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Question: How would you describe your beliefs regarding God's creation?
Creationism (literal 6 days) - 6 (16.7%)
Theistic Evolution (evolution is God's tool) - 17 (47.2%)
Apathetic (don't care) - 6 (16.7%)
Atheistic Evolution - 1 (2.8%)
Other - 6 (16.7%)
Total Voters: 36

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Author Topic: Interpretation of Genesis, literal or spiritual?  (Read 4574 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: November 01, 2012, 12:52:27 AM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 01:06:42 AM »

What is science?
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 06:42:51 AM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science?

The problem with this statement is science doesn't say one way or the other.  It's people who project their opinions into the mixing bowl.  So, to believe the first is not against science, rather people and their take on the matter.  In other words, science has not and will not ever prove Creation didn't happen in a literal six days, and there is a long list of reasons why.
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 08:12:34 AM »

Below, there is an interesting site on the subject. In these subjects, I think it's good we go back to the sources and Jewish studies about Jewish texts are the obvious sources. As a Christian, the only "catch" we must have when reading this is that the Messiah has come and He is God Himself.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html

Quote
How long ago did the "beginning" occur? Was it, as the Bible might imply, 5700-plus years, or was it the 15 billions of years that's accepted by the scientific community?

The first thing we have to understand is the origin of the Biblical calendar. The Jewish year is figured by adding up the generations since Adam. Additionally, there are six days leading up to the creation to Adam. These six days are significant as well.

We have a clock that begins with Adam, and the six days are separate from this clock. The Bible has two clocks.

That might seem like a modern rationalization, if it were not for the fact that Talmudic commentaries 1500 years ago, brings this information. In the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:1), an expansion of the Talmud, all the Sages agree that Rosh Hashana commemorates the soul of Adam, and that the Six Days of Genesis are separate.

So when the Sages excluded these six days from the calendar, and said that the entire text is parable, it wasn't because they were trying to apologize away what they'd seen in the local museum. There was no local museum. The fact is that a close reading of the text makes it clear that there's information hidden and folded into layers below the surface.









How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science?

The problem with this statement is science doesn't say one way or the other.  It's people who project their opinions into the mixing bowl.  So, to believe the first is not against science, rather people and their take on the matter.  In other words, science has not and will not ever prove Creation didn't happen in a literal six days, and there is a long list of reasons why.
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 01:02:25 PM »

How about: "I don't know (for sure)?"
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 01:04:41 PM »

He is not asking what happened, he is asking our opinion about the issue. Wink

How about "I don't know?"
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »

Below, there is an interesting site on the subject. In these subjects, I think it's good we go back to the sources and Jewish studies about Jewish texts are the obvious sources. As a Christian, the only "catch" we must have when reading this is that the Messiah has come and He is God Himself.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html

Quote
How long ago did the "beginning" occur? Was it, as the Bible might imply, 5700-plus years, or was it the 15 billions of years that's accepted by the scientific community?

The first thing we have to understand is the origin of the Biblical calendar. The Jewish year is figured by adding up the generations since Adam. Additionally, there are six days leading up to the creation to Adam. These six days are significant as well.

We have a clock that begins with Adam, and the six days are separate from this clock. The Bible has two clocks.

That might seem like a modern rationalization, if it were not for the fact that Talmudic commentaries 1500 years ago, brings this information. In the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:1), an expansion of the Talmud, all the Sages agree that Rosh Hashana commemorates the soul of Adam, and that the Six Days of Genesis are separate.

So when the Sages excluded these six days from the calendar, and said that the entire text is parable, it wasn't because they were trying to apologize away what they'd seen in the local museum. There was no local museum. The fact is that a close reading of the text makes it clear that there's information hidden and folded into layers below the surface.









How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science?

The problem with this statement is science doesn't say one way or the other.  It's people who project their opinions into the mixing bowl.  So, to believe the first is not against science, rather people and their take on the matter.  In other words, science has not and will not ever prove Creation didn't happen in a literal six days, and there is a long list of reasons why.

Actually Fabio, we aren't supposed to interpret the scriptures like Jews anymore. Jews did read it very literally, but now we see beyond that and cannot stay on that level. If something like Genesis' creation accounts (there are two, not one) aren't literally, scientifically true, that doesn't matter and doesn't reflect badly on the rest of the scriptures.

We aren't Protestants and we certainly aren't Muslims. We have no concept of the infallibility or inerrancy of scripture. The scriptures are completely true and "perfect", but they aren't necessarily without any "error".

Genesis is a collection of stories which were passed down orally for many generations, it is also a collection of several different writers (like most of the Old Testament, see the Documentary Hypothesis) which were all compiled by a group of redactors. None of them were literally written by Moses, but were probably oral traditions which were passed down from him, and written in the spirit of Moses (he can't write about is own death is one example).

The writers of the books were prone to human mistakes while writing, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, minor factual errors (such as slight errors in numbers, dates or places) and other minor variations. This doesn't mean the Bible should be viewed as any less holy. It wasn't a document that was dictated by God and wasn't handed down intact & without error by God. It is a spirit-inspired work that was written by human beings, and has been recognized as especially holy by the Church. The reason the books of the New Testament are canon is not because they were handed down "especially inerrant" but because the Church has recognized them as being especially holy works.

As for Genesis, the two creation accounts should be read in a manner similar to reading Revelation, symbolically, allegorically and historically. Looking at them not as a scientific document as to what "literally" happened, but that they are illustrating a bigger point, which culminates in the creation of man, and then the fall.

I don't think there is a problem for people believing that the earth is young and the story in Genesis may record what happened. But what there is a problem with, are people who believe scripture is infallible and everything must be looked at and taken absolutely literally, otherwise the scripture isn't holy.
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 01:40:04 PM »

The "Two Creation Accounts" theory is very weak. *Very*. One wonders why it is even taken seriously. Even if Genesis was just a literary fictional piece the literary device of starting telling a story from a certain perspective, to then tell it again from another perspective is well known. Do we have a collection of disconnected stories in Dracula just because the narrator changes from chapter to chapter? According to the criteria used for biblical criticism that should be final proof that Bram Stoker never existed and that several different authors, building on the collective legend of the vampire, used the name of an equally legendary Irish novelist as a pen name. Bram Stoker was not the first nor the last author to use the shift in style and perspective to create his work. Biblical authors were not less apt. In fact, the sheer impact of the biblical books -analysing them as "just" literature - proves that the authors were far more accomplished artists then anyone who came later.

Most modern biblical criticism is based on this kind of puerile approach, and that is why after many years dealing with it in my personal studies I have put it completely aside as useless.

What Genesis does is to give a cosmic overview of Creation, like a panoramic of the whole, and then it zooms in into the history of Men, giving more details. Critics would have it that a historic romance that starts painting the scenario of the specific age in history to introduce the main characters just in the second or third chapter are two different books by different authors put together. Far too silly.

Concerning the Jews, our interpretations just diverge from theirs in the fact that the Messiah came, Who He was and What He was and the impact of that. One of these impacts is the new layer of understanding on the spiritual metaphors that are made possible. Those do *not* contradict other kinds of interpretation, specially the cosmological ones. Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, not to revoke it. This is true to secondary layers of reading such as the cosmological ones. The fulfllment includes the new spiritual meanings without repealling the traditional ones.

Below, there is an interesting site on the subject. In these subjects, I think it's good we go back to the sources and Jewish studies about Jewish texts are the obvious sources. As a Christian, the only "catch" we must have when reading this is that the Messiah has come and He is God Himself.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html

Quote
How long ago did the "beginning" occur? Was it, as the Bible might imply, 5700-plus years, or was it the 15 billions of years that's accepted by the scientific community?

The first thing we have to understand is the origin of the Biblical calendar. The Jewish year is figured by adding up the generations since Adam. Additionally, there are six days leading up to the creation to Adam. These six days are significant as well.

We have a clock that begins with Adam, and the six days are separate from this clock. The Bible has two clocks.

That might seem like a modern rationalization, if it were not for the fact that Talmudic commentaries 1500 years ago, brings this information. In the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:1), an expansion of the Talmud, all the Sages agree that Rosh Hashana commemorates the soul of Adam, and that the Six Days of Genesis are separate.

So when the Sages excluded these six days from the calendar, and said that the entire text is parable, it wasn't because they were trying to apologize away what they'd seen in the local museum. There was no local museum. The fact is that a close reading of the text makes it clear that there's information hidden and folded into layers below the surface.









How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science?

The problem with this statement is science doesn't say one way or the other.  It's people who project their opinions into the mixing bowl.  So, to believe the first is not against science, rather people and their take on the matter.  In other words, science has not and will not ever prove Creation didn't happen in a literal six days, and there is a long list of reasons why.

Actually Fabio, we aren't supposed to interpret the scriptures like Jews anymore. Jews did read it very literally, but now we see beyond that and cannot stay on that level. If something like Genesis' creation accounts (there are two, not one) aren't literally, scientifically true, that doesn't matter and doesn't reflect badly on the rest of the scriptures.

We aren't Protestants and we certainly aren't Muslims. We have no concept of the infallibility or inerrancy of scripture. The scriptures are completely true and "perfect", but they aren't necessarily without any "error".

Genesis is a collection of stories which were passed down orally for many generations, it is also a collection of several different writers (like most of the Old Testament, see the Documentary Hypothesis) which were all compiled by a group of redactors. None of them were literally written by Moses, but were probably oral traditions which were passed down from him, and written in the spirit of Moses (he can't write about is own death is one example).

The writers of the books were prone to human mistakes while writing, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, minor factual errors (such as slight errors in numbers, dates or places) and other minor variations. This doesn't mean the Bible should be viewed as any less holy. It wasn't a document that was dictated by God and wasn't handed down intact & without error by God. It is a spirit-inspired work that was written by human beings, and has been recognized as especially holy by the Church. The reason the books of the New Testament are canon is not because they were handed down "especially inerrant" but because the Church has recognized them as being especially holy works.

As for Genesis, the two creation accounts should be read in a manner similar to reading Revelation, symbolically, allegorically and historically. Looking at them not as a scientific document as to what "literally" happened, but that they are illustrating a bigger point, which culminates in the creation of man, and then the fall.

I don't think there is a problem for people believing that the earth is young and the story in Genesis may record what happened. But what there is a problem with, are people who believe scripture is infallible and everything must be looked at and taken absolutely literally, otherwise the scripture isn't holy.
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 01:46:46 PM »

How about: "I don't know (for sure)?"

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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 03:04:14 PM »

Neither literal nor spiritual in their commonly understood senses, but rather "poetic".
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 03:12:08 PM »

I'd rather say it's mostly myth. And don't mistake me for saying it's not true either.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 03:28:17 PM »

I'd rather say it's mostly myth. And don't mistake me for saying it's not true either.
That is what I'm trying to say but there are far too many people who assume the Bible has to be "all or nothing" and either it is all completely true in every single aspect and every site word, or absolutely none of it is true.

The world isn't black or white and the Bible certainly isn't black of white.

No wonder so many Protestants who insist on the strict literal interpretation of Genesis are also the same crowd who interpret Revelation and parts of Daniel & Isaiah as being strictly literal and this construct entire ideas about a literal, physical heaven and hell, and angels literally having wings, the end being literally as in Revelation with a literal beast and a literal mark of the beast in the literal form if 666. It's absolute insanity and its poor biblical exegesis.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 03:35:04 PM »

I think we need to view it of course in the lens of Christ's Crucifiction and Resurrection. I liked St. Augustine's commentary that Noah's Ark moved in 4 directions like the Cross. And that the Ark represents the Church being the ark of salvation. The white dove Noah sends out should be seen as the Holy Spirit. Etc.

I think it's interesting how Genesis explains certain things, like nakedness and rainbows, but as you say these are traditions that have been handed down and in fact many other cultures had their own type of flood narrative, but the difference in Genesis has a different perspective of the events, such as God is saving his people.

Alot of it seems symbolic to me, and in some sense we can view Adam as being symolic which I think is much more real than it being seen literally. That's not to say Adam didn't exist, but for us Christians, Adam takes on something much more.
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 03:47:31 PM »

You're right Achronos. I would take it further though and say that Adam may not have been a literal, single human being at a literal time and place in history. Rather the story reflects our fallen nature as Homo Sapiens.

Once you move beyond the literal sense and don't focus on it as being an absolutely critical and essential part of the faith, Genesis starts to make much more sense.

I'd like to know how people who interpret it literally would react to us finding life beyond our planet (not just intelligent but any kind). What if we find intelligent life, or they find us?

I would say that wouldn't affect our faith one bit and if they are intelligent, Gods salvation extends also to them.
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 04:22:39 PM »

I think we need to view it of course in the lens of Christ's Crucifiction and Resurrection. I liked St. Augustine's commentary that Noah's Ark moved in 4 directions like the Cross. And that the Ark represents the Church being the ark of salvation. The white dove Noah sends out should be seen as the Holy Spirit. Etc.

I think it's interesting how Genesis explains certain things, like nakedness and rainbows, but as you say these are traditions that have been handed down and in fact many other cultures had their own type of flood narrative, but the difference in Genesis has a different perspective of the events, such as God is saving his people.

