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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 323456 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1305 on: September 05, 2009, 04:42:39 PM »

If God created via evolution then God is the author of death, and thus death is good.
Not necessarily. We believe that God used death to destroy death and give us eternal life. Could he not also use death to create the infinite diversity of life we see in our universe?
Besides, is it death itself, even the death of animals, or merely the death of humans created in the image and likeness of immortal God that is intrinsically evil?  I suppose if one were to carry the reasoning, "Death itself is evil," to its logical extreme, we could even say that God intended not that a star should ever explode in a supernova and leave a black hole behind as its corpse, that even this is a result of the fall of man.
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« Reply #1306 on: September 05, 2009, 10:46:41 PM »

If God created via evolution then God is the author of death, and thus death is good.
Not necessarily. We believe that God used death to destroy death and give us eternal life. Could he not also use death to create the infinite diversity of life we see in our universe?
Besides, is it death itself, even the death of animals, or merely the death of humans created in the image and likeness of immortal God that is intrinsically evil?  I suppose if one were to carry the reasoning, "Death itself is evil," to its logical extreme, we could even say that God intended not that a star should ever explode in a supernova and leave a black hole behind as its corpse, that even this is a result of the fall of man.

God gave man an incorrupt world as his habitation. Nothing died according to the Fathers because all of creation was for the good of man. So incorrupt man was given an incorrupt earth. Saints that have had visions of Paradise have described it as a place of incorruption.
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« Reply #1307 on: September 05, 2009, 10:50:24 PM »

If God created via evolution then God is the author of death, and thus death is good.
Not necessarily. We believe that God used death to destroy death and give us eternal life. Could he not also use death to create the infinite diversity of life we see in our universe?

The fact that God destroyed death shows that it is not good. He used death to defeat it because that is the only way He could have taken on our enemy. Furthermore, the book of Wisdom tells us that God did not create death. also:

1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1308 on: September 05, 2009, 11:00:17 PM »

If God created via evolution then God is the author of death, and thus death is good.
Not necessarily. We believe that God used death to destroy death and give us eternal life. Could he not also use death to create the infinite diversity of life we see in our universe?
Besides, is it death itself, even the death of animals, or merely the death of humans created in the image and likeness of immortal God that is intrinsically evil?  I suppose if one were to carry the reasoning, "Death itself is evil," to its logical extreme, we could even say that God intended not that a star should ever explode in a supernova and leave a black hole behind as its corpse, that even this is a result of the fall of man.

God gave man an incorrupt world as his habitation. Nothing died according to the Fathers because all of creation was for the good of man. So incorrupt man was given an incorrupt earth.
What Fathers?  Name them, cite their works, and prove that they spoke in consensus.

You also failed to answer my question or even address my point.  About what death did the Fathers speak?  The death of humans?  The death of animals and plants?  The death of stars and star systems?

Saints that have had visions of Paradise have described it as a place of incorruption.
Don't confuse the world before the fall of man with the blessed foretaste of the eternal world to come.
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« Reply #1309 on: September 06, 2009, 01:58:24 AM »

... If God created via evolution then God is the author of death....

You are so sure of that, are you?  You are so very sure about the nature of the Fall, that it happened at a certain point in time on Earth, and that before that moment in time there was no Fall?  You have this whole mystery figured out?   Correct me if I am wrong, but if you are really sure about all of that, then there is little point in continuing this discussion.

No, I think you want to limit God's active role in creation to what you can understand. This, I think, is a mistake.

....How spiritually childish and oafishly cataphatic can [one's arguments] be?.... What appears as being "random" to us limited human creatures indeed hides greater mysteries beyond our understanding.

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« Reply #1310 on: September 06, 2009, 05:26:48 AM »

After relaxing last night with my friends, I have now found new strength to face this topic once again in a more moderate spirit. I hope I can control myself... in the next few days I was so exhausted by a terrible weak at work that everything could drive me out of my mind.

Now, let's see what I can say.

