and antithesis, which must find their fulfillment in a synthesis.  This synthesis may be realized in the birth of a child.  God commands: 'be fruitful and multiply'.  From two human beings the third, their child, is to be born: the fully realized family-husband, wife and child-which is a reflection of the divine love in three hypostases."

The Mystery of Faith, Chapter Five, the Human Person, p. 59





as far as i can tell, thats a good description of post-lapsarian relationships.
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« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2011, 08:21:17 PM »

we dont have to believe every single thing that every single Saint says. but in the instances of evolution and marriage and others, when you start to see Father after Father after Father after Father saying the same thing, you start to see the mind of the Church emerging. one or two Fathers saying something that no one else says, or that is contradicted by other Fathers is different than these subjects on which there is much harmony.

I want to follow through with this because this is an interesting way of interpreting things of the Scriptures.  I know I mentioned this elsewhere but let me ask you seriously.  If I was a Christian living in the 3rd Century, and I researched "Father after Father after Father" concerning the interpretation of the Nephilim, I would seem to believe that angels can have intercourse with women:

Tertullian (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.v.v.ii.html
St. Irenaeus (2nd Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xxxvii.html#ix.vi.xxxvii-p19.2
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xvii.html#ix.vi.xvii-p12.1
St. Justin Martyr (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.iii.v.html
Athenagorus (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.v.ii.xxiv.html#v.ii.xxiv-p4.1
St. Clement of Alexandria (2nd to 3rd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.vi.iii.iii.ii.html#vi.iii.iii.ii-p37.1
Archelaus (3rd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.vii.iii.xxxi.html
Lactantius (3rd to 4th Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.iii.ii.viii.xxiii.html
St. Methodius (3rd to 4th Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.xi.v.iii.i.html
Nemesius of Emesa (4th Century) (ACCS Genesis 1-11, pp. 123-4)
I've read elswhere that Eusebius of Caesarea (3rd to 4th Century), St. Hilary of Poiters (4th Century), St. Ambrose (4th Century), St. Jerome (4th to 5th Century), and Sulpitius Severus (4th to 5th Century) also believed that the Nephilim were sons of angels.

The following Church fathers also seemed to have allowed the idea that the Sons of God were angels, but were open to other interpretations:
Julius Africanus (2nd to 3rd Century) allows for either Sons of God or angels of men:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.v.v.ii.html
Origen--if taken literally, it's angels, but this is an allegory to teach a lesson (3rd Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.vi.ix.v.lv.html#vi.ix.v.lv-p3.1
Alexander of Lycopolis, same interpretation as Origen, and even calls this a "fable" (5th Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.viii.iii.xxv.html


I understand that these were the Church fathers used to support the idea that the Nephilim were sons of Seth:
St. Ephraim (4th Century)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (4th Century)
St. John Chrysostom (4th Century)
St. Augustine (4th to 5th Century)
St. John Cassian (5th Century)
Fr. Seraphim mentioned St. Athanasius (4th Century), St. Cyril (5th Century), St. Gregory Palamas (14th Century)

If you noticed a pattern, "the mind of the Church" so to speak believed that the Nephilim were sons of angels up until around the late 4th, early 5th Century, where "the Church mind" seemed to reject that notion.

So I simply wonder why exactly did the Church seem to "change her mind" later?
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« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2011, 08:36:22 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.
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« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2011, 08:40:21 PM »

A very interesting list of citations and examples.  While I do respect the Fathers opinions, I still have difficulty with the extent to which I am able to attribute divine inspiration to them.  To what extent do any of the Fathers attribute their opinions to revelation/inspiration or to reasoned speculation?

I am not as well read on the Fathers yet as I would like to be.  Does anyone know if any Father actually stated that what he was writing in a particular instance was divinely revealed to him?

This is an interesting article on the Fathers:

http://www.assumptionaz.org/studies_in_orthodoxy/studies_orthodoxy/376

  
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« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2011, 08:44:03 PM »

A very interesting list of citations and examples.  While I do respect the Fathers opinions, I still have difficulty with the extent to which I am able to attribute divine inspiration to them.  To what extent do any of the Fathers attribute their opinions to revelation/inspiration or to reasoned speculation?