Alot of it seems symbolic to me, and in some sense we can view Adam as being symolic which I think is much more real than it being seen literally. That's not to say Adam didn't exist, but for us Christians, Adam takes on something much more.

Can you develop the last part, please ?  Tongue
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 04:27:13 PM »

Well what do you think Adam represents?
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 04:28:47 PM »

Man.
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 04:33:46 PM »

Adam made me do it!!!!!!!
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 04:36:45 PM »

Ah, the literal or symbolic divide. How cute. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 09:21:15 PM »

I'd rather say it's mostly myth. And don't mistake me for saying it's not true either.
I don't get it.  Please clarify.
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 07:35:17 AM »

I'd rather say it's mostly myth. And don't mistake me for saying it's not true either.
I don't get it.  Please clarify.
Myth is indeed the right word. I used "poetry" earlier with much the same point.

Here's the Wikipedia definition of myth:
Quote
In folkloristics, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form, although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story. Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form". Myths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests. They may arise as overelaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. They are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach.

Myths are intended to teach the "why" rather than the "what" or "how", which is what science tries to do.
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2012, 11:59:00 AM »

How do orthodox interpret when Adam hid from the Lord cause they had eaten the forbidden fruit and they heard God walking in the garden so they hid themselves from him, do we interpret it literally that God has feet and legs ?. Was he literally walking ?
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2012, 12:33:18 PM »

How do orthodox interpret when Adam hid from the Lord cause they had eaten the forbidden fruit and they heard God walking in the garden so they hid themselves from him, do we interpret it literally that God has feet and legs ?. Was he literally walking ?

No, most if not all anthropomorphisms in the Bible are figurative and allegory, not literal. God has no physical body, only God the Son has a physical body and the Word didn't have a physical body before his incarnation.
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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2012, 02:17:48 PM »

we should read it as the Fathers do. they didnt feel the need to pit one level of interpretation against another, and in fact they strongly warn us against doing such a thing.
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2012, 02:41:22 PM »

we should read it as the Fathers do. they didnt feel the need to pit one level of interpretation against another, and in fact they strongly warn us against doing such a thing.

Not every part of the Bible should read literally, just like not every part should be read allegorically.

Take Revelation for instance. It is not to be taken absolutely literally. We are not to believe that the servants of antichrist will literally have a mark of the beast or 666 branded on them as some sort of a tattoo, mark or computer chip. Instead we understand the mark of the beast to be a separation and opposition to God and the mark that causes that person to receive God's grace as a burning, torturous flame. This passage should also be understood in its historical (different from literal) context, as beig a reference to the Emperor Nero.

Or like the passages in Isaiah (and others) about his vision of heaven. Do Seraphim have six wings? No, they are "bodiless hosts", therefore we cannot read it literally.
It says God sits on a throne, but God has no body and cannot sit.

Looking at the ascension of Christ, we cannot and should not read it literally and believe that Jesus literally levitated from the ground up into the clouds. In fact, this is one of the many reasons he is placed in a mandorla in our iconography (which is symbolic, not literal).

There are many different ways of interpreting scripture, but we cannot and should not use all ways of interpretation in every instance. This is simply poor biblical exegesis.

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.

I don't have a problem with people who believe Genesis depicts how things were created. But I think there is certainly a problem if those people try to apply that literal philosophy to all Biblical interpretation and when they automatically assume that anything not from the church and not from the bible must be wrong.
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 03:04:56 PM »

yes, not everything is literal. the Orthodox method of interpretation is not a rule of literalness, or a rule of allegory, etc -- the rule is stick with the Fathers. this is precisely how Fr. Seraphim critiques Protestant Fundamentalists -- they have only their own understanding to follow which will cause them to miss deeper meanings, but we have the God-bearing Fathers who open up to us all layers of meaning. and if the Fundamentalists happen to get some of it right, while missing the deeper meanings, thank God at least that they have some of it. Orthodoxy doesn't define itself by trying desperately to NOT sound like some other group. We follow the Fathers and if some other group happens to pick up on a piece of that wisdom, then thank God.
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2012, 03:09:51 PM »

we should read it as the Fathers do. they didnt feel the need to pit one level of interpretation against another, and in fact they strongly warn us against doing such a thing.

I don't have a problem with people who believe Genesis depicts how things were created. But I think there is certainly a problem if those people try to apply that literal philosophy to all Biblical interpretation and when they automatically assume that anything not from the church and not from the bible must be wrong.

yes, that would be folly. thankfully, ive never encountered anyone w/ such an attitude. but when it comes to matters of Scriptures we look to the Church - St. Basil explicitly says that he is interpreting the Scripture via the Church and not from any wisdom found outside the Church. That doesnt mean he thinks everything outside the Church is wrong, but that it is not within its realm to try to interpret Scripture.

St Gregory Palamas tells us clearly that we must also be cautious in looking to secular wisdom to tell us anything about the Scriptures:

St. Gregory Palamas, In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.11, p. 34:
If one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different. The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), while the latter expresses at best a human reasoning. “As the heaven is distant from the earth, so is My thought distant from your thought” (Is. 55:9), saith the Lord. Besides, even if the thinking of these men were at times the same as that of Moses, Solomon, or their imitators, what would it benefit them? What man of sound spirit and belonging to the Church could from this draw the conclusion that their teaching comes from God?

In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.12, p. 36:
From secular knowledge, St. Gregory writes: “we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For “God hath made it foolish” (cf. 1 Cor. 1:20).
 
In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.15, p. 44:
The power of this reason which has been made foolish and nonexistent enters into battle against those who accept the traditions in simplicity of heart; it despises the writings of the Spirit, after the example of men who have treated them carelessly and have set up the creation against the Creator.
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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 05:27:44 PM »

Thank you jckstraw72 for bringing up my next point. Anybody who reads the Scriptures has to realize that it is a spiritual document and one must be in prayer when reading it. What's that Church Father quote by St Gregory of Nyssa that our theology without prayer is demonic. I cringe everytime someone wants to prove science or history in the Bible, because neither is the correct methodology.

It is probably the greatest relief that Orthodox dont spend time trying to figure out where Dinosaurs are in the Bible livig amongst humans or whatever fundy "scientific" beliefs are.

I hope you are doing well jckstraw72, even if I disagree with some of your views I respect what you have to say.
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 05:51:18 PM »

Thank you jckstraw72 for bringing up my next point. Anybody who reads the Scriptures has to realize that it is a spiritual document and one must be in prayer when reading it. What's that Church Father quote by St Gregory of Nyssa that our theology without prayer is demonic. I cringe everytime someone wants to prove science or history in the Bible, because neither is the correct methodology.

It is probably the greatest relief that Orthodox dont spend time trying to figure out where Dinosaurs are in the Bible livig amongst humans or whatever fundy "scientific" beliefs are.

I hope you are doing well jckstraw72, even if I disagree with some of your views I respect what you have to say.

hey thanks Achronos -- its always nice to talk to someone who is able to be respectable to those he disagrees with. This is one of the things I admire about Fr. Seraphim Rose -- although he disagreed strongly with Dr. Alexander Kalomiros on evolution, he had no problem quoting him approvingly on those subjects they agreed upon. He had no need to dismiss anyone, or to tell anyone they were not Orthodox for their stance on Genesis. he was actually prompted to delve into Genesis when a faction within ROCOR began lambasting his spiritual son, Alexey Young, for his stance, and began forming almost political parties within the Church based on this and other issues. Fr. Seraphim trod the royal path of fidelity to the Fathers without judging others.

You're right about not trying to match up with fundy scientific beliefs -- its really not important. this is something Fr. Seraphim specifically says -- that our interpretation of Genesis should not be bound up with ANY scientific theory - if it is, we will almost necessarily distort the text.  he, and people like myself who believe he was right, our often falsely painted as Fundamentalist YEC types, but in his commentary on Genesis Fr. Seraphim never once quotes anyone who isn't Orthodox, and never anyone who isn't a Saint of the highest stature. he quite painstakingly establishes his position, to the point where even George and Elizabeth Theokritoff, who are evolutionists, in a review of his book plainly state that Fr. Seraphim is quite correct in his reading of the Fathers. the question then becomes -- do we care about what the Fathers say in regards to Genesis? this is where the Theokritoffs depart from Fr. Seraphim. but Fr. Seraphim learned from St. John to accept wholly that which was handed down to him, and so he handed it on as he had received it. and he is not alone - many other modern Saints and elders have come out against evolution -- many of them speaking much more sternly on the matter than Fr. Seraphim ever did.
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 06:02:16 PM »

we should read it as the Fathers do. they didnt feel the need to pit one level of interpretation against another, and in fact they strongly warn us against doing such a thing.

I don't have a problem with people who believe Genesis depicts how things were created. But I think there is certainly a problem if those people try to apply that literal philosophy to all Biblical interpretation and when they automatically assume that anything not from the church and not from the bible must be wrong.

yes, that would be folly. thankfully, ive never encountered anyone w/ such an attitude. but when it comes to matters of Scriptures we look to the Church - St. Basil explicitly says that he is interpreting the Scripture via the Church and not from any wisdom found outside the Church. That doesnt mean he thinks everything outside the Church is wrong, but that it is not within its realm to try to interpret Scripture.

St Gregory Palamas tells us clearly that we must also be cautious in looking to secular wisdom to tell us anything about the Scriptures:

St. Gregory Palamas, In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.11, p. 34:
If one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different. The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), while the latter expresses at best a human reasoning. “As the heaven is distant from the earth, so is My thought distant from your thought” (Is. 55:9), saith the Lord. Besides, even if the thinking of these men were at times the same as that of Moses, Solomon, or their imitators, what would it benefit them? What man of sound spirit and belonging to the Church could from this draw the conclusion that their teaching comes from God?

In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.12, p. 36:
From secular knowledge, St. Gregory writes: “we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For “God hath made it foolish” (cf. 1 Cor. 1:20).
 
In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (the Triads) 1.1.15, p. 44:
The power of this reason which has been made foolish and nonexistent enters into battle against those who accept the traditions in simplicity of heart; it despises the writings of the Spirit, after the example of men who have treated them carelessly and have set up the creation against the Creator.


I don't necessarily disagree with you entirely on this issue.

What we have to understand, is that we cannot project our modern society back onto the fathers. The scientists of today, and science of today is nothing like what "science" was back 1500 years ago. As I've pointed out before, many of the "scientists" of that day were also astrologers and dabbled into the occult or pagan practices. For them, their science was integrated with their religious identity.
Now, one could argue the same about today, but today, many scientists, while they may be atheists, are called, by common scientific practice, to put aside belief in or rejection of God and look at science more objectively since the realm of religion should not be integrated into science.

Darwin himself made this mistake, and bought into a lot of the philosophy of his day. While he isn't an authority, i'll paraphrase another Orthodox layperson about Darwin. That although I believe in evolution (to an extent), the fact that Darwin's ideas suddenly were discovered during a time where philosophers were searching for an excuse to exclude God from creation is just too convenient.
For all of Darwin's faults though, and for whatever errors he may have made, he did discover something quite profound about God's creation.

The Fathers hardly are at a consensus on the issue. We can say that they all were "creationists", but that is to greatly misunderstand their time and the knowledge they had available to them. It is kind of like looking back at the Fathers and asking why were they anti-semites? It's a fundamental misunderstanding of them and their time. They weren't creationists in the modern sense, because creationists have a unique, relatively "new" way of viewing the scriptures. They have brought scripture into direct conflict with science, or at least their view of scripture. Creationists, in the modern context, take scripture and desire to prove that it is a legitimate way to judge science or judge historical research and archeology. This is not a good way to approach the issue, and certainly isn't the way the Fathers looked at the problem. For them, there wasn't a problem, because they didn't feel the need to reconcile the two. This is the same today, religion and science do not and cannot contradict one another. Science doesn't try to pry into the matters of religion and spirituality, and science cannot judge whether or not God exists. At the same time, religion is not about trying to prove science right or wrong.

If science says the earth is older than 6,000 years, we have to understand that they doesn't have to, and does not necessarily contradict the scriptures. It is our interpretation of the scripture, which can sometimes be faulty, that leads us to believe science contradicts the Bible.

There is a whole world out there that science has discovered, and in my view, it has just blown my mind and caused me to marvel at God's creation even more. The fact that we aren't just big bodies of material, but we are all made up of little tiny atomic particles and there is an entire molecular and atomic world that we are a part of, but that we aren't aware of, even while it is essential to our very being. Or the theories that now suggest that not only is our universe very vast, continually expanding and composed of innumerable bodies, but that we are probably not the only universe, and that there might possibly be a multiverse.

Such ideas don't contradict scripture, and we don't have to assume that they inevitably have to. Science deals with creation, but Orthodoxy deals with God, who is uncreated and ever-existing, the creator of all creation. It is about our salvation and how we, God's creation become like God himself.

Whether Adam was a literal human being, or Eve was a literal human being, or that the Garden was a literal physical garden is nearly irrelevant because the point is not to show that it was this "literal" historical act that occurred that caused our fall, but the point is that we are human beings, created by God, after his image and likeness, and we fell and Christ became a human being and saved us from eternal death, separation from God.

The conclusion that some, like Bart Ehrman made, was that because their fundamentalist ideas were wrong, that the Bible and its figures are lying. They jumped from one extreme to the other, rather than considering the middle. Rather than asking themselves that maybe their view of scripture was a bit flawed, their "all or nothing" attitude led to them completely abandoning the very faith and scriptures they had once held as infallible.