1) To Dan-Romania: I am glad that your position is so similar to mine: I'm a day-age theory supporter. I don't like to discuss whether creation happened through an evolutionary process (having in mind that the process was divinely controlled, or at least that God put some limits and rules in ongoing process) or through a progressive direct creation. This is not the main purpose of my reflections: I only want to keep in agreement with the wisdom of the Bible and Tradition, i.e. the certainty that God formed the worlds with his own energies at work. Anyway, the passage on the antiquity of the world is 2 Peter 3:5 which says: "For this they are wilfully ignorant of, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. ". Curiously, the same passage supports both the antiquity of the world and the historical account of Genesis on the flood, which is taken as historical, and accuses of ignorance both those who denied the world's antiquity and the historicity of the flood. On the latter, anyway, there's no direct support of the extent of the flood, since the word "world" is ambiguous, and I found at least one element which puts a global flood in contradiction with the Bible itself.
On this subject, I offer to you the time spans a Jewish scientist proposed for the six "days". Every period of time is twice as long as the following:
From 15 to 9450 milion years: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth". Formation of the universe as we know it, with space-time-matter-energy linked with each other by common forces and laws. This precedes the 6 days.
From 9450 to 4650 milion years: Creation of light, i.e. of the protostar which will later become the Sun. Through Earth's atmosphere sunlight began to shine, but the sun was not yet visible due to the clouds.
From 4650 to 2250 million years: Creation of the hydrical cycle: ice melts and forms the seas, and a stabile atmosphere becomes to develop. It is intended that microrganisms (of which the Bible authors were not aware) began to spawn at this time.
From 2250 to 1050 million years: Creation of the first continent, Pangaea, where the dry lands and the seas are rigidly separated. Vegetation begins to appear both in the seas and on the dry lands, as a green mantle for the earth.
From 1050 to 450 million years: Thanks to the plants, the atmosphere is now translucent, so that sun, moon and stars shine in their glory over the Earth. Also, the rhythm of years, seasons, months and days can now be mesured accurately using these planets and stars as references.
From 450 to 150 million years: The first dinosaurs=dragons (=often mistranslated as whale), sea creatures (fish, muscles, plesiosaurs etc...) and flying creatures (insects, pterosaurs and prototype birds such as Archeopterix) all develop at this time.
From 150 to c.ca 12000-10000 years ago: Creation of all mammals and modern cold-blood reptiles. Humans are finally formed.
When I read this timescale, I was so attracted by it that I immediately embraced the day-age theory. As for you, Dan-Romania, what do you think about it?

2) To jckstraw72: Adam was also condemned to "death" on the same day he would eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet he survived for some 1000 years. Most Church Fathers saw in this a demonstration that by death was meant the mortality of the entire human being, both spiritual and physical. The theology of some Fathers supporting a mortal Adam who was offered the gift of immortality explains very well how natural physical death might have pre-existed to Adam. Spiritual death and human mortality definitively entered the world after Adam's sin, and the world became corrupted in the sense that Adam had no more power over nature. Nature, too tell it in other words, had become an enemy of Adam, and Adam had to suffer to obtain what he needed in order to survive. Whether, on the contrary, you would support the alternative model that Adam lived a day of a thousand years, you would be putting a gun at your head, since you clearly demonstrate that Genesis used "day" for a symbolic period, and thus the six days can legitimately be interpreted figuratively, as Dan-Romania and I are supporting.

3) To ytterbiumanalyst: I don't think I ever limited God's creative power; on the contrary, I believe that God limited the freedom of the creative process. If God hadn't ruled the process, the world could have developed in a sterile universe. You certainly know that a slight difference in the balance of some universal constants (akin the speed of light, the mass of electrons, etc...) or in the constitution of our solar system could have affected the formation of life - and especially sentient life. In the former case, life could have been totally different or inexistent... in the latter: we could have had a fast-aging Sun consuming before humanity could develop, or a moon with gravitational effects sufficient to provoke daily floods of the entire continents, and a solar system placed in the center of the Galaxy or too near to supernovae being invested by such enormous amounts of radioactivity to stop any evolutionary process and wipe out all life at its beginnings. Also, a complete freedom in life evolution could have created carnivors capable of producing the extinction of many other animals, so that no good creature could be chosen to be the "image of God". If we look at what humans have been able to do since our appearence on Earth, and how many species we have endangered or how many catastrophes we have been able to produce (the atom bomb and Chernobyl, for example) is a sufficient proof that a free evolution of sentient life might have endangered the existence of the planet even long time ago.
In conclusion, I just think that God either put limits on nature, or that nature was manipulated by God's energies so that it conformed over time to fit in God's project. I prefer neither of the two possibilities... I recognize them the same level of accuracy in explaining how the universe comes to be as good as we can see it, and I think both Bible and Tradition don't give explanations in favour of one of the two.