I am not as well read on the Fathers yet as I would like to be.  Does anyone know if any Father actually stated that what he was writing in a particular instance was divinely revealed to him?

This is an interesting article on the Fathers:

http://www.assumptionaz.org/studies_in_orthodoxy/studies_orthodoxy/376

  

are you asking specifically in regards to sexuality, or just in general?
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« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2011, 08:49:45 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.
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« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2011, 08:52:01 PM »

In general.  I am trying to understand the extent to which a person's sanctity effects their ability in interpreting scripture.  As someone progresses in theosis, what role does that play in their gaining greater insight into spiritual matters such as doctrinal exegesis and commentary?

I do agree that all we really have to go by is consensus, otherwise we would have to accept Augustine's doctrines which, fortunately, most in the Church have rejected, simply because he was a Father.
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« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2011, 08:53:33 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.
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« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2011, 08:54:24 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution
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« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2011, 08:56:52 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.
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« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2011, 09:01:56 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.

Actually, I hope it is helping, because it shows that the important doctrines and morals of the Church never change, whereas other non-salvific beliefs of the Church can change, as is evident in the teachings of Fr. Thomas Hopko, Metropolitan Hilarion, etc.

When it comes to sexuality, the question was strictly can a married couple have sex without the intention of children, or is that wrong.  The mind of the Church today seems to be yes, considering that some Church fathers have been open to it without calling it a sin.  The only thing is that you should give time for prayer and fasting from it, as long as both spouses agree.  The fact that the Church at her earliest point almost unanimously accepted the idea that angels can have sex with women would almost make it dogmatic by your definition.
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« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2011, 09:07:27 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.

Actually, I hope it is helping, because it shows that the important doctrines and morals of the Church never change, whereas other non-salvific beliefs of the Church can change, as is evident in the teachings of Fr. Thomas Hopko, Metropolitan Hilarion, etc.

When it comes to sexuality, the question was strictly can a married couple have sex without the intention of children, or is that wrong.  The mind of the Church today seems to be yes, considering that some Church fathers have been open to it without calling it a sin.  The only thing is that you should give time for prayer and fasting from it, as long as both spouses agree.  The fact that the Church at her earliest point almost unanimously accepted the idea that angels can have sex with women would almost make it dogmatic by your definition.

well look at that, you made your point without attacking or mocking anyone, thereby demonstrating that your lil' tantrum really wasn't necessary, as i said!
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« Reply #118 on: July 12, 2011, 04:30:44 PM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....

My Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but I believe a rather different view of pre-lapsarian state prevailed in the West, among such Fathers as St Irenaeus, St Cyprian of Carthage, St Jerome, and St Augustine, who all believed that human sexuality was a fundamentally good aspect of human nature that would have been retained even had the Fall never occurred.

In this respect the Western Fathers of the Church are in disagreement with those in the East -- so much for the "overwhelming" Patristic consensus.

Here are some passages from City of God in which St Augustine makes abundantly clear his belief that (passionless) conjugal union was intended as the normative means for propagating the human race, even before the fall (I have bolded the relevant sections):

Quote
Chapter 21.— That Man's Transgression Did Not Annul the Blessing of Fecundity Pronounced Upon Man Before He Sinned But Infected It with the Disease of Lust.

Far be it, then, from us to suppose that our first parents in Paradise felt that lust which caused them afterwards to blush and hide their nakedness, or that by its means they should have fulfilled the benediction of God, “Increase and multiply and replenish the earth;” Genesis 1:28 for it was after sin that lust began. It was after sin that our nature, having lost the power it had over the whole body, but not having lost all shame, perceived, noticed, blushed at, and covered it. But that blessing upon marriage, which encouraged them to increase and multiply and replenish the earth, though it continued even after they had sinned, was yet given before they sinned, in order that the procreation of children might be recognized as part of the glory of marriage, and not of the punishment of sin. But now, men being ignorant of the blessedness of Paradise, suppose that children could not have been begotten there in any other way than they know them to be begotten now, i.e., by lust, at which even honorable marriage blushes; some not simply rejecting, but sceptically deriding the divine Scriptures, in which we read that our first parents, after they sinned, were ashamed of their nakedness, and covered it; while others, though they accept and honor Scripture, yet conceive that this expression, “Increase and multiply,” refers not to carnal fecundity, because a similar expression is used of the soul in the words, “You will multiply me with strength in my soul;” and so, too, in the words which follow in Genesis, “And replenish the earth, and subdue it,” they understand by the earth the body which the soul fills with its presence, and which it rules over when it is multiplied in strength. And they hold that children could no more then than now be begotten without lust, which, after sin, was kindled, observed, blushed for, and covered; and even that children would not have been born in Paradise, but only outside of it, as in fact it turned out. For it was after they were expelled from it that they came together to beget children, and begot them.