Maybe I can draw another analogy. Science, psychology and research has shown that some people are born homosexual. I know some Christians who will fight tooth and nail against this, supposing that to be born that way means God must approve of it. Yet there is another position, which I take, that says that it doesn't matter how we are born, because we are all born into the fallen state of mankind, and we are all born with imperfections and inclinations to sin. Being born a certain way, with certain predispositions doesn't give that person an excuse or "pardon" to entertain those predispositions. Rather, it is more of a reason to sympathize with man's fallen nature and have mercy on these people, and recognize that while we may not be able to change their psychology or predispositions, we can help them grow and be able to fight against temptation and against sin to the best of their abilities.

I've found that Orthodoxy most often pulls toward the middle position rather than one extreme or the other. We also tend not to define things that we don't know about. There isn't a consensus on how to interpret Genesis and all we are called to believe is that God created all things. As I said earlier, my problem with creationism simply lays in the reasoning behind their position. If their position is set upon a theological opinion based on a reading of the fathers and scripture, it's permissible. However, if their position is like the fundamentalists, and based upon the idea that science is opposed to Christianity and also in their notion that the Bible (how they interpret it) "can't be wrong", then that position is flawed and shouldn't be considered an "orthodox" view.
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2012, 08:32:28 PM »

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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2012, 09:05:58 PM »

Darwin himself made this mistake, and bought into a lot of the philosophy of his day. While he isn't an authority, i'll paraphrase another Orthodox layperson about Darwin. That although I believe in evolution (to an extent), the fact that Darwin's ideas suddenly were discovered during a time where philosophers were searching for an excuse to exclude God from creation is just too convenient.
Haven't philosophers always searched for a reason to exclude the supernatural?
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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2012, 09:22:40 PM »

Partially off-topic, but I know that Protestants are very big on the literalistic approach to everything with Scripture. So my question to you is this, how do you interpret stories of genocide in the Old Testament and things that are scientifically impossible? Like Noah surviving inside of a fish or the 'sun stopping' for Joshua when in reality if something like that happened with the sun, the entire world as we know it would be changed. Isn't the main purpose about how we can take these stories--whether they literally happened in a particular way or not--and see how we can foresee Christ within it and learn a spiritual lesson from them?
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2012, 09:50:44 PM »

Partially off-topic, but I know that Protestants are very big on the literalistic approach to everything with Scripture. So my question to you is this, how do you interpret stories of genocide in the Old Testament and things that are scientifically impossible? Like Noah surviving inside of a fish or the 'sun stopping' for Joshua when in reality if something like that happened with the sun, the entire world as we know it would be changed. Isn't the main purpose about how we can take these stories--whether they literally happened in a particular way or not--and see how we can foresee Christ within it and learn a spiritual lesson from them?
It was Jonah, not Noah.
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2012, 10:00:26 PM »

Darwin himself made this mistake, and bought into a lot of the philosophy of his day. While he isn't an authority, i'll paraphrase another Orthodox layperson about Darwin. That although I believe in evolution (to an extent), the fact that Darwin's ideas suddenly were discovered during a time where philosophers were searching for an excuse to exclude God from creation is just too convenient.
Haven't philosophers always searched for a reason to exclude the supernatural?

Scientists are not philosophers, and I would argue that there are some Orthodox Christians and Fathers who were "philosophers". But yes, you are essentially right, modern philosophers are pretty hung up with explaining away the supernatural.
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« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2012, 10:56:13 AM »

Partially off-topic, but I know that Protestants are very big on the literalistic approach to everything with Scripture. So my question to you is this, how do you interpret stories of genocide in the Old Testament and things that are scientifically impossible? Like Noah surviving inside of a fish or the 'sun stopping' for Joshua when in reality if something like that happened with the sun, the entire world as we know it would be changed. Isn't the main purpose about how we can take these stories--whether they literally happened in a particular way or not--and see how we can foresee Christ within it and learn a spiritual lesson from them?

Is it really impossible for God to "stop the sun" or stop the earth or stop a galaxy and at the same time prevent any impact on anything else? I'm come on really, it's seems that something of that sort would be a trivial matter for Him.
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2012, 11:01:40 AM »

Partially off-topic, but I know that Protestants are very big on the literalistic approach to everything with Scripture. So my question to you is this, how do you interpret stories of genocide in the Old Testament and things that are scientifically impossible? Like Noah surviving inside of a fish or the 'sun stopping' for Joshua when in reality if something like that happened with the sun, the entire world as we know it would be changed. Isn't the main purpose about how we can take these stories--whether they literally happened in a particular way or not--and see how we can foresee Christ within it and learn a spiritual lesson from them?

Is it really impossible for God to "stop the sun" or stop the earth or stop a galaxy and at the same time prevent any impact on anything else? I'm come on really, it's seems that something of that sort would be a trivial matter for Him.

This. For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

Darwin himself made this mistake, and bought into a lot of the philosophy of his day. While he isn't an authority, i'll paraphrase another Orthodox layperson about Darwin. That although I believe in evolution (to an extent), the fact that Darwin's ideas suddenly were discovered during a time where philosophers were searching for an excuse to exclude God from creation is just too convenient.
Haven't philosophers always searched for a reason to exclude the supernatural?

No.
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« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2012, 11:32:25 AM »

Just because God can do something doesn't mean that he has or will do so.

The question is being dodged if you ask "did this really happen?" And the answer given is "Don't you believe God can do it?"
The question is not can God do it, but did he?

If you get caught up on the idea that the sun absolutely must have stopped, without question, your not thinking like the Fathers and that line of thinking is much more similar to Western Christianity, not Eastern.

Could God have created the earth in six literal days? Yes. But did God create the earth in six literal days a few thousand years ago? All evidence points to no, he didn't.

The literal interpretation of the Genesis account, from my view, actually is less of a display of God's power than modern ideas of evolution, geology and astronomy. Science is showing the universe to be extremely old, and extremely complex at every level, and yet it's all pretty much ordered. I find the evolutionary explanation to be far more of an illustration that God exists and created all things than a literalistic interpretation of Genesis would give.

If you look at the odds we have overcome according to science and math just to be here and be as we are, it's incredible. God didn't just leave everything alone at creation, and I think evolution and modern science is showing his involvement throughout creation. He is not a "God of the gaps" and we can't plug him into anything we don't know in science, but I think we can and must believe that his hand has been active this whole time, while also respecting his creation and letting it run its course.
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« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2012, 11:37:33 AM »

That something can be interpreted metaphorically (such as Jonah and the whale - see Matthew 12:39-40) doesn't mean it didn't happen literally as well.
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« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2012, 11:49:42 AM »

That something can be interpreted metaphorically (such as Jonah and the whale - see Matthew 12:39-40) doesn't mean it didn't happen literally as well.

Just because something is in the Bible doesn't mean it should be interpreted literally either.

We don't practice blind faith and blind adherence.

God interacts with his creation, but I think it has been shown that he doesn't completely go against it. If one focuses on how the story of Jonah and the whale must be literal, they aren't looking at it the right way and are missing the real point of the story.

It's almost legalistic. Like people who suggest that the epiclesis must be said for the gifts to become the body and blood of Christ, as if it were some hocus pocus formula that must always be said. This is where they fail to realize that the epiclesis didn't always exist and is unique to the Christian East.
Or like those who suggest we should respect and listen to Priests or Bishops because they have received the laying on of hands. They fail to realize that there isn't a formula that judges authority and orthodoxy, but rather adherence to the faith once for all delivered to us.

If Jonah wasn't literally in a whale for three days and three nights, what do we lose? Nothing.
If Adam wasn't a literal human being who you could travel back and touch and see, what do we lose? Nothing.

If we don't lose anything important by moving beyond the literal (or even disregarding it) then it isn't essential.

An example of a story that must be literal is the resurrection. If Christ didn't literally rise from the dead, what do we lose? Well, we lose everything, we are still in our sin and subject to death (eternal death).
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« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2012, 11:55:12 AM »

That something can be interpreted metaphorically (such as Jonah and the whale - see Matthew 12:39-40) doesn't mean it didn't happen literally as well.
God interacts with his creation, but I think it has been shown that he doesn't completely go against it. If one focuses on how the story of Jonah and the whale must be literal, they aren't looking at it the right way and are missing the real point of the story.

I never said anything about focusing on the literal aspect. I just said that a literal and spiritual interpretation isn't always mutually exclusive.

That something can be interpreted metaphorically (such as Jonah and the whale - see Matthew 12:39-40) doesn't mean it didn't happen literally as well.

An example of a story that must be literal is the resurrection. If Christ didn't literally rise from the dead, what do we lose? Well, we lose everything, we are still in our sin and subject to death (eternal death).

So we're looking for the bare minimum now?
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« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2012, 12:37:15 PM »

Just because God can do something doesn't mean that he has or will do so.

The question is being dodged if you ask "did this really happen?" And the answer given is "Don't you believe God can do it?"
The question is not can God do it, but did he?

If you get caught up on the idea that the sun absolutely must have stopped, without question, your not thinking like the Fathers and that line of thinking is much more similar to Western Christianity, not Eastern.

Could God have created the earth in six literal days? Yes. But did God create the earth in six literal days a few thousand years ago? All evidence points to no, he didn't.

The literal interpretation of the Genesis account, from my view, actually is less of a display of God's power than modern ideas of evolution, geology and astronomy. Science is showing the universe to be extremely old, and extremely complex at every level, and yet it's all pretty much ordered. I find the evolutionary explanation to be far more of an illustration that God exists and created all things than a literalistic interpretation of Genesis would give.

If you look at the odds we have overcome according to science and math just to be here and be as we are, it's incredible. God didn't just leave everything alone at creation, and I think evolution and modern science is showing his involvement throughout creation. He is not a "God of the gaps" and we can't plug him into anything we don't know in science, but I think we can and must believe that his hand has been active this whole time, while also respecting his creation and letting it run its course.


I can not disagree with anything you have said, I just don't know any of the evidence that says "it appears to be not literal"
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« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2012, 07:40:53 PM »

Interpretation of the Resurrection, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of Exodus, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of The Ten Commandments, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the The Prophet Daniel in the den of lions, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the entire Bible, literal or spiritual?

Get the picture here?  See the dangers?  See the problems?

(I wouldn't use Wikipedia for much of anything outside a starting point.)
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« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2012, 09:23:18 PM »

Interpretation of the Resurrection, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of Exodus, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of The Ten Commandments, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the The Prophet Daniel in the den of lions, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the entire Bible, literal or spiritual?

Get the picture here?  See the dangers?  See the problems?

(I wouldn't use Wikipedia for much of anything outside a starting point.)

Actually no, I don't see the problem as an Orthodox Christian. You lump them all together as though there were uniform.

The Bible is a collection of a bunch of different writings by different people, at different points in time. On top of that, they were almost all edited after their original composition. None of them were written by God himself, and none of them were dictated by God himself. They form a cohesive unit only because we have put them as such, and because the Church has regarded them as holy writings.

Some things within Exodus and other books of the Bible are to be taken literally, and some spiritually/allegorically. Some are actually to be taken both ways. But they are not all to be interpreted every single way. They aren't a cohesive unit and aren't the exact same as one another.

Like I pointed out before, take a look at Isaiah's vision of heaven and the Book of Revelation. There may be a few things within those writings that can be taken literally, but a huge part of those writings are to be understood as allegorical and typological. In fact, Revelation almost didn't make it into the canon because people were taking it literally. Remember, it is the Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) which declares what is canon, it isn't anything else. The scriptures aren't our source of authority, they are a part of the Church's "Holy Tradition" and don't stand above the Church, just as none of the Fathers or Saints stand above the Church.

What does the Nicene Creed say about this issue? All it says, is that "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible." In Greek: "Πιστεύω εἰς ἕνα Θεόν, Πατέρα, Παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων."

ποιέω, is the word that is translated "creator" or "maker" in English. The base word can mean make, do, cause, effect, bring about, accomplish, perform, provide, create, produce, yield, bear, put forth, give, prepare, keep, celebrate etc...

In effect, the Nicene Creed does not tell us how God created, but we are to believe that he did create all things. We aren't told that we must believe Genesis is literal or that we must believe evolution is true. We are given the ability to choose and form our theolegoumena, our theology opinion on the issue. Essentially, it doesn't matter how God created, but that he did.

That is what I'm trying to say here. There isn't a problem with people believing Genesis 1 & 2 describe how it was created. The problem is with people who believe that, and who believe that we absolutely must interpret Genesis in that way.

The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy and doesn't hold up in an argument. To say that if you don't literally interpret one thing, then that inevitably leads to a rejection of the literal interpretation of other things is the slippery slope fallacy. Look to the Nicene Creed, and you will see what is essential, and what isn't.

I don't care if people believe Genesis is literal, just as long as they don't insist that it must be that way and that it must be interpreted literally. Protestants are able to make this argument amongst themselves because their authority is the Bible and is shown by "Sola Scriptura" and the belief in the infallibility of all scripture. However, amongst Orthodox Christians, we don't hold such ideas, and our authority is Christ, who has granted the Church authority.
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« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2012, 09:52:42 PM »

At some point, it all becomes subjective to one’s own personal views (desires) as to what they want it to be.  Everything is open to interpretation and alteration, making it meaningless and thus nothing more than a philosophy for one to use as a guideline to lead a "nice" life.