Hope this helps in discussing the subject. I beg your pardon (to ALL of you) if I have been rude these last few days. May God have mercy on me!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1311 on: September 06, 2009, 07:04:47 AM »

Alex that is a plausible theory to make peace between bible and evolutionary science view of Genesis.I don`t really believe like that , exactly as you said , call me a fool or laugh at me , but i believe God made everything in 6 days, 24 hours.Look for example of the population scale as i posted a few posts ago in this thread.I rather think that God created everything is six literall days 24 hours.I also dislike the idea that the sun of there just that he wasn`t seen by the clouds, etc.God made all the laws of the nature and everything, yes I believe dinosaurs existed , and many other creatures and species of animals, it`s not known how they were called and if they were called dinosaurs than.That is a interesting view , AlexOfBergamo and it is the best i`ve seen putting harmony between science and religion reconciliating both, even if I don`t see it perfect.I must say I don`t know much about science or astronomy(astrology) but I always liked the Universe , planets , stars , etc.As I said I don`t exclude the possibility for the days to be not literall days but ages or times.Again , I am totally against the evolution theory.

And yes the reason i reject the age and the days being ages it`s because it kind of implies a life-death circle before the fall.

What is interesting to know is how they measured the time: upon wich conditions , machines laws or instruments Smiley.
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« Reply #1312 on: September 06, 2009, 07:13:03 AM »

for me that I believe the Universe being of old means , and I don`t deny that God preparing everything from of Old , and the heavens being of old; I assimilate the Universe , galaxies and stars and the unbounded and enormous things to something much small as humans , angels , etc , representatives of our destinies,the paths we make , etc , the light we receive , I see them representative as spiritual things ,this I understand by the word of the gospel 2Peter 3:5 , and Genesis 1:2 , that is what I understand by waters; a vision of mine;
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« Reply #1313 on: September 06, 2009, 07:29:51 AM »

I have nothing against your particular view, Dan-Romania, just because I think that all creationist or intelligent-design positions equally try to be respectful of religion, and they are all equally acceptable in the light of Church tradition. Both possibilities (day-age theory and 24-hour days) were equally held by the Fathers of the Church; both positions on the mortality or immortality by nature of Adam before the fall are witnessed as private understandings by the early Christian writers; and of course no specific decision or declaration has been affirmed by the Church on the matter in the Ecumenical Councils so, in conclusion, I can't judge whoever recognizes a divine origin and order in the world.
I must also add an explanation that Jewish scientist gave to the different dating system, i.e. on how God could well call those ages "days". As the theory of General Relativity affirms, time is not constant: it's a dimension whose speed 'changes' according to the mass of the objects nearby. In a super-dense world such as that reconstructed in the Big Bang theory, time would have flowed differently then in our time, so that in God's perspective it was only a day, but in ours (or better, in the perspective of cosmology) time flew 'faster' with the rapid expansion of the universe, named 'inflation'. This explanation is consistent with modern Now a question for you: how do you explain the 1000-years day of Adam according to the prophecy of God that Adam was to die on the same day he ate the fruit? Do you have your position in this regards?

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1314 on: September 06, 2009, 02:31:13 PM »

In this quote we have St. Justin Martyr talking about the word “day” in Genesis meaning a period of a thousand years by pointing out that despite God telling Adam he would die within a day of sinning he lived over 900 years. That is to say that the days were not literal 24 hour periods. This view is not limited to St. Justin as we see in the next quote Irenaeus speaks of a similar idea:

“And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin.”
(Against Herasies, 5:23 [AD 189])


Here he is not arguing for a specific view but rather finding fault with the literalists. Next we move onto someone everyone must be familiar with, St. Justin Martyr.
“For as Adam was told that in the [d]ay [h]e ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, 'The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' is connected with this subject.”
(Dialog with Typho the Jew chapter 81 [AD 155])

I believe as it is written here , Adam death on <1000 years meaning that he will not enter in the eternity of God , and not remain in the rest of God, fall from the rest of God and from the paradisiac wealthness.
I see the rest of the Lord as of many many years , even eternal.