Chapter 22.— Of the Conjugal Union as It Was Originally Instituted and Blessed by God.

But we, for our part, have no manner of doubt that to increase and multiply and replenish the earth in virtue of the blessing of God, is a gift of marriage as God instituted it from the beginning before man sinned, when He created them male and female,— in other words, two sexes manifestly distinct. And it was this work of God on which His blessing was pronounced. For no sooner had Scripture said, “Male and female created He them,” Genesis 1:27-28 than it immediately continues, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it,” etc. And though all these things may not unsuitably be interpreted in a spiritual sense, yet “male and female” cannot be understood of two things in one man, as if there were in him one thing which rules, another which is ruled; but it is quite clear that they were created male and female, with bodies of different sexes, for the very purpose of begetting offspring, and so increasing, multiplying, and replenishing the earth; and it is great folly to oppose so plain a fact. It was not of the spirit which commands and the body which obeys, nor of the rational soul which rules and the irrational desire which is ruled, nor of the contemplative virtue which is supreme and the active which is subject, nor of the understanding of the mind and the sense of the body, but plainly of the matrimonial union by which the sexes are mutually bound together, that our Lord, when asked whether it were lawful for any cause to put away one's wife (for on account of the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites Moses permitted a bill of divorcement to be given), answered and said, “Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-5 It is certain, then, that from the first men were created, as we see and know them to be now, of two sexes, male and female, and that they are called one, either on account of the matrimonial union, or on account of the origin of the woman, who was created from the side of the man. And it is by this original example, which God Himself instituted, that the apostle admonishes all husbands to love their own wives in particular. Ephesians 5:25

Chapter 23.— Whether Generation Should Have Taken Place Even in Paradise Had Man Not Sinned, or Whether There Should Have Been Any Contention There Between Chastity and Lust.