In other words, it leads to the very thing you seem to despise about Protestantism.

None of them were written by God himself, and none of them were dictated by God himself.

Does anything we have fall into this category?  You seem to miss the point of inspired writing at the hand of God.

The scriptures aren't our source of authority, they are a part of the Church's "Holy Tradition" and don't stand above the Church,

They have the same authority as Tradition, or did you forget the two pillars on which the Church stands?  If what you say is true, why even keep them around due to their lack of importance?  According to what you say, they hold the same value as a moral teaching in Hindu.

Slippery slope is not a logical fallacy and we have thousands of denominations and false religions in the world to prove it.  Departing from historical Christian beliefs to fit into modern “enlightenment” leads to a dead faith.

I don't care if people believe Genesis is literal, just as long as they don't insist that it must be that way and that it must be interpreted literally.

What is funny about this statement is the truth is evidently opposite of the words as you are the only one fighting to be accepted as the one who holds the truth of the matter.  You are the one making this a debate.  All we are saying is, “You may not be right.”

The question I put forth is, "Who gets to say what is true, what is myth, and what is outright wrong?"  Anyone dumb enough to think they can speak individually as an authority figure on the mind of God and how He did things none of us were around to witness has some serious problems to work through.
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« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2012, 09:56:35 PM »

Interpretation of the Resurrection, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of Exodus, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of The Ten Commandments, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the The Prophet Daniel in the den of lions, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the entire Bible, literal or spiritual?

Get the picture here?  See the dangers?  See the problems?

(I wouldn't use Wikipedia for much of anything outside a starting point.)

Actually no, I don't see the problem as an Orthodox Christian. You lump them all together as though there were uniform.

They are. 
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« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2012, 10:05:46 PM »

Interpretation of the Resurrection, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of Exodus, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of The Ten Commandments, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the The Prophet Daniel in the den of lions, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the entire Bible, literal or spiritual?

Get the picture here?  See the dangers?  See the problems?

(I wouldn't use Wikipedia for much of anything outside a starting point.)

Actually no, I don't see the problem as an Orthodox Christian. You lump them all together as though there were uniform.

They are. 
Says who? Don't see Daniel in the lions' den as being on the same level as the resurrection.
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« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2012, 10:06:49 PM »

I'd rather say it's mostly myth. And don't mistake me for saying it's not true either.
I don't get it.  Please clarify.
Myth is indeed the right word. I used "poetry" earlier with much the same point.

Here's the Wikipedia definition of myth:
Quote
In folkloristics, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form, although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story. Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form". Myths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests. They may arise as overelaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. They are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach.

Myths are intended to teach the "why" rather than the "what" or "how", which is what science tries to do.

I love how word definitions are changed to fit the moment rather than being constant, the way they should.
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« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2012, 10:13:59 PM »

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.


What on earth are you talking about here?  Heaven isn’t real?  Angels aren’t real?  Really?  I became Orthodox because I believed it was the true and original Church, and now I find people saying stuff like this!  The modern age of ignorance masked as intelligence.  I can only shake my head as this type of foolishness has found its way into even Orthodoxy.  So very sad.  What next?  God isn't real, rather a word used to describe unity within the universe?  Good grief!
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« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2012, 10:17:42 PM »

Interpretation of the Resurrection, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of Exodus, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of The Ten Commandments, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the The Prophet Daniel in the den of lions, literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literal or spiritual?

Interpretation of the entire Bible, literal or spiritual?

Get the picture here?  See the dangers?  See the problems?

(I wouldn't use Wikipedia for much of anything outside a starting point.)

Actually no, I don't see the problem as an Orthodox Christian. You lump them all together as though there were uniform.

They are. 
Says who? Don't see Daniel in the lions' den as being on the same level as the resurrection.

Who says they are not?  Stop thinking inside a tiny box and look around at the big picture.  Can you prove any of the other things actually happened the way described in the bible?  No, yet, for thousands of years these have been accepted as true.  When you dismiss one miracle of God as described in scripture as myth, the others will follow.  We see this sort of thing happen every day.  It’s the systematic deconstruction of Christianity, and now it has apparently crept into the Orthodox Church. 
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« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2012, 10:25:10 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2012, 10:29:59 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #52 on: November 03, 2012, 10:47:10 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

We aren't Jews, and the opinions/views of the Jews aren't really relevant to us as Orthodox Christians. In fact, it really depends on how you use the term Jewish, because Ancient Israel IS the Church. At the same time, Jewish interpretation, especially prior to Christ, was very limited and didn't even see the whole picture.
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« Reply #53 on: November 03, 2012, 10:57:06 PM »

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.


What on earth are you talking about here?  Heaven isn’t real?  Angels aren’t real?  Really?  I became Orthodox because I believed it was the true and original Church, and now I find people saying stuff like this!  The modern age of ignorance masked as intelligence.  I can only shake my head as this type of foolishness has found its way into even Orthodoxy.  So very sad.  What next?  God isn't real, rather a word used to describe unity within the universe?  Good grief!

As I've said before, you're thinking far too much like a Westerner.

If we want to talk about "reality", it is proper to say that God isn't even "real", he is beyond all reality.

As for Heaven, heaven is not a real place. Heaven and hell are not physical places. This is actually a Western Christian idea that confused the ancient terms for Sheol &  Hades for the post-resurrectional "Hell". Heaven & Hell are words to denote the temporary state of our souls until the Day of Judgement. The souls of the righteous departed are in the "presence" of God (remember God doesn't have a body, Jesus the Word does, but the Father & Holy Spirit don't) where some of his glory is revealed to them, and they experience a foretaste of what they will experience on the day of judgement. The same is for those who are unrighteous, they are exposed to a little bit of the glory of God, experiencing a foretaste of what will be coming at the Day of Judgement. Also, the state of the unrighteous is not permanent, but because their souls are separated from their bodies, they cannot do anything to affect their own salvation. Our prayers improve their state, the grace of God burns them less and less, and they are able to see more of his glory as illumination. When the Day of Judgement comes, they may receive it as glory, or they may refuse to accept him and receive it as an ever-consuming fire.
We don't "go" to heaven or "go" to hell, as they aren't places, they are states of our souls (which are not physical things).

Angels are also not "real" in the sense you and I think of reality. They are bodiless hosts, they have no physicality, but can manifest themselves to us in physical appearance on earth.

Kerdy, I think you may need to take a step back, and look at what the Orthodox Church & it's Fathers say about things. What I'm saying is not "new-age" and it isn't new within Orthodoxy, in fact it is pretty old. For Western Christians like you and I, some of these things are pretty hard to comprehend, just like Iconography and the Theotokos. But you learn that it is far more biblical than the Western ideas that began to be popularized in medieval times and especially after the writing of Dante's Inferno and Roman Catholic teachings about heaven, hell, judgement etc...
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« Reply #54 on: November 03, 2012, 11:02:03 PM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?
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« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2012, 11:03:54 PM »

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.


What on earth are you talking about here?  Heaven isn’t real?  Angels aren’t real?  Really?  I became Orthodox because I believed it was the true and original Church, and now I find people saying stuff like this!  The modern age of ignorance masked as intelligence.  I can only shake my head as this type of foolishness has found its way into even Orthodoxy.  So very sad.  What next?  God isn't real, rather a word used to describe unity within the universe?  Good grief!

As I've said before, you're thinking far too much like a Westerner.

I disagree.  I believe the problem is I am thinking, in general.  This has very little, if anything, to do with Western vs. Eastern thinking.  Rather, it has to do with someone actually considering the material and processing that information into a rational conclusion.  But that’s my opinion.

How long before Tradition is deconstructed as well?  After all, it wasn’t written by God himself, and none of Tradition was dictated by God himself.
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« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2012, 11:05:14 PM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?

We can believe that God is the creator of all things, and evolution is one of the parts of his creation.
We can also believe that God is the creator of all things and that Genesis tells us how he created everything.

The Church doesn't tell us what to believe about how he created. The Church just says that we must believe that God created all things visible and invisible. Beyond that, we can form our own theological opinions on the matter.
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« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

We aren't Jews, and the opinions/views of the Jews aren't really relevant to us as Orthodox Christians. In fact, it really depends on how you use the term Jewish, because Ancient Israel IS the Church. At the same time, Jewish interpretation, especially prior to Christ, was very limited and didn't even see the whole picture.

Jesus was the first Christian.  Jews contribute nothing to Christianity.  The clock started a the year 0, unless we are talking about evolution.  Then it started at...what are they saying this year?
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« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2012, 11:07:42 PM »

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.


What on earth are you talking about here?  Heaven isn’t real?  Angels aren’t real?  Really?  I became Orthodox because I believed it was the true and original Church, and now I find people saying stuff like this!  The modern age of ignorance masked as intelligence.  I can only shake my head as this type of foolishness has found its way into even Orthodoxy.  So very sad.  What next?  God isn't real, rather a word used to describe unity within the universe?  Good grief!

As I've said before, you're thinking far too much like a Westerner.

I disagree.  I believe the problem is I am thinking, in general.  This has very little, if anything, to do with Western vs. Eastern thinking.  Rather, it has to do with someone actually considering the material and processing that information into a rational conclusion.  But that’s my opinion.

How long before Tradition is deconstructed as well?  After all, it wasn’t written by God himself, and none of Tradition was dictated by God himself.


Again, you're falling into the "slippery slope" fallacy which is a logical fallacy and that line of thinking presents holes in rational thought and argument.
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« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2012, 11:09:37 PM »

As for Heaven, heaven is not a real place.
Then I suppose there is no reason for further discussion on the topic.  No heaven.  Got it.
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« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2012, 11:09:51 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

We aren't Jews, and the opinions/views of the Jews aren't really relevant to us as Orthodox Christians. In fact, it really depends on how you use the term Jewish, because Ancient Israel IS the Church. At the same time, Jewish interpretation, especially prior to Christ, was very limited and didn't even see the whole picture.

Jesus was the first Christian.  Jews contribute nothing to Christianity.  The clock started a the year 0, unless we are talking about evolution.  Then it started at...what are they saying this year?

Actually no, the Church teaches that while the institution, headed by the Bishops was founded at Pentecost, the Church is actually the continuation of Ancient Israel. The unrighteous Jews lost their inheritance and their covenant with God when they finally killed and rejected him. The righteous Jews kept their inheritance and their covenant with God, and the Gentiles were grafted into that body, which became "The Church" and is now called the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2012, 11:10:07 PM »

When one gets caught up in the idea that Genesis has to be literal, or gets caught up in the idea that heaven must be a real place with real physical angels and a real physician throne; then they are missing the entire point of the passages and in fact, are thinking way too much like Westerners and too much like the Jews or Muslims.


What on earth are you talking about here?  Heaven isn’t real?  Angels aren’t real?  Really?  I became Orthodox because I believed it was the true and original Church, and now I find people saying stuff like this!  The modern age of ignorance masked as intelligence.  I can only shake my head as this type of foolishness has found its way into even Orthodoxy.  So very sad.  What next?  God isn't real, rather a word used to describe unity within the universe?  Good grief!

As I've said before, you're thinking far too much like a Westerner.

I disagree.  I believe the problem is I am thinking, in general.  This has very little, if anything, to do with Western vs. Eastern thinking.  Rather, it has to do with someone actually considering the material and processing that information into a rational conclusion.  But that’s my opinion.

How long before Tradition is deconstructed as well?  After all, it wasn’t written by God himself, and none of Tradition was dictated by God himself.


Again, you're falling into the "slippery slope" fallacy which is a logical fallacy and that line of thinking presents holes in rational thought and argument.

If you say so. 
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« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2012, 11:13:22 PM »

As for Heaven, heaven is not a real place.
Then I suppose there is no reason for further discussion on the topic.  No heaven.  Got it.

You're not listening to what I'm saying, but then again, I'm getting the feeling you don't really seem like you want to. You're jumping to conclusions and falling into logical fallacies with your arguments.

Heaven is not a real place, just as angels don't have real physical bodies. (that is why our Church and prayers refer to them as "bodiless hosts")

Heaven "exists" and is simply the way a righteous soul receives God's grace between now and the day of judgement. After the day of judgement, the righteous receive the fullness of God's grace and grow more and more like him, receiving by his grace what he is by his own nature, but never being equal with him.
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« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2012, 11:17:58 PM »

As for Heaven, heaven is not a real place.
Then I suppose there is no reason for further discussion on the topic.  No heaven.  Got it.

You're not listening to what I'm saying, but then again, I'm getting the feeling you don't really seem like you want to. You're jumping to conclusions and falling into logical fallacies with your arguments.

Heaven is not a real place, just as angels don't have real physical bodies. (that is why our Church and prayers refer to them as "bodiless hosts")

Heaven "exists" and is simply the way a righteous soul receives God's grace between now and the day of judgement. After the day of judgement, the righteous receive the fullness of God's grace and grow more and more like him, receiving by his grace what he is by his own nature, but never being equal with him.