I also liked this quote:

St. Augustine also comments on his view of the word “day” in the Creation Week. In City of God St. Augustine expressed his amazement of the creation days:

“But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!”
(City of God 11:6 [AD 419])

Let us start with the Early Father of the Church, Origen. In his book Against Celus he stated:

“…We answered to the best of our ability this objection to God's "commanding this first, second, and third thing to be created," when we quoted the words, "He said, and it was done; He commanded, and all things stood fast;" remarking that the immediate Creator, and, as it were, very Maker of the world was the Word, the Son of God; while the Father of the Word, by commanding His own Son--the Word--to create the world, is primarily Creator. And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day, and of the firmament upon the second, and of the gathering together of the waters that are under the heaven into their several reservoirs on the third (the earth thus causing to sprout forth those (fruits) which are under the control of nature alone, and of the (great) lights and stars upon the fourth, and of aquatic animals upon the fifth, and of land animals and man upon the sixth, we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world, and quoted the words: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."
(Against Celus 6:60 [AD 248])

It appears that this view of each day containing a thousand years was popular among Early Church Fathers as we read from St. Cyprian of Carthage:

““As the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house l so here also the number seven of the brethren, embracing, in the quantity of their number, the seven churches, as likewise in the first book of Kings we read that the barren hath borne seven”
(Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

source : http://home.entouch.net/dmd/churchfathers.htm

Thinking again , i would say that is possible that the world would have been created in many years,ages , in an old and of old time, "the generations of the heavens and the earth" , i like this , i kind of always felt that way about of the times of old.Anyway let us remmeber this , that after God made Adam(wich means man/human) He brought all animals to Adam so that he would name them.

Also as I have heard number seven symbolises perfection , fullness , entirely , sacradness , etc.It is possible that the days were completely allegorical and poetic, using numbers and other symbols to give us a perspective of things, to imagine and understand that the whole of God`s will, work(and rest) is included in seven days.
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« Reply #1315 on: September 06, 2009, 08:42:23 PM »

... If God created via evolution then God is the author of death....

You are so sure of that, are you?  You are so very sure about the nature of the Fall, that it happened at a certain point in time on Earth, and that before that moment in time there was no Fall?  You have this whole mystery figured out?   Correct me if I am wrong, but if you are really sure about all of that, then there is little point in continuing this discussion.


the Church understands its own Scriptures by divine illumination. it has nothing to do with me figuring anything out. of course the Fall happened in time at a specific point -- when Adam and Eve sinned -- are you suggesting perhaps that the animals or plants sinned and caused the Fall instead, or what? do you have a reason from within the Tradition to suggest such a wildly allegorical treatment of Genesis that you would question whether the Fall happened in time and because of man?
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« Reply #1316 on: September 07, 2009, 12:24:41 AM »

What Fathers?  Name them, cite their works, and prove that they spoke in consensus.

You also failed to answer my question or even address my point.  About what death did the Fathers speak?  The death of humans?  The death of animals and plants?  The death of stars and star systems?



every kind of death entered because of sin. otherwise we would have to believe that the God Who is life itself actually desires death, and then we'd have to question why man is called to redeem the entire earth and cosmos if they are actually meant to die.

The Wisdom of Solomon 1:13 For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. 14 For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth:

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIII.XII
When, therefore, it is asked what death it was with which God threatened our first parents if they should transgress the commandment they had received from Him, and should fail to preserve their obedience,—whether it was the death of soul, or of body, or of the whole man, or that which is called second death,—we must answer, It is all. For the first consists of two; the second is the complete death, which consists of all. For, as the whole earth consists of many lands, and the Church universal of many churches, so death universal consists of all deaths.

For the body would not return to the earth from which it was made, save only by the death proper to itself, which occurs when it is forsaken of the soul, its life. And therefore it is agreed among all Christians who truthfully hold the catholic faith, that we are subject to the death of the body, not by the law of nature, by which God ordained no death for man, but by His righteous infliction on account of sin; for God, taking vengeance on sin, said to the man, in whom we all then were, "Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return." St. Augustine, City of God Book XIII.XV

By this He signifies to us, that the whole earth was at that time watered by a divine fountain, and had no need that man should till it; but the earth produced all things spontaneously by the command of God, that man might not be wearied by tilling it. Theophilus to Autolycus, Book II.XIX

And the animals are named wild beasts [qhria], from their being hunted [qhreuesqai], not as if they had been made evil or venomous from the first--for nothing was made evil by God, but all things good, yea, very good,--but the sin in which man was concerned brought evil upon them. For when man transgressed, they also transgressed with him . . . so in like manner it came to pass, that in the case of man's sin, he being master, all that was subject to him sinned with him. When, therefore, man again shall have made his way back to his natural condition, and no longer does evil, those also shall be restored to their original gentleness. Theophilus to Autolycus Book II.XVII