But he who says that there should have been neither copulation nor generation but for sin, virtually says that man's sin was necessary to complete the number of the saints. For if these two by not sinning should have continued to live alone, because, as is supposed, they could not have begotten children had they not sinned, then certainly sin was necessary in order that there might be not only two but many righteous men. And if this cannot be maintained without absurdity, we must rather believe that the number of the saints fit to complete this most blessed city would have been as great though no one had sinned, as it is now that the grace of God gathers its citizens out of the multitude of sinners, so long as the children of this world generate and are generated. Luke 20:34
And therefore that marriage, worthy of the happiness of Paradise, should have had desirable fruit without the shame of lust, had there been no sin. But how that could be, there is now no example to teach us. Nevertheless, it ought not to seem incredible that one member might serve the will without lust then, since so many serve it now. Do we now move our feet and hands when we will to do the things we would by means of these members? Do we meet with no resistance in them, but perceive that they are ready servants of the will, both in our own case and in that of others, and especially of artisans employed in mechanical operations, by which the weakness and clumsiness of nature become, through industrious exercise, wonderfully dexterous? And shall we not believe that, like as all those members obediently serve the will, so also should the members have discharged the function of generation, though lust, the award of disobedience, had been awanting? Did not Cicero, in discussing the difference of governments in his De Republica, adopt a simile from human nature, and say that we command our bodily members as children, they are so obedient; but that the vicious parts of the soul must be treated as slaves, and be coerced with a more stringent authority? And no doubt, in the order of nature, the soul is more excellent than the body; and yet the soul commands the body more easily than itself. Nevertheless this lust, of which we at present speak, is the more shameful on this account, because the soul is therein neither master of itself, so as not to lust at all, nor of the body, so as to keep the members under the control of the will; for if they were thus ruled, there should be no shame. But now the soul is ashamed that the body, which by nature is inferior and subject to it, should resist its authority. For in the resistance experienced by the soul in the other emotions there is less shame, because the resistance is from itself, and thus, when it is conquered by itself, itself is the conqueror, although the conquest is inordinate and vicious, because accomplished by those parts of the soul which ought to be subject to reason, yet, being accomplished by its own parts and energies, the conquest is, as I say, its own. For when the soul conquers itself to a due subordination, so that its unreasonable motions are controlled by reason, while it again is subject to God, this is a conquest virtuous and praiseworthy. Yet there is less shame when the soul is resisted by its own vicious parts than when its will and order are resisted by the body, which is distinct from and inferior to it, and dependent on it for life itself.
But so long as the will retains under its authority the other members, without which the members excited by lust to resist the will cannot accomplish what they seek, chastity is preserved, and the delight of sin foregone. And certainly, had not culpable disobedience been visited with penal disobedience, the marriage of Paradise should have been ignorant of this struggle and rebellion, this quarrel between will and lust, that the will may be satisfied and lust restrained, but those members, like all the rest, should have obeyed the will. The field of generation should have been sown by the organ created for this purpose, as the earth is sown by the hand. And whereas now, as we essay to investigate this subject more exactly, modesty hinders us, and compels us to ask pardon of chaste ears, there would have been no cause to do so, but we could have discoursed freely, and without fear of seeming obscene, upon all those points which occur to one who meditates on the subject. There would not have been even words which could be called obscene, but all that might be said of these members would have been as pure as what is said of the other parts of the body. Whoever, then, comes to the perusal of these pages with unchaste mind, let him blame his disposition, not his nature; let him brand the actings of his own impurity, not the words which necessity forces us to use, and for which every pure and pious reader or hearer will very readily pardon me, while I expose the folly of that scepticism which argues solely on the ground of its own experience, and has no faith in anything beyond. He who is not scandalized at the apostle's censure of the horrible wickedness of the women who “changed the natural use into that which is against nature,”Romans 1:26 will read all this without being shocked, especially as we are not, like Paul, citing and censuring a damnable uncleanness, but are explaining, so far as we can, human generation, while with Paul we avoid all obscenity of language.

Chapter 24.— That If Men Had Remained Innocent and Obedient in Paradise, the Generative Organs Should Have Been in Subjection to the Will as the Other Members are.

The man, then, would have sown the seed, and the woman received it, as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not excited by lust. For we move at will not only those members which are furnished with joints of solid bone, as the hands, feet, and fingers, but we move also at will those which are composed of slack and soft nerves: we can put them in motion, or stretch them out, or bend and twist them, or contract and stiffen them, as we do with the muscles of the mouth and face. The lungs, which are the very tenderest of the viscera except the brain, and are therefore carefully sheltered in the cavity of the chest, yet for all purposes of inhaling and exhaling the breath, and of uttering and modulating the voice, are obedient to the will when we breathe, exhale, speak, shout, or sing, just as the bellows obey the smith or the organist. I will not press the fact that some animals have a natural power to move a single spot of the skin with which their whole body is covered, if they have felt on it anything they wish to drive off—a power so great, that by this shivering tremor of the skin they can not only shake off flies that have settled on them, but even spears that have fixed in their flesh. Man, it is true, has not this power; but is this any reason for supposing that God could not give it to such creatures as He wished to possess it? And therefore man himself also might very well have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it by his disobedience; for it was not difficult for God to form him so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.

Chapter 26.— That We are to Believe that in Paradise Our First Parents Begot Offspring Without Blushing.