I understand.  Its semantics.  I’m just done playing the game.
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« Reply #64 on: November 03, 2012, 11:19:39 PM »

I wonder.  Do the Coptics have this problem as well or are they really unchanged?
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« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2012, 11:20:27 PM »

I wonder.  Do the Coptics have this problem as well or are they really unchanged?

You're judging us as if we've changed something? By what authority do you base this on?
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« Reply #66 on: November 04, 2012, 01:30:35 AM »



I don't care if people believe Genesis is literal, just as long as they don't insist that it must be that way and that it must be interpreted literally. Protestants are able to make this argument amongst themselves because their authority is the Bible and is shown by "Sola Scriptura" and the belief in the infallibility of all scripture. However, amongst Orthodox Christians, we don't hold such ideas, and our authority is Christ, who has granted the Church authority.

Patriarch Alexeii II of Moscow, editor’s preface to Pravoslavnoye osmysleniye tvoreniya mira I sovremennaya nauka, vol. 4 (2008), p. 3
A polarity of worldviews poses the task today of introducing students to a wide range of views on fundamental questions. Such questions traditionally refer to the problems of the origin of life, the origin of the universe, and the appearance of man. And no harm will be done to a schoolboy if he knows the Biblical theory of the origin of the world. Man’s realization that he is the crown of God’s creation will only elevate him; if someone wants to think that he has descended from apes, let him think that way, but let him not thrust it on someone else.
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« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2012, 01:33:35 AM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?

The Church doesn't tell us what to believe about how he created. The Church just says that we must believe that God created all things visible and invisible. Beyond that, we can form our own theological opinions on the matter.

says who? seriously - quote just one Saint, just one canon that expresses this viewpoint. prove to us you're not just saying whatever the heck you feel like saying.
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« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2012, 03:22:39 AM »

says who? seriously - quote just one Saint, just one canon that expresses this viewpoint. prove to us you're not just saying whatever the heck you feel like saying.

I could say that about a lot of things that you, as a modern man, accept without question.
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« Reply #69 on: November 04, 2012, 03:23:35 AM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?

The Church doesn't tell us what to believe about how he created. The Church just says that we must believe that God created all things visible and invisible. Beyond that, we can form our own theological opinions on the matter.

says who? seriously - quote just one Saint, just one canon that expresses this viewpoint. prove to us you're not just saying whatever the heck you feel like saying.
I decided to pull out my Orthodox Study Bible today and see what it says, if anything, about all this.  While it does say the Church has not dogmatized the Creation account (mostly likely as a result of universal acceptance within the Church until recently), it did say all life was created as we know it, instantaneously.  I can get it and quote it if I need, but anyone with an OSB can easily look it up.  Not sure how evolution, big bang, or any other human concept created in the last couple of hundred years falls into this instantaneous creation of life, but I think I will stick to what has been held as truth since the beginning of humanity.  If this, somehow, makes me less Orthodox, so be it.  Then again, I don’t see how changing what has always been known as truth as being anything resembling an Orthodox view.  If we keep it us, we will all be Roman Catholic.  There I go with a slippery slope again, as if anything bad has ever come from straying from our origins.  
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« Reply #70 on: November 04, 2012, 03:26:05 AM »

I don’t see how changing what has always been known as truth as being anything resembling and Orthodox view.  If we keep it us, we will all be Roman Catholic.


What about this kind of Roman Catholic?

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/geocentrism.html

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« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2012, 03:29:13 AM »

I don’t see how changing what has always been known as truth as being anything resembling and Orthodox view.  If we keep it us, we will all be Roman Catholic.


What about this kind of Roman Catholic?

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/geocentrism.html




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« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2012, 06:39:13 AM »

I wonder.  Do the Coptics have this problem as well or are they really unchanged?

The judgment of the God-bearing Fathers of Chalcedon obviously pales in comparison to the issue of whether life on earth evolved by the mechanism described by Darwin.
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« Reply #73 on: November 04, 2012, 06:44:17 AM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.

Shall we interpret the words of the God-seeing Prophet Moses, then, by the method of the Pharisees or that of the Sadducees?
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« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2012, 06:50:18 AM »

The question I put forth is, "Who gets to say what is true, what is myth, and what is outright wrong?"

Ask our God-bearing Fathers: they made judgments of precisely that sort all the time.

Did St John Chrysostom err when he said that "God does not have feet"?
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« Reply #75 on: November 04, 2012, 06:55:00 AM »

What is the comparison between us Orthodox Christian Vs Judaism, how do they interpret creation, http://www.jpost.com/ according to that website the year is 5773 from creation ?.
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« Reply #76 on: November 04, 2012, 12:10:49 PM »

That's a real shame.

I loved the Ubaid Period.
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« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2012, 05:24:55 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.

Shall we interpret the words of the God-seeing Prophet Moses, then, by the method of the Pharisees or that of the Sadducees?

I suggest by the words of Moses.
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« Reply #78 on: November 04, 2012, 05:25:27 PM »

I wonder.  Do the Coptics have this problem as well or are they really unchanged?

The judgment of the God-bearing Fathers of Chalcedon obviously pales in comparison to the issue of whether life on earth evolved by the mechanism described by Darwin.

I have no idea what you mean.
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« Reply #79 on: November 04, 2012, 05:25:51 PM »

The question I put forth is, "Who gets to say what is true, what is myth, and what is outright wrong?"

Ask our God-bearing Fathers: they made judgments of precisely that sort all the time.

Did St John Chrysostom err when he said that "God does not have feet"?

Again, I am unsure of what your mean.
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« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2012, 05:30:08 PM »

Man’s realization that he is the crown of God’s creation will only elevate him; if someone wants to think that he has descended from apes the dust of the ground, let him think that way, but let him not thrust it on someone else.
Huh
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« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2012, 06:50:40 PM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?

The Church doesn't tell us what to believe about how he created. The Church just says that we must believe that God created all things visible and invisible. Beyond that, we can form our own theological opinions on the matter.

says who? seriously - quote just one Saint, just one canon that expresses this viewpoint. prove to us you're not just saying whatever the heck you feel like saying.
I decided to pull out my Orthodox Study Bible today and see what it says, if anything, about all this.  While it does say the Church has not dogmatized the Creation account (mostly likely as a result of universal acceptance within the Church until recently), it did say all life was created as we know it, instantaneously.  I can get it and quote it if I need, but anyone with an OSB can easily look it up.  Not sure how evolution, big bang, or any other human concept created in the last couple of hundred years falls into this instantaneous creation of life, but I think I will stick to what has been held as truth since the beginning of humanity.  If this, somehow, makes me less Orthodox, so be it.  Then again, I don’t see how changing what has always been known as truth as being anything resembling an Orthodox view.  If we keep it us, we will all be Roman Catholic.  There I go with a slippery slope again, as if anything bad has ever come from straying from our origins.  
That almost made me spit my espresso on my keyboard: that OSB is quoted as a dogmatic authority.
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« Reply #82 on: November 04, 2012, 07:09:23 PM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.

Shall we interpret the words of the God-seeing Prophet Moses, then, by the method of the Pharisees or that of the Sadducees?

I suggest by the words of Moses.

But the Prophet's words do not interpret themselves. What did the Prophet mean when he wrote that he saw the Lord's back, for example? Our God-bearing Fathers have had different things to say about the meaning of those words.
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« Reply #83 on: November 04, 2012, 07:12:13 PM »

I wonder.  Do the Coptics have this problem as well or are they really unchanged?

The judgment of the God-bearing Fathers of Chalcedon obviously pales in comparison to the issue of whether life on earth evolved by the mechanism described by Darwin.

I have no idea what you mean.

Forgive me, I am not trying to be deliberately obtuse.

It seems to me that you are suggesting that the Copts are "unchanged" if they do not accept Darwin's theory, yet, by communing with the Greeks, do you not confess that the Copts do not hold to the unchanged Apostolic faith? It seems to me that you are making Darwin's theory a bigger deal than the Council of Chalcedon.

I'm sorry if I am putting words in your mouth.
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« Reply #84 on: November 04, 2012, 07:15:51 PM »

The question I put forth is, "Who gets to say what is true, what is myth, and what is outright wrong?"

Ask our God-bearing Fathers: they made judgments of precisely that sort all the time.

Did St John Chrysostom err when he said that "God does not have feet"?

Again, I am unsure of what your mean.

What I mean to say is that the Fathers did not hesitate to say "this cannot be understood literally", or "this is allegory", or "this is both historical and typological". So, while we might not be qualified to make such judgments, our God-bearing Fathers certainly did and do. Isn't that what St John was doing when he said that God does not have a back, even though the Book of Exodus, on its face, suggests that He does indeed?
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« Reply #85 on: November 04, 2012, 07:44:20 PM »

The scriptures can be dangerous indeed
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« Reply #86 on: November 04, 2012, 07:55:33 PM »

As I've pointed out before, the book of Revelation was almost rejected as a canonical book because it was being interpreted too literally by people. That is one of the main reasons we cannot and do not read it in our services.

I'm glad the church doesn't handcuff us and tell us how to interpret Genesis, we are given incredible freedom. Otherwise we would end up being more like Protestant Fundamentalists than the Church.
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« Reply #87 on: November 05, 2012, 06:15:27 AM »

As Orthodox Christians do we believe in Theistic Evolution ?

The Church doesn't tell us what to believe about how he created. The Church just says that we must believe that God created all things visible and invisible. Beyond that, we can form our own theological opinions on the matter.

says who? seriously - quote just one Saint, just one canon that expresses this viewpoint. prove to us you're not just saying whatever the heck you feel like saying.
I decided to pull out my Orthodox Study Bible today and see what it says, if anything, about all this.  While it does say the Church has not dogmatized the Creation account (mostly likely as a result of universal acceptance within the Church until recently), it did say all life was created as we know it, instantaneously.  I can get it and quote it if I need, but anyone with an OSB can easily look it up.  Not sure how evolution, big bang, or any other human concept created in the last couple of hundred years falls into this instantaneous creation of life, but I think I will stick to what has been held as truth since the beginning of humanity.  If this, somehow, makes me less Orthodox, so be it.  Then again, I don’t see how changing what has always been known as truth as being anything resembling an Orthodox view.  If we keep it us, we will all be Roman Catholic.  There I go with a slippery slope again, as if anything bad has ever come from straying from our origins.  
That almost made me spit my espresso on my keyboard: that OSB is quoted as a dogmatic authority.
It was?  When?
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« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2012, 06:15:59 AM »

This thread does *not* deserve 88 replies (at least not anymore).
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« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2012, 06:16:57 AM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.

Shall we interpret the words of the God-seeing Prophet Moses, then, by the method of the Pharisees or that of the Sadducees?

I suggest by the words of Moses.

But the Prophet's words do not interpret themselves. What did the Prophet mean when he wrote that he saw the Lord's back, for example? Our God-bearing Fathers have had different things to say about the meaning of those words.
Maybe he meant he saw the Lords back.
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« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2012, 09:17:22 AM »

Quote
Maybe he meant he saw the Lords back.

According to "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology", by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, he did not. At least, not literally. Neither did God have feet. And neither is heaven a physical place. Black-and-white, either-or thinking don't do scripture justice, in my opinion.

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« Reply #91 on: November 05, 2012, 09:39:06 AM »

"However, concerning the spiritual nature of God the Scripture speaks beginning with the very first words of the book of Genesis, and to the Prophet Moses God revealed Himself as He Who Is, as the pure, spiritual, Most High Existence. Therefore, by bodily symbols the Scripture teaches us to understand the spiritual attributes and actions of God."

-- Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, p.64, "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology"

"According to the Scriptures, God sleeps, He awakens, He grows angry, He walks, and He has the Cherubim as His throne. But when did He ever have infirmity? And have you ever heard that God is a body? Here there is presented something which does not exist in reality. For, in accordance with our own understanding we have given names to the things of God which are taken from ourselves... He walks, because walking is going from one place to another. He reposes and as it were dwells in the holy powers - and we have called this a 'sitting', and a 'sitting on a throne', which is likewise characteristic of us, for the Divinity does not repose in any place as well as in the saints. A swift movement we call 'flying'. If there is a beholding, we think of a 'face'; if there is a giving and a receiving, we speak of a 'hand'. Likewise, every other power and every other action of God are depicted among us by something taken from bodily things."

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Homily 31, Fifth Theological Oration, "On the Holy Spirit" (as quoted on  p.64 and 65, "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" )

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« Reply #92 on: November 05, 2012, 10:08:56 AM »

For those of us who take Genesis literally and we are to be textually faithfull how do we understand the waters, they were never actually said to be spoken into existance by God.  Are the waters then an eternal pre-existant substance?
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« Reply #93 on: November 05, 2012, 10:18:41 AM »

I'm cOnFuSed now.. I've always thought the appearances of God in Genesis, Exodus is the preincarnate Logos ?.
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« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2012, 10:33:37 AM »

How do you view Genesis, is it to be interpreted absolutely literally, and against science? Is it a holy, God-inspired work about our salvation which is not to be taken as a scientific document?

I also included a few other options for convenience as well, that way you are not compelled to take a side.

Also for discussion, should we interpret it absolutely literally, or should we interpret Genesis in a manner similar to other mystical and symbolical books of the Bible (allegorically, historically, typologically etc...)?