God did not, as some people think, just give Paradise to our ancestor at the beginning, nor did He make only Paradise incorruptible. No! Instead, He did much more . . . Neither Eve nor Paradise were yet created, but the whole world had been brought into being by God as one thing, as a kind of paradise, at once incorruptible yet material and perceptible. It was this world, as we said, which was given to Adam and to his descendants for their enjoyment. Does this seem strange to you? It should not. St. Symeon the New Theologian, Ethical Discourses 1.1, in On the Mystical Life, vol. 1, p. 21

God gave man in Paradise "every kind and variety of fruit, fruit which is never spoiled or lacking but always fresh, full of sweetness,j and providing our ancestors with indescribable pleasure and enjoyment. For it was fitting that their incorruptible bodies be supplied with incorruptible food." St. Symeon, Ethical Discrouses 1.1

[God] wills to hold it [Paradise] out to us as a type of the indissoluble life to come, an icon of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If this were not the case, then the Garden, too, would have had to be cursed, since it was the scene of the transgression. However, God does not do this, but instead curses the whole rest of the earth which, as we have said, was incorruptible just like Paradise, and produced fruit of its own accord. St. Symeon, Ethical Discourses 1.2

Doubtless indeed vultures did not look around the earth when living things came to be. For nothing yet died of these things given meaning or brought into being by God, so that vultures might eat it. Nature was not divided, for it was in its prime; nor did hunters kill, for that not yet the custom of human beings; nor did wild beasts claw their prey, for they were not yet carnivores. And it is customary for vultures to feed on corpses, but since there were not yet corpses, nor yet their stench, so there was not yet such food for vultures. But all followed the diet of swans and all grazed the meadows. St. Basil the Great, On the Origin of Humanity 2.6

God did not create death, but we brought it upon ourselves by a wicked intention. St. Basil the Great, Homily Explaining that God is not the Cause of Evil 7

   The earth, created, adorned, blessed by God, did not have any deficiencies. It was overflowing with refinement. "God saw," after the completion of the whole creation of the world, "everything that He had made: and, behold, it was very good." (Gen. 1:31).
   Now the earth is presented to our eyes in a completely different look. We do not know her condition in holy virginity; we know her in the condition of corruption and accursedness, we know her already sentenced to burning; she was created for eternity. . . . Plants were not subjected either to decay or to diseases; both decay and diseases and the weeds themselves, appeared after the alteration of the earth following the fall of man . . . According to its creation, there was on it only the splendid, only the wholesome, there was only that which was suitable for the immortal and blessed life of its inhabitants . . . The beasts and other animals lived in perfect harmony among themselves, nourishing themselves on plant life. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Homily on Man

We don't know what kind of moon there was then, what kind of sun, what kind of light . . . All of this changed after the fall. Elder Barsanuphius of Optina by Victor Afanasiev, pg. 280

The beautiful things of this world are only hints of that beauty with which the first-created world was filled, as Adam and Eve saw it. That beauty was destroyed by the sin of the first people . . . Thus also did the fall into sin of the first people destroy the beauty of God's world, and there remain to us only fragments of it by which we may judge concerning the primordial beauty. Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, pg. 468

The death, however, that befell the soul because of the transgression not only crippled the soul and made man accursed; it also rendered the body itself subject to fatigue, suffering, and corruptibility, and finally handed it over to death. St. Gregory Palamas, To the Most Revered Nun Xenia 10

Of necessity bodily death followed [Adam's] spiritual death, so the evil one caused our double death by his single death. St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16.25

In not wishing to be nourished by Him [God], the first man rightly fell away from the Divine life, and took death as another parent. Accordingly he put on himself the irrational form, and blackened the inconceivable beauty of the Divine, and delivered over the whole of nature as food for death. Death is living on this through the whole of this temporal period, making us his food. St. Maximus, Ambiguum 10.