In Paradise, then, man lived as he desired so long as he desired what God had commanded. He lived in the enjoyment of God, and was good by God's goodness; he lived without any want, and had it in his power so to live eternally. He had food that he might not hunger, drink that he might not thirst, the tree of life that old age might not waste him. There was in his body no corruption, nor seed of corruption, which could produce in him any unpleasant sensation. He feared no inward disease, no outward accident. Soundest health blessed his body, absolute tranquillity his soul. As in Paradise there was no excessive heat or cold, so its inhabitants were exempt from the vicissitudes of fear and desire. No sadness of any kind was there, nor any foolish joy; true gladness ceaselessly flowed from the presence of God, who was loved “out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.” 1 Timothy 1:5 The honest love of husband and wife made a sure harmony between them. Body and spirit worked harmoniously together, and the commandment was kept without labor. No languor made their leisure wearisome; no sleepiness interrupted their desire to labor. We speak of things which are now shameful, and although we try, as well as we are able, to conceive them as they were before they became shameful, yet necessity compels us rather to limit our discussion to the bounds set by modesty than to extend it as our moderate faculty of discourse might suggest. For since that which I have been speaking of was not experienced even by those who might have experienced it—I mean our first parents (for sin and its merited banishment from Paradise anticipated this passionless generation on their part)—when sexual intercourse is spoken of now, it suggests to men's thoughts not such a placid obedience to the will as is conceivable in our first parents, but such violent acting of lust as they themselves have experienced. And therefore modesty shuts my mouth, although my mind conceives the matter clearly. But Almighty God, the supreme and supremely good Creator of all natures, who aids and rewards good wills, while He abandons and condemns the bad, and rules both, was not destitute of a plan by which He might people His city with the fixed number of citizens which His wisdom had foreordained even out of the condemned human race, discriminating them not now by merits, since the whole mass was condemned as if in a vitiated root, but by grace, and showing, not only in the case of the redeemed, but also in those who were not delivered, how much grace He has bestowed upon them. For every one acknowledges that he has been rescued from evil, not by deserved, but by gratuitous goodness, when he is singled out from the company of those with whom he might justly have borne a common punishment, and is allowed to go scathless. Why, then, should God not have created those whom He foresaw would sin, since He was able to show in and by them both what their guilt merited, and what His grace bestowed, and since, under His creating and disposing hand, even the perverse disorder of the wicked could not pervert the right order of things?

I don't have anything on hand from the other Fathers I mentioned, but I have it on good authority (Fr Dcn Matthew Steenberg, http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?1504-The-creation-of-males-and-females-why/page2) that St Irenaeus, at least, believed exactly what St Augustine does.

Is it simply a coincidence that St Irenaeus' views were formed in opposition to the Gnostic heresies against which he wrote? Could some of this Gnostic/Manichean influence have "rubbed off" on the Eastern Fathers, being in contact with various "Eastern" sects unknown to the West? After all, we cannot suppose them to have been totally immune from the "spirit of the times"
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« Reply #119 on: July 12, 2011, 05:08:27 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.
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« Reply #120 on: July 12, 2011, 05:12:51 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call two posts "spamming."
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« Reply #121 on: July 12, 2011, 05:16:57 PM »

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

Nor would I. That did seem a bit harsh. Though, it probably wouldn't hurt to post an introduction to everyone. Smiley

Welcome to the grinder forum.  Grin
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« Reply #122 on: July 12, 2011, 05:20:53 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

How long have you been here? A cursory glance through the threads would show that many of us have knowledge of St. Augustine, especially his arcane work: The City of God.

Put this into google and it will give you an overview:

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum augustine



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orthonorm
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« Reply #123 on: July 12, 2011, 05:22:03 PM »

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

Nor would I. That did seem a bit harsh. Though, it probably wouldn't hurt to post an introduction to everyone. Smiley

Welcome to the grinder forum.  Grin

I did say "welcome".
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« Reply #124 on: July 12, 2011, 05:25:53 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

How long have you been here? A cursory glance through the threads would show that many of us have knowledge of St. Augustine, especially his arcane work: The City of God.

Put this into google and it will give you an overview:

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum augustine

In general maybe, but perhaps not on this particular point of doctrine.

Besides, I did mention Irenaeus' teaching as well in addition to Augustine's -- cut me some slack!

And thank you for welcoming me to the forum, Orthonorm. I do appreciate it.
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« Reply #125 on: July 12, 2011, 05:27:37 PM »

And thank you for welcoming me to the forum, Orthonorm. I do appreciate it.

You're welcome. Just wanted to give you a quick shot of what makes me so beloved.
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« Reply #126 on: July 12, 2011, 05:52:41 PM »


Fripod,

Welcome to the forum.

I am looking forward to your contributions to the many discussions.

Since you are new, please take a moment to review the forum policies and rules.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=13455.0

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=rules

Once again, welcome!
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