Is evolution simply the work of Satan used to deceive us? Or is it the likely reality of where we come from and simply the result of science discovering God's work?

What do the Jews believe, that would be the place to start.  Genesis was written thousands of years B.C. The Jews opinion on Genesis would be proper to get a good understanding.

Interpretations from me, some what 4-5,000 years later...  Shocked

God Bless Smiley

He already dismissed Jewish views on scripture earlier in the thread and said we don’t operate this way any longer.  Its new age Orthodoxy.

Shall we interpret the words of the God-seeing Prophet Moses, then, by the method of the Pharisees or that of the Sadducees?

I suggest by the words of Moses.

But the Prophet's words do not interpret themselves. What did the Prophet mean when he wrote that he saw the Lord's back, for example? Our God-bearing Fathers have had different things to say about the meaning of those words.
Maybe he meant he saw the Lords back.

Kerdy, I appreciate your posts and your positions, but we do need to make sure that we interpret the Scriptures as the Fathers did. God does not literally have a back - He is immaterial. If I recall correctly, St. Gregory of Nyssa says this is speaking of God's energies.
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« Reply #95 on: November 07, 2012, 07:22:48 AM »

“Over analysis” is a phrase which keeps popping up in my mind when I read this thread.  I wonder why.
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« Reply #96 on: November 07, 2012, 03:50:51 PM »

Kerdy, it has just been clearly demonstrated that the Fathers are against you in this and you flippantly accuse us who follow their interpretation of "over-analysis". Are you sure you're in the right Church?
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« Reply #97 on: November 08, 2012, 04:38:50 AM »

I have some questions and looking for understand.

1. Did God literally create us from the Dust of this Earth ?. Genesis 2:7
2. When Adam & Eve fell, God sent them out of the Garden. He made them Garments of Skin for Adam and his Wife. (Genesis 3:21) Are the Garments of Skin the skin we currently have at the moment or did he literally make us garments of skin from animals?.

Thanks

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« Reply #98 on: November 08, 2012, 09:29:41 AM »

Kerdy, it has just been clearly demonstrated that the Fathers are against you in this and you flippantly accuse us who follow their interpretation of "over-analysis". Are you sure you're in the right Church?
Over analysis of what I am saying.  But I do thank you for proving my point.  As to the jab of if I am in the right church, are you sure you don't have a Protestant lingering in the shadows of your mind?  That sounds exactly like something one of them would say.
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« Reply #99 on: November 08, 2012, 09:35:41 AM »

I have some questions and looking for understand.

1. Did God literally create us from the Dust of this Earth ?. Genesis 2:7
2. When Adam & Eve fell, God sent them out of the Garden. He made them Garments of Skin for Adam and his Wife. (Genesis 3:21) Are the Garments of Skin the skin we currently have at the moment or did he literally make us garments of skin from animals?.

Thanks


It all depends on who you ask.  

My answers would be yes and animal skin as clothing over human skin. 

Then again, some would say neither due to some sort of belief Adam and Eve were not real people.
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« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2012, 09:40:26 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?
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« Reply #101 on: November 08, 2012, 09:45:39 AM »

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?
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« Reply #102 on: November 08, 2012, 10:20:49 AM »

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?
Neither. And both. Why does it have to be one or the other?
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« Reply #103 on: November 08, 2012, 10:42:27 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say. 
The Church has always known what Genesis means to say: that God created the world.
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« Reply #104 on: November 08, 2012, 01:57:02 PM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

The problem with that process is that most of the time, the people didn't rejoice, they rejected the prophet. His message wouldn't be accepted until a long time after.

Kerdy, it has just been clearly demonstrated that the Fathers are against you in this and you flippantly accuse us who follow their interpretation of "over-analysis". Are you sure you're in the right Church?
Over analysis of what I am saying.  But I do thank you for proving my point.  As to the jab of if I am in the right church, are you sure you don't have a Protestant lingering in the shadows of your mind?  That sounds exactly like something one of them would say.

Actually, I'd say that out of all of us here, your view is the one which is the most like the Protestants and the Fundamentalists.

I'll refer you to some official Orthodox sources about the Bible and some of the things we are discussing.

The Bible & How the Orthodox Church uses it: http://oca.org/questions/scripture/bible

Evolution & Orthodoxy: http://oca.org/questions/contempmoral/evolution-orthodoxy

Scripture in the Orthodox Church: http://www.antiochian.org/discover/scripture

Faculty Statement on Creation Science and Evolution Science at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology: http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/religioused/resourcesforteachers/Faculty%20Statement%20on%20Creation%20and%20Evolution.pdf

I have some questions and looking for understand.

1. Did God literally create us from the Dust of this Earth ?. Genesis 2:7
2. When Adam & Eve fell, God sent them out of the Garden. He made them Garments of Skin for Adam and his Wife. (Genesis 3:21) Are the Garments of Skin the skin we currently have at the moment or did he literally make us garments of skin from animals?.

Thanks



The short answer is that the Church doesn't tell us how to interpret it.

My personal answer is that no, God didn't literally create us from the dust of the earth, and no, God didn't literally make them "garments of skin". All of those are meant to convey a deeper meaning. We see that Adam & Eve hid themselves from God and clothed themselves to hide their 'Nakedness". Their nakedness is symbolic of their fallen nature, their sin.

Also, there are some parts of the Bible which talk about God doing something, or "feeling" a certain way, and aren't necessarily mean to convey and actual literal truth. An example of this would be God becoming "wrathful" or "angry". Which God cannot do, but rather it is using human language to convey something spiritual and something that we cannot comprehend, that we can't possibly understand.

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?

Children are a little different than adults. When our children are learning the Bible, we tell them simpler stories and more literal stories. As they grow older, they begin to understand more and move past that elementary level. This is a simple fact of life and the development of our brains, they are incapable of certain reasoning skills that adults are capable of (but don't always utilize well).

So, well yes, you lied to her because Santa Claus does not exist. But it's an acceptable lie because while also teaching her throughout her childhood into adulthood, she will begin to understand that he isn't real, but the spirit that he is meant to represent is real.

Rather, the better decision is to speak honestly. I probably won't teach my kids that Santa Claus is real. Rather, I will teach them about the real St. Nicholas, whose story is real and far greater than the legend of Santa Claus.

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.
The Church has always known what Genesis means to say: that God created the world.

Exactly Jetavan.
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« Reply #105 on: November 08, 2012, 03:42:37 PM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

You mean like John 6, where everyone immediately perceived what the Lord meant?
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« Reply #106 on: November 09, 2012, 05:31:41 AM »

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?
Neither. And both. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Because only one is the truth.  In turn, why in the world would God provide us the jolly fat man story when it's easier, faster, and better simply to cut to the meant and potatos?  My guess, He wouldn't.  If He did, it was the only time.
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« Reply #107 on: November 09, 2012, 05:32:49 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say. 
The Church has always known what Genesis means to say: that God created the world.

Of course, but when one questions the means, eventually one questions the event.  This is human nature and proven itself true countless times.
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« Reply #108 on: November 09, 2012, 05:34:11 AM »

The short answer is that the Church doesn't tell us how to interpret it.

And yet, you feel it your duty to do this very thing.
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« Reply #109 on: November 09, 2012, 05:47:24 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

You mean like John 6, where everyone immediately perceived what the Lord meant?

I mean like Nebakanezer’s dream.  Daniel, the prophet, knew exactly what it meant.  God provided that for him.  It didn't take a thousand years for some college prep to decide what it meant.  But someone Daniels words couldn't, according to some, be interpreted then, like Moses, or Jesus for that matter (Temple destruction) or a great many other prophetic events.  Creation wasn’t written as a prophecy, it was written as a historical event.  When John the Baptist went around preaching of the coming of the Messiah, could his words not be interpreted for another 1000 years or did people know right then what he meant? 

Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.
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« Reply #110 on: November 09, 2012, 07:43:56 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

You mean like John 6, where everyone immediately perceived what the Lord meant?

I mean like Nebakanezer’s dream.  Daniel, the prophet, knew exactly what it meant.  God provided that for him.  It didn't take a thousand years for some college prep to decide what it meant.  But someone Daniels words couldn't, according to some, be interpreted then, like Moses, or Jesus for that matter (Temple destruction) or a great many other prophetic events.  Creation wasn’t written as a prophecy, it was written as a historical event.  When John the Baptist went around preaching of the coming of the Messiah, could his words not be interpreted for another 1000 years or did people know right then what he meant? 

Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.


Your argument is not with us, but with the Fathers.
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« Reply #111 on: November 09, 2012, 09:58:40 AM »


Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.

And yet look at what you're trying to do by lining everything up as "truth" or "lie".

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?
Neither. And both. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Because only one is the truth.  In turn, why in the world would God provide us the jolly fat man story when it's easier, faster, and better simply to cut to the meant and potatos?  My guess, He wouldn't.  If He did, it was the only time.

Telling stories - fictional and often rationally unbelievable ones - is a means of conveying truth. It is done in all cultures and faiths - including Christianity. Why did Jesus tell the parable of the Good Samaritan - couldn't he have just "cut to the meat and potatoes" and said: "Help your neighbour. It's the right thing to do." Was His story the truth or a lie?

Outside of Christianity, what about Aesop's Fables? They're not "true", yet they teach truth. What about all the children's fairy tales we have enjoyed? Finding a deeper and hidden truth might not always be their purpose, but they open up a sense of wonder and beauty - which is a sort of truth, I suppose.

To use your example, "Santa Claus" is just as true as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". If you are going to show "a little consistency", then do I take it that you are depriving your children of all these stories? I hope not. They are all teaching opportunities.

And what do you do with such things as the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple - the Feast we will soon celebrate? There is little reason to believe that it is historically accurate (not impossible, I know - I'm leaving some wiggle room here  Wink). Is the Church teaching the truth or a lie?

My point is that when it comes to what is truth and what is a lie, the waters become rather murky. Stories are meant to create wonder, amazement, imagination, and take us beyond ourselves and our present world. When we start to pigeon-hole everything into truth vs lie, or literal vs spiritual we lose that sense of awe and beauty.
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« Reply #112 on: November 09, 2012, 11:02:22 AM »

Perhaps a better way to say that heaven is not a physical place is by saying, we can't hop into a space ship, fly a long ways and reach heaven (or hell for that matter).  We aren't Mormons who believe God lives on the planet Kolob.  Perhaps it would be more palatable to you if we were to say they exist in a different dimension than we exist in.  For example, you are looking at this screen which is 2 dimensional and reading the words that I write.  That is a very limited way of understanding what I think and who I am.  If you were able to see the three dimensional me typing this letter and thinking what I am writing, you would have a much "realer" understanding of the reality of my beliefs.  This can be a considered an example of God.  We operate in 3 dimensions and travel through a 4th (time)  God is not confined by those 4 dimensions and can move, communicate and exist in countless dimensions.  In that sense, he is much "realer" that our physical world. We can consider heaven/hell to exist on that same plane.  We as Orthodox  view heaven and hell more as a relational positioning with God rather than a physical one.

 
Is "realer" a real word?

(Please note, I am just trying to give an example, I am not saying that this example of dimensions should be considered the literal truth or that it is Church dogma.)
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« Reply #113 on: November 10, 2012, 06:59:34 AM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

You mean like John 6, where everyone immediately perceived what the Lord meant?

I mean like Nebakanezer’s dream.  Daniel, the prophet, knew exactly what it meant.  God provided that for him.  It didn't take a thousand years for some college prep to decide what it meant.  But someone Daniels words couldn't, according to some, be interpreted then, like Moses, or Jesus for that matter (Temple destruction) or a great many other prophetic events.  Creation wasn’t written as a prophecy, it was written as a historical event.  When John the Baptist went around preaching of the coming of the Messiah, could his words not be interpreted for another 1000 years or did people know right then what he meant?  

Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.


Your argument is not with us, but with the Fathers.

All of them?

There isn't even one of them who viewed it in a literal sense?  Not one?
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« Reply #114 on: November 10, 2012, 07:02:06 AM »


Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.

And yet look at what you're trying to do by lining everything up as "truth" or "lie".

Curious..if my child asks me if Santa Clause is real and I provide the jolly fat man story to make her happy, did I lie or tell the truth?
Neither. And both. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Because only one is the truth.  In turn, why in the world would God provide us the jolly fat man story when it's easier, faster, and better simply to cut to the meant and potatos?  My guess, He wouldn't.  If He did, it was the only time.

Telling stories - fictional and often rationally unbelievable ones - is a means of conveying truth. It is done in all cultures and faiths - including Christianity. Why did Jesus tell the parable of the Good Samaritan - couldn't he have just "cut to the meat and potatoes" and said: "Help your neighbour. It's the right thing to do." Was His story the truth or a lie?

Outside of Christianity, what about Aesop's Fables? They're not "true", yet they teach truth. What about all the children's fairy tales we have enjoyed? Finding a deeper and hidden truth might not always be their purpose, but they open up a sense of wonder and beauty - which is a sort of truth, I suppose.

To use your example, "Santa Claus" is just as true as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". If you are going to show "a little consistency", then do I take it that you are depriving your children of all these stories? I hope not. They are all teaching opportunities.

And what do you do with such things as the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple - the Feast we will soon celebrate? There is little reason to believe that it is historically accurate (not impossible, I know - I'm leaving some wiggle room here  Wink). Is the Church teaching the truth or a lie?