God, at the very moment humanity fell . . . gave the body the capacity to suffer, undergo corruption, and be wholly dissolved -- as was evinced when God covered the body with garments of skin. St. Maximus, Ambiguum 8

What I am saying is that in the beginning sin seduced Adam and persuaded him to transgress God's commandment, whereby sin gave rise to pleasure and, by means of this pleasure, nailed itself in Adam to the very depths of our nature, thus condemning our whole human nature to death and, via humanity, pressing the nature of (all) created beings toward mortal extinction. St. Maximus, Ad Thalassium 6.1

[man] was clothed with the roughness of this wretched life -- for that is what the fig leaves signify -- and put on death, that is to say, the mortality and the grossness of the flesh -- for that is what the garment of skins signifies; he was excluded from Paradise by the just judgment of God; and was condemned to death and made subject to corruption. St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition 3.1

The creation of all things is due to God, but corruption came in afterwards due to our wickedness and as a punishment and a help. "For God did not make death, neither does He take delight in the destruction of living things" (Wisdom 1:!3). But death is the work rather of man, that is, its origin is in Adam's transgression, in like manner as all other punishments. St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition 2.28

Commenting on Romans 8:20: What is the meaning of "the creation was made subject to futility"? That it became corruptible. For what cause, and on what account? On account of you, O man. For since you took a body mortal and subject to suffering, so also the earth received a curse, and brought forth thorns and thistles. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 14.

He [the Apostle Paul] discourses concerning creation's bondage, an shows for whose sake such a thing has occurred -- and he places the blame on us. What then? In suffering these things on account of another, has creation been maltreated? By no means, for it has come into being for my sake. So then, how could that which has come into being for my sake be unjustly treated in suffering those things for my correction? St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 14

What armed death against the cosmos? The fact that one man tasted of the tree only. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 10.

It is said that when the world was first created it was not subject to flux and corruption. According to Scripture it was only later corrupted and "made subject to futility" -- that is, to man -- not by its own choice but by the will of Him to whom it is subject, the expectation being that Adam, who had fallen into corruption, would be restored to his original state. St. Gregory of Sinai, On Commandments and Doctrines 11

Inasmuch, therefore, as the opinions of certain [orthodox persons] are derived from heretical discourses, they are both ignorant of God’s dispensations, and of the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the [earthly] kingdom which is the commencement of incorruption, by means of which kingdom those who shall be worthy are accustomed gradually to partake of the divine nature . . . It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: “For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature has been subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; since the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.32.1

For the creation was made subject to futility, [St. Paul] says, and he expects that it will be set free from such servitude, as he intends to call this world by the name of creation. For it is not what is unseen [the angelic world] but what is seen that is subject to corruption. The creation, then, after being restored to a better and more seemly state, remains, rejoicing and exulting over the children of God at the resurrection; for whose sake it now groans and travails, waiting itself also for our redemption from the corruption of the body, that, when when we have risen and shaken off the mortality of the flesh . . . and have been set free from sin, it also shall be freed from corruption and be subject no longer to futility, but to righteousness.  St. Methodios of Olympus and Patara, Discourse on the Resurrection, ANF, vol. 6, p. 366

The fate of visible nature has, from the beginning of its existence, been under the power of the influence of man . . . Organically and mystically connected with man as with a God-like creature of God, nature in the essence of its life depends upon man and always moves strictly commensurately with man. When man chose the path of sin and death as his path through history, all of nature, as the results of its inner dependency on man, followed after him. The fall of man was at the same time the fall of nature, and the curse of man became the curse of nature. And from that time man and nature, like two inseparable twins, blinded by one and the same darkness, deadened by one and the same death, burdened by one and the same curse, go hand in hand through history, through the abysmal wilderness of sin and evil. Together they stumble, together they fall, and together they arise, ceaselessly striving toward the distant conclusion of their sorrowful history. St. Justin Popvich, The Orthodox Philosophy of Truth: The Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church vol. 3 p. 792

Adam was placed as lord and king of all the creatures . . . And so, when he was taken captive, the creation which ministered to and served him was taken captive together with him. For through him death came to reign over every soul. St. Macarius the Great, Homilies 11.5

"Death is not natural; rather it is unnatural. And death is not from nature; rather it is against nature. All of nature in horror cries out: "I do not know death! I do not wish death! I am afraid of death! I strive against death!" Death is an uninvited stranger in nature . . . Even when one hundred philosophers declare that "death is natural!" all of nature trembles in indignation and shouts: " No! I have no use for death! It is an uninvited stranger!" And the voice of nature is not sophistry. The protest of nature against death outweighs all excuses thought up to justify death. And if there is something that nature struggles to express in its untouched harmony, doing so without exception in a unison of voices, then it is a protest against death. It is its unanimous, frantic, and heaven-shaking elegy of death.  St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Selected Writings

