Not a separate issue at all when one stops to see that you're trying to establish a Patristic approach to reading Genesis precisely so you can have a foundation for later attacking the theory of evolution.
and thats quite simple to do since the Fathers tell us its impermissible to interpret GEnesis so allegorically that we do away with the literal history (St. John of Damascus, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, the Venerable Bede, St. Augustine, etc)
MANY Fathers do, no doubt, but can you prove that the consensus of the Fathers does, that all the Fathers speak with one mind on this? Additionally, it does appear that you've just conceded my point that your argument has everything to do with evolution, as much as you frame it within the context of how we are to read Genesis.
I don't know that you or I ever could short of citing the decree of an Ecumenical Council or other council of universal authority.
so you honestly believe Orthodoxy only has a concensus stance on the nature of the Trinity and Christ, and on icons? Everything else is up for grabs in your eyes?
No, that's not what I said. I said that it's almost impossible to PROVE a consensus Patrum
, even if I believe one DOES exist on some issues, outside of the Ecumenical Councils and other councils of general authority.
You say... We say... As long as both sides keep posting the same proof texts from the Fathers to prove his/her particular pov, along with tips on how to interpret those proof texts, it will ever remain your word against your opponents', and we'll never know who's right. In this debate, the prize does not go to whoever can speak the loudest. For the record, Riddikulus is arguing her own point of view, with which I claim neither agreement nor disagreement, and for which I claim no responsibility.
your side posts one quote each from a few Fathers. that is certainly proof texting. I am attempting to demonstrate those same Fathers overall attitude to the Scriptures. I have given you St. Augustine's overall approach when he says that allegories are OK as long as you don't ignore the historical level, but your side just clings to that one single little quote. That's all your position has.
Criticize Riddikulus's point of view all you want, but you really need to put more effort into seeing that my position is fundamentally different and cannot be so easily connected to hers.
One quote is a prooftext, but when you begin to read more of what they said you can have a clearer understanding of the overall picture. how is that prooftexting?
It doesn't look any different from anyone else's attempts at prooftexting. You're in a debate. You've asserted a particular point of view. You're trying to prove the truth of this point of view by throwing in quotes from selected Fathers who support your point of view. When pressed, you repeatedly fall back onto the Patristic references you already gave us or throw in even more isolated quotes from selected Fathers. How is this NOT prooftexting? It certainly looks like prooftexting to me.
You can certainly offer evidence to suggest that these well over 50 saints interpreted Genesis literally, but when others offer evidence that some of these same saints did NOT interpret Genesis literally, the only thing I'm left to see is that you and your opponents can't even agree on how to interpret the Fathers. Additionally, for the benefit of my argument, well over 50 Fathers do not a consensus make.
No one has offered a single shred of evidence that suggests that even a single Father interpreted Genesis allegoricall to the exclusion of the literal level. Do you see the important distinction there?
I'm not asserting that there is NO consensus Patrum
on how to read Genesis, so I have nothing to prove. You, however, are making positive assertions of a Patristic consensus on this issue; therefore, the rules of debate put the burden of proof on you to offer evidence to convince me of the strength of your thesis. So far, you haven't.
Even if they give an allegorical interpretation of the days (and that is of course the only issue your side is able to present on) that doesnt necessarily exclude the literal level as you presume. we know this because many Fathers, including those you quote tell us that allegory is fine as long as you dont deny the literal level.
I have, for the most part, refrained from quoting Fathers on this thread, since that does nothing to prove my point.
and if every Saint ever who commented on Genesis doesnt make a concensus then dear God, what DOES make a concensus?! Every major Church Father and many other Saints, plus the Church's services, canons, and icons and calendar doesn't show a concensus to you?
Yes, that would show a consensus to me. What you have done thus far on this thread does not.
Do you realy believe the Church has one mind, bc you seem to be attacking the very foundation of the Church's claim to consistency. earlier you said the notion of a Patristic concensus is dubious bc you can just ignore those who (supposedly) disagree -- then why should i have joined the Orthodox Church as the Church that consistently traces itself back to the Apostles? You are attempting to completely eschew that foundation that has brought thousands into the Church!
No, I said the way many try to prove a Patristic consensus is dubious, because it's so easy to manipulate the data to make a consensus appear where there never was one. I have no problem with the concept of a consensus Patrum
in and of itself.jckstraw72
, what I'm about to say I WANT you to take very personally. My problem is NOT with the Fathers nor with the concept of consensus Patrum
, behind both of which you so love to hide--I am not consciously attacking the Faith of the Church in any way. My problem is solely with your rhetorical approach on this thread:
the way YOU have used the Fathers and continue to use the Fathers to try to win this debate, the way YOU have kept arguing your point with the same material without ever really introducing any new ways of seeing your argument, the way YOU hide behind the Fathers to absolve yourself of all responsibility for what you assert in this debate. It's all about YOU.
I could go on, but I don't have the time right now. Maybe you and everyone else here--but especially you--should just recognize that we're beating a dead horse and that it's time to finally bury the horse and move on to other conversations.