My point is that when it comes to what is truth and what is a lie, the waters become rather murky. Stories are meant to create wonder, amazement, imagination, and take us beyond ourselves and our present world. When we start to pigeon-hole everything into truth vs lie, or literal vs spiritual we lose that sense of awe and beauty.

I suppose we must ultimately agree to disagree on the approach to these things.   Smiley
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« Reply #115 on: November 10, 2012, 10:38:44 PM »

I just want to ensure I understand the process here.  God gives a message to a prophet.  The prophet delivers that message.  The people rejoice.  But it isn't until thousands of years later that someone figures out what the prophet actually meant to say.  Apparently, that prophet couldn't interpret what they meant and said something else.  Is this one of those "bad actually means good" things or bible code/riddle scenarios?

You mean like John 6, where everyone immediately perceived what the Lord meant?

I mean like Nebakanezer’s dream.  Daniel, the prophet, knew exactly what it meant.  God provided that for him.  It didn't take a thousand years for some college prep to decide what it meant.  But someone Daniels words couldn't, according to some, be interpreted then, like Moses, or Jesus for that matter (Temple destruction) or a great many other prophetic events.  Creation wasn’t written as a prophecy, it was written as a historical event.  When John the Baptist went around preaching of the coming of the Messiah, could his words not be interpreted for another 1000 years or did people know right then what he meant?  

Seriously folks, think about ALL of biblical and church history when you decide what you do and don’t want to believe.  Not just bits and pieces.  If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.


Your argument is not with us, but with the Fathers.

All of them?

There isn't even one of them who viewed it in a literal sense?  Not one?

Did a little fast action research and look what I found.

The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
Chapter XV.—The false and the true Sabbath.

Further,1654also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, “And sanctify ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart.”1655And He says in another place, “If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my mercy to rest upon them.”1656The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: “And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.”1657Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is1658with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth,1659saying, “Behold, to-day1660 will be as a thousand years.”1661Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man,1662and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the moon,1663 and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.

Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, was a disciple of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of the Apostle John, speaks of a literal Adam and Eve as he wrote:

“For it is said, 'There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning, one day.' Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die.”

He also speaks of a  literal six-day Creation:

“And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works. This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year.”

Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus, was a student of Irenaeus, and wrote:

“And six thousand years must needs be accomplished… for 'a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.' Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.”


Augustine wrote:

“fewer than 6,000 years have passed since man’s first origin,”
 
When he wrote City of God, he stated

“The world was in fact made with time, if at the time of its creation change and motion came into existence. This is clearly the situation in the order of the first six or seven days, in which morning and evening are named, until God’s creation was finished on the sixth day, and on the seventh day God’s rest is emphasized as something conveying a mystic meaning. What kind of days these are is difficult or even impossible for us to imagine, to say nothing of describing them.
In our experience, of course, the days with which we are familiar only have an evening because the sun sets, and a morning because the sun rises; whereas those first three days passed without the sun, which was made, we are told, on the fourth day. The narrative does indeed tell that light was created by God…. But what kind of light that was, and with what alternating movement the distinction was made, and what was the nature of this evening and this morning; these are questions beyond the scope of our sensible experience. We cannot understand what happened as it is presented to us; and yet we must believe it without hesitation.”

In reference to Adam and Eve, Jesus said:

“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female”

Theophilus referencing Adam and Eve:

Man, therefore, God made on the sixth day, and made known this creation after the seventh day, when also He made Paradise, that he might be in a better and distinctly superior place. And that this is true, the fact itself proves. For how can one miss seeing that the pains which women suffer in childbed, and the oblivion of their labours which they afterwards enjoy, are sent in order that the word of God may be fulfilled, and that the race of men may increase and multiply? And do we not see also the judgment of the serpent, — how hatefully he crawls on his belly and eats the dust, — that we may have this, too, for a proof of the things which were said aforetime?

He even added up the time from Adam until the flood as 2242 years and 3278 years when Abraham begat Issac.   3278 years from the Creation of Adam until Issac.

Clement of Alexandria

For the creation of the world was concluded in six days. For the motion of the sun from solstice to solstice is completed in six months – in the course of which, at one time the leaves fall, and at another plants bud and seeds come to maturity. And they say that the embryo is perfected exactly in the sixth month, that is, in one hundred and eighty days in addition to the two and a half, as Polybus the physician relates in his book On the Eighth Month, and Aristotle the philosopher in his book On Nature. Hence the Pythagoreans, as I think, reckon six the perfect number, from the creation of the world.

Lactantius, a scholar who tutored Emperor Constantine’s son, Crispus, wrote:

 “Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years.”

Plato and many others of the philosophers, since they were ignorant of the origin of all things, and of that primal period at which the world was made, said that many thousands of ages had passed since this beautiful arrangement of the world was completed; foolishly saythat they possess comprised in their memorials four hundred and seventy thousand years; in which matter … they believed that they were at liberty to speak falsely. But we, whom the Holy Scriptures instruct to the knowledge of the truth, know the beginning and the end of the world … Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed, and that when this number is completed the consummation must take place, and the condition of human affairs be remodeled for the better, the proof of which must first be related, that the matter itself may be plain. God completed the world and this admirable work of nature in the space of six days, as is contained in the secrets of Holy Scripture, and consecrated the seventh day, on which He had rested from His works.

Victorinus
To me, as I meditate and consider in my mind concerning the creation of this world in which we are kept enclosed, even such is the rapidity of that creation; as is contained in the book of Moses, which he wrote about its creation, and which is called Genesis. God produced that entire mass for the adornment of His majesty in six days; on the seventh to which He consecrated it … In the beginning God made the light, and divided it in the exact measure of twelve hours by day and by night, for this reason…


So it appears I am not really in argument with the Fathers at all.  Much of it is available in the Christian Classics Ethereal Library if you want to look it up.
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« Reply #116 on: November 11, 2012, 10:59:09 PM »

Kerdy, I never said that individual Fathers do not understand parts or all of the Book of Genesis literally. What I said was that the Fathers do not baulk at pronouncing that certain parts of the Holy Scriptures cannot be understood literally and must be understood allegorically or typologically.

I think it is very admirable that you are zealous for the truth of the Holy Scriptures and I do not say that your interpretation of them is wrong. I am only saying that you are not at liberty to say that they must be understood literally in all their parts. You must accept that the Fathers were not strict literalists, though they at times did insist upon the historicity of certain scriptural narratives: that is inescapable.
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« Reply #117 on: November 11, 2012, 11:10:45 PM »

If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why do people feel the need to change how He works to fit their ideas?  A little consistency would be great.

The Devil is in the details.
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« Reply #118 on: November 12, 2012, 04:40:57 AM »

Kerdy, I never said that individual Fathers do not understand parts or all of the Book of Genesis literally. What I said was that the Fathers do not baulk at pronouncing that certain parts of the Holy Scriptures cannot be understood literally and must be understood allegorically or typologically.

I think it is very admirable that you are zealous for the truth of the Holy Scriptures and I do not say that your interpretation of them is wrong. I am only saying that you are not at liberty to say that they must be understood literally in all their parts. You must accept that the Fathers were not strict literalists, though they at times did insist upon the historicity of certain scriptural narratives: that is inescapable.

I'm ok with this.  The problem isn't in the approach of, "We will never know for certain,” rather in the "Your approach is wrong because it doesn’t conform to the general consensus of modern thought.”  Especially, when modern thought is usually wrong or produces some contorted variation of the truth.  People are even saying truth is murky.  No, it isn’t, at all.  Either something is true or it is a lie.  We can color it up any way we want, but there are only two answers to any question.  The right answer and the wrong answer.

The fact is, Creation and evolution are not new topics.  The only difference is the approach people are now taking.  Both topics were dealt with, in detail, by the Early Church Fathers as a result of Greek philosophy and teachings of the time. 

On one hand, folks declare we should adhere to the Church Fathers and on the other hand they ignore what the Church Fathers actually say.  It is frustrating, to say the least, to engage in a never ending circular argument without any foundation or standard. 

If the answer is, “The EFC’s had different thoughts on the matter,” why would someone attempt to use them to support their view point?  It doesn’t make sense, does it?

What I find disturbing isn’t people believe in evolution and some twisted version of Creation, but that anyone who disagrees with them is deemed ignorant and treated as some sort of fool.  The arrogance is astounding.  Be the one who disagrees with evolution and watch the vultures begin to circle.  It doesn’t matter if your argument is sound, you simply “don’t understand.”  Be the one who doesn’t believe in a *insert astronomical number of years here* earth at watch the attacks ensue.  It’s hypocritical and the exact opposite if what some say people like me should be doing.  That’s my problem with it.  Their view is, agree or shut up.  Maybe I missed the part where apparent bully tactics fit into Orthodoxy.  Then again, in the last week I have been called a Protestant, a Fundamentalist and told I probably should leave the Orthodox Church.  Yep, sounds like true Orthodoxy to me.  That Christian love is a beautiful thing.  I sure am glad no one at my parish acted this way...in over two years.  Must be an internet Orthodoxy problem.
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« Reply #119 on: November 12, 2012, 05:49:12 AM »

Quote
Maybe he meant he saw the Lords back.

According to "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology", by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, he did not. At least, not literally. Neither did God have feet. And neither is heaven a physical place. Black-and-white, either-or thinking don't do scripture justice, in my opinion.



If God doesn't present a front or back, then why do we find this in the ECF's writings?

The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
Chapter XV.—The false and the true Sabbath.

Further,1654also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, ...
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« Reply #120 on: November 12, 2012, 12:30:36 PM »

Quote
Maybe he meant he saw the Lords back.

According to "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology", by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, he did not. At least, not literally. Neither did God have feet. And neither is heaven a physical place. Black-and-white, either-or thinking don't do scripture justice, in my opinion.



If God doesn't present a front or back, then why do we find this in the ECF's writings?

The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
Chapter XV.—The false and the true Sabbath.

Further,1654also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, ...

For God's sake (literally), you take everything way too darn literally. Seriously, it is almost identical to Protestants, they take little bits and pieces of scriptures (or in your case, Church Fathers) and focus on a little bit to support their own view. That's an abuse of both the Saints and of Scripture.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #121 on: November 12, 2012, 12:49:48 PM »

Kerdy, I never said that individual Fathers do not understand parts or all of the Book of Genesis literally. What I said was that the Fathers do not baulk at pronouncing that certain parts of the Holy Scriptures cannot be understood literally and must be understood allegorically or typologically.

I think it is very admirable that you are zealous for the truth of the Holy Scriptures and I do not say that your interpretation of them is wrong. I am only saying that you are not at liberty to say that they must be understood literally in all their parts. You must accept that the Fathers were not strict literalists, though they at times did insist upon the historicity of certain scriptural narratives: that is inescapable.

I'm ok with this.  The problem isn't in the approach of, "We will never know for certain,” rather in the "Your approach is wrong because it doesn’t conform to the general consensus of modern thought.”  Especially, when modern thought is usually wrong or produces some contorted variation of the truth.  People are even saying truth is murky.  No, it isn’t, at all.  Either something is true or it is a lie.  We can color it up any way we want, but there are only two answers to any question.  The right answer and the wrong answer.

No one is saying that Kerdy. What we are saying is that the Church gives us the freedom to choose. We are saying the Church allows us to believe both it, and modern science. Also, no, modern science is not usually wrong (again, you are misunderstanding what science is) and doesn't contort the truth.

The truth is sometimes murky, but not in a sense of relative truth. The truth isn't relative, but the truth cannot always be found. Right & wrong contains many shades of grey. In fact, the church recognizes this and this is why the way it deals with things isn't uniform.

Are soldiers committing a grave and terrible sin by killing other people in battle? The Church says no, because soldiers are not given the same punishment given to someone who kills in cold-blooded murder or who kills by accident. Those who kill in cold-blooded murder are refused communion until they are on their death bed, they also are supposed to stand in the narthex with the penitents and ask forgiveness every service. Soldiers, on the other hand, are only refused communion for 3 years during which time, I think, they are allowed to be with the rest of the congregation in the nave. Both directly violated the commandment, but both are treated differently despite it.

Same thing for those who deny Christ. If one denies him under duress, they are treated and received differently in the church than those who deny him by free choice.

The truth, and right/wrong isn't "relative" but there are shades of grey out there.

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The fact is, Creation and evolution are not new topics.  The only difference is the approach people are now taking.  Both topics were dealt with, in detail, by the Early Church Fathers as a result of Greek philosophy and teachings of the time.  

On one hand, folks declare we should adhere to the Church Fathers and on the other hand they ignore what the Church Fathers actually say.  It is frustrating, to say the least, to engage in a never ending circular argument without any foundation or standard.  

We aren't ignoring the Church Fathers, and we aren't saying we should. What we are saying is that we aren't to be Protestant Fundamentalists when we look at the Bible or when we look at the Fathers. We cannot be Biblical literalists and we cannot be Patristic literalists. There are some things to be taken literally and others that aren't.

Also, at the same time, neither the scriptures, nor the fathers are infallible. The Fathers were fallible human beings like we are, and some of them even committed theology errors, and others committed factual & scientific errors. To take everything they say as law is not Orthodox, and is much more akin to Protestant Fundamentalism.

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If the answer is, “The EFC’s had different thoughts on the matter,” why would someone attempt to use them to support their view point?  It doesn’t make sense, does it?

What I find disturbing isn’t people believe in evolution and some twisted version of Creation, but that anyone who disagrees with them is deemed ignorant and treated as some sort of fool.  The arrogance is astounding.  Be the one who disagrees with evolution and watch the vultures begin to circle.  It doesn’t matter if your argument is sound, you simply “don’t understand.”  Be the one who doesn’t believe in a *insert astronomical number of years here* earth at watch the attacks ensue.  It’s hypocritical and the exact opposite if what some say people like me should be doing.  That’s my problem with it.  Their view is, agree or shut up.  Maybe I missed the part where apparent bully tactics fit into Orthodoxy.  Then again, in the last week I have been called a Protestant, a Fundamentalist and told I probably should leave the Orthodox Church.  Yep, sounds like true Orthodoxy to me.  That Christian love is a beautiful thing.  I sure am glad no one at my parish acted this way...in over two years.  Must be an internet Orthodoxy problem.

You misunderstand the Fathers. You are applying modern Creationism onto the Church Fathers. They weren't Creationists and they weren't Biblical Literalists. They read Genesis literally, but they have absolutely no reason to think otherwise, or to read it otherwise. There are other things the Fathers said that led them to read parts of the Bible literally which we know today were not the case.

The kind of view you are espousing is a Protestant Fundamentalist view. It isn't an Orthodox viewpoint.

You cannot demand that we interpret Genesis literally. You cannot insist that we have to understand it literally because of either the Fathers or the Bible itself. You are putting your own personal view before the Church and what she says. You are putting your own authority above the Church's authority. The Church has given us freedom to interpret Genesis either literally, or according to modern science. It has not, does not and will not say that "you must interpret it literally" or "you must interpret it allegorically". The Church gives us freedom in this case, and you have to recognize that.

There is no problem with people who interpret it literally, just as there isn't a problem with people who interpret it allegorically. The problem comes when those people demand that you interpret it one way or the other. They are putting handcuffs on an issue that the Church has left for our own discretion and has left undefined. The Church says that we must believe that God created all things. It has not and does not say how God created all things, and it is un-Orthodox to demand that we believe a certain way how he did it.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 12:50:06 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
Kerdy
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« Reply #122 on: November 13, 2012, 04:37:12 AM »

Kerdy, I never said that individual Fathers do not understand parts or all of the Book of Genesis literally. What I said was that the Fathers do not baulk at pronouncing that certain parts of the Holy Scriptures cannot be understood literally and must be understood allegorically or typologically.

I think it is very admirable that you are zealous for the truth of the Holy Scriptures and I do not say that your interpretation of them is wrong. I am only saying that you are not at liberty to say that they must be understood literally in all their parts. You must accept that the Fathers were not strict literalists, though they at times did insist upon the historicity of certain scriptural narratives: that is inescapable.

I'm ok with this.  The problem isn't in the approach of, "We will never know for certain,” rather in the "Your approach is wrong because it doesn’t conform to the general consensus of modern thought.”  Especially, when modern thought is usually wrong or produces some contorted variation of the truth.  People are even saying truth is murky.  No, it isn’t, at all.  Either something is true or it is a lie.  We can color it up any way we want, but there are only two answers to any question.  The right answer and the wrong answer.

No one is saying that Kerdy. What we are saying is that the Church gives us the freedom to choose. We are saying the Church allows us to believe both it, and modern science. Also, no, modern science is not usually wrong (again, you are misunderstanding what science is) and doesn't contort the truth.

The truth is sometimes murky, but not in a sense of relative truth. The truth isn't relative, but the truth cannot always be found. Right & wrong contains many shades of grey. In fact, the church recognizes this and this is why the way it deals with things isn't uniform.

Are soldiers committing a grave and terrible sin by killing other people in battle? The Church says no, because soldiers are not given the same punishment given to someone who kills in cold-blooded murder or who kills by accident. Those who kill in cold-blooded murder are refused communion until they are on their death bed, they also are supposed to stand in the narthex with the penitents and ask forgiveness every service. Soldiers, on the other hand, are only refused communion for 3 years during which time, I think, they are allowed to be with the rest of the congregation in the nave. Both directly violated the commandment, but both are treated differently despite it.

Same thing for those who deny Christ. If one denies him under duress, they are treated and received differently in the church than those who deny him by free choice.

The truth, and right/wrong isn't "relative" but there are shades of grey out there.

Quote
The fact is, Creation and evolution are not new topics.  The only difference is the approach people are now taking.  Both topics were dealt with, in detail, by the Early Church Fathers as a result of Greek philosophy and teachings of the time.  

On one hand, folks declare we should adhere to the Church Fathers and on the other hand they ignore what the Church Fathers actually say.  It is frustrating, to say the least, to engage in a never ending circular argument without any foundation or standard.  

We aren't ignoring the Church Fathers, and we aren't saying we should. What we are saying is that we aren't to be Protestant Fundamentalists when we look at the Bible or when we look at the Fathers. We cannot be Biblical literalists and we cannot be Patristic literalists. There are some things to be taken literally and others that aren't.

Also, at the same time, neither the scriptures, nor the fathers are infallible. The Fathers were fallible human beings like we are, and some of them even committed theology errors, and others committed factual & scientific errors. To take everything they say as law is not Orthodox, and is much more akin to Protestant Fundamentalism.

Quote
If the answer is, “The EFC’s had different thoughts on the matter,” why would someone attempt to use them to support their view point?  It doesn’t make sense, does it?

What I find disturbing isn’t people believe in evolution and some twisted version of Creation, but that anyone who disagrees with them is deemed ignorant and treated as some sort of fool.  The arrogance is astounding.  Be the one who disagrees with evolution and watch the vultures begin to circle.  It doesn’t matter if your argument is sound, you simply “don’t understand.”  Be the one who doesn’t believe in a *insert astronomical number of years here* earth at watch the attacks ensue.  It’s hypocritical and the exact opposite if what some say people like me should be doing.  That’s my problem with it.  Their view is, agree or shut up.  Maybe I missed the part where apparent bully tactics fit into Orthodoxy.  Then again, in the last week I have been called a Protestant, a Fundamentalist and told I probably should leave the Orthodox Church.  Yep, sounds like true Orthodoxy to me.  That Christian love is a beautiful thing.  I sure am glad no one at my parish acted this way...in over two years.  Must be an internet Orthodoxy problem.

You misunderstand the Fathers. You are applying modern Creationism onto the Church Fathers. They weren't Creationists and they weren't Biblical Literalists. They read Genesis literally, but they have absolutely no reason to think otherwise, or to read it otherwise. There are other things the Fathers said that led them to read parts of the Bible literally which we know today were not the case.

The kind of view you are espousing is a Protestant Fundamentalist view. It isn't an Orthodox viewpoint.

You cannot demand that we interpret Genesis literally. You cannot insist that we have to understand it literally because of either the Fathers or the Bible itself. You are putting your own personal view before the Church and what she says. You are putting your own authority above the Church's authority. The Church has given us freedom to interpret Genesis either literally, or according to modern science. It has not, does not and will not say that "you must interpret it literally" or "you must interpret it allegorically". The Church gives us freedom in this case, and you have to recognize that.

There is no problem with people who interpret it literally, just as there isn't a problem with people who interpret it allegorically. The problem comes when those people demand that you interpret it one way or the other. They are putting handcuffs on an issue that the Church has left for our own discretion and has left undefined. The Church says that we must believe that God created all things. It has not and does not say how God created all things, and it is un-Orthodox to demand that we believe a certain way how he did it.

In this type of forum, your opinion has the same value as mine, or anyone else for that matter, and rather than engage in a perpetual cycle of pointless debate on who is right and who is wrong, why not just accept someone holds a different opinion than you do?  Once the reasons are produced, and all have a valid point, but come to a different conclusion, leave it there and move on instead of employing Machiavellian tactics and comments designed to elicit a specific response from another person. 

In other words, play nice and stop feeding your need to be right all the time.  Everyone has an opinion.  Because it differs from yours makes it no less valuable and you seem to forget, you might be wrong.  Unless, right and wrong are relative, as you (mistakenly) suggest.

In any event, I have become rather tired of you seeking out my posts for the soul purpose of debating me for whatever reason it is you do this.  I have no problem with debate, mind you; however, you seem to take this to a different level of which I am not inclined to engage.  If you say I am off track, but my priest says otherwise, I feel confident he is a more trustworthy source of information than yourself.  You will understand if I take his word on Orthodoxy over those of strangers on the internet.  I like to hear differing opinions, but when it gets me to the point of causing me to respond with an emotional comment rather than a thoughtful comment; it’s sunk to a point of no interest, which is where we have found ourselves. 

So, you have your opinion.  I have my opinion.  Let’s move on, shall we?
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Ashman618
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« Reply #123 on: November 13, 2012, 09:05:33 AM »

I usually get my seeing stones and put my face in my hat and dictate my interpritation of Genesis word for word to my followers. Just sayin
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88Devin12
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« Reply #124 on: November 13, 2012, 11:47:07 AM »

In this type of forum, your opinion has the same value as mine, or anyone else for that matter, and rather than engage in a perpetual cycle of pointless debate on who is right and who is wrong, why not just accept someone holds a different opinion than you do?  Once the reasons are produced, and all have a valid point, but come to a different conclusion, leave it there and move on instead of employing Machiavellian tactics and comments designed to elicit a specific response from another person. 
This isn't about opinion Kerdy. As I've said repeatedly in this thread and others, you and I are given freedom by the Church to interpret Genesis differently. The discussion you and I have had is about whether or not we should be compelled by the Church to believe Creationism. The Church doesn't compel us and it doesn't ask us to believe creationism. We are given a freedom by the church. You have to recognize that, and that is the basis of my argument. I'm not asking you to believe in theistic evolution, I'm just saying that you cannot argue that I must believe creationism.

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In other words, play nice and stop feeding your need to be right all the time.  Everyone has an opinion.  Because it differs from yours makes it no less valuable and you seem to forget, you might be wrong.  Unless, right and wrong are relative, as you (mistakenly) suggest.
You are making assumptions and accusations about me that you cannot support. Also, I've never said right and wrong are relative. Again, you are putting your own words and your own thoughts into my mouth and my mind.

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In any event, I have become rather tired of you seeking out my posts for the soul purpose of debating me for whatever reason it is you do this.  I have no problem with debate, mind you; however, you seem to take this to a different level of which I am not inclined to engage.  If you say I am off track, but my priest says otherwise, I feel confident he is a more trustworthy source of information than yourself.  You will understand if I take his word on Orthodoxy over those of strangers on the internet.  I like to hear differing opinions, but when it gets me to the point of causing me to respond with an emotional comment rather than a thoughtful comment; it’s sunk to a point of no interest, which is where we have found ourselves. 

So, you have your opinion.  I have my opinion.  Let’s move on, shall we?

I am not seeking out your posts. Me posting on two or three threads that you have doesn't equal "seeking out". In fact, I'm the one who started this particular thread.

I'm not saying you're off-track for believing creationism. I'm saying you're off-track in how you want to force the rest of us to believe creationism and how it seems, from the rest of your posts elsewhere, that you almost expect the Orthodox Church to be fundamentalist. We don't put our own expectations and beliefs onto the Church, we submit to the Church and to her wisdom. If the Church says that we must believe God created all things, and it says how he did it isn't important, then we must submit to that and recognize that the study of creationism or evolution is an extra thing, it isn't essential and it will never be essential.

As for the word of Priests, I understand your position on that issue. Yet the Orthodox Church is much bigger than the local parish. You'll find some people online who may not really be Orthodox, or are only Orthodox in name. You'll find others who are Orthodox. We are strangers, but at the same time, we aren't because we partake of the very same body and blood of Christ and belong to the same Church.

I seriously doubt our Priests are that different from each other, and especially since I've spoken and heard the word of multiple Priests on this very issue and they all agree. What they've said, is that God created all things, beyond that, we just don't know and we aren't compelled by the Church to believe either evolution or creationism. I could care less if someone believes in creationism (other than if they are a voter and would vote in favor of someone who would cut funding to NASA and others) because that is their right, but I also have a right to believe in theistic evolution, we are given a freedom.

What I'm against, as I've said time and time again, is that I'm against those who want to insist that I have to believe in Creationism (or Evolution) in order to be "Orthodox" or in order to be "Patristic". That just simply is not the case, never has been and never will be.

If you want to believe in creationism, fine, that is your right and your choice. But it isn't Orthodox to demand that I also believe in creationism and that I have to interpret Genesis literally.
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celticfan1888
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« Reply #125 on: November 13, 2012, 01:28:42 PM »

science has not and will not ever prove Creation didn't happen in a literal six days, and there is a long list of reasons why.

It COULD. But I doubt it will.
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« Reply #126 on: January 10, 2013, 10:54:22 PM »

How did Adam and Eve communicate with God ?. Did they literally see him as we see each other ? Was he able to be touched ? Did they see the whole Holy Trinity when God walked with them in the Garden or was it it the Pre-incarnate Christ the Word of God walking and communicate with them as per we do??.

Tanks in advance
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