God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption; but men, having despised and rejected the contemplation of God, and devised and contrived evil for themselves . . . received the condemnation of death with which they had been threatened; and from thenceforth no longer remained as they were. St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation 4

Yet here too he [Adam] makes a gain, namely death, and the cutting off of sin, in order that evil may not be immortal. Thus his punishment is changed into a mercy; for it is in mercy, I am persuaded, that God inflicts punishment. St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38

Death dissolves this living thing and on the one hand ceases the action of wickedness; on the other hand, it saves man from further anguish, liberates him from sweat, drives away pain and sorrow, and brings the body's sufferings to an end. The Judge mixed punishment with such philanthrophy! Blessed Thedoret of Cyrus, On the Inhumanation of the Lord 6

Paradise, even heaven itself, is accessible to man; and the creation, both of the world and above the world, which long ago was set at variance with itself, is fit together in friendship; and we men are made to join in the angels' song, offering the worship of their praise to God. St. Gregory of Nyssa, A Sermon for the Feast of the Lights

Now the [General] Resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man, 17.2

But as my discourse is not intended to touch on this point, but to prove to you that the Holy Ghost reproaches men because they were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves. St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 124

For the heavenly Logos, a spirit emanating from the Father and a Logos from the Logos-power, in imitation of the Father who begat Him made man an image of immortality, so that, as incorruption is with God, in like manner, man, sharing in a part of God, might have the immortal principle also. Tatian, Address to the Greeks 7

the very same we hold to be the angel of evil, the source of error, the corrupter of the whole world, by whom in the beginning man was entrapped into breaking the commandment of God. And (the man) being given over to death on account of his sin, the entire human race, tainted in their descent from him, were made a channel for transmitting his condemnation. Tertullian, The Soul's Testimony 3

As for our own views, indeed, we know what was man’s origin, and we boldly assert and persistently maintain that death happens not by way of natural consequence to man, but owing to a fault and defect which is not itself natural; although it is easy enough, no doubt, to apply the term natural to faults and circumstances which seem to have been (though from the emergence of an external cause) inseparable to us from our very birth.  If man had been directly appointed to die as the condition of his creation, then of course death must be imputed to nature.  Now, that he was not thus appointed to die, is proved by the very law which made his condition depend on a warning, and death result from man’s arbitrary choice. Indeed, if he had not sinned, he certainly would not have died.  That cannot be nature which happens by the exercise of volition after an alternative has been proposed to it, and not by necessity—the result of an inflexible and unalterable condition. Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul 52

Look at the total result: how fruitful was the Word! God issued His fiat, and it was done: God also saw that it was good; not as if He were ignorant of the good until He saw it; but because it was good, He therefore saw it, and honoured it, and set His seal upon it; and consummated the goodness of His works by His vouchsafing to them that contemplation. Thus God blessed what He made good, in order that He might commend Himself to you as whole and perfect, good both in word and act. As yet the Word knew no malediction, because He was a stranger to malefaction. We shall see what reasons required this also of God. Meanwhile the world consisted of all things good, plainly foreshowing how much good was preparing for him for whom all this was provided. Who indeed was so worthy of dwelling amongst the works of God, as he who was His own image and likeness? Tertullian, Against Marcion 2.4

As long as Adam loved God and observed His commandment, he dwelt in the Paradise of God and God abode in the paradisiacal heart of Adam. Naked Adam was clothed with the grace of God and, surrounded by the animals, he held and caressed them lovingly, and they, in turn, licked him devoutly, as their Master. When Adam violated God's commandment., he was stripped of the grace of God, clothed with a garment of skin and exiled from Paradise. Grace-filled Adam became wild, and many animals, because of Adam, were also made savage, and instead of approaching him with devoutness and licking him with love, they lashed out at him with rage in order to tear at or bite him. Elder Paisios, Epistles, pg. 203-204

From these testimonies it is clear that God, having created man according to His image and likeness, conducted him into a Paradise of sweetness to till the immortal gardens. St. Paisius Velichovsky, The Scroll, 6 Chapters on Mental Prayer, chap. 2

Man, having received as his lot an exhausting fast and sorrows, was given over to illnesses, sufferings, and the other bitter things as to a kind of bridle. Because he did not sensibly restrain himself in that life which was free from labors and sorrows, he is given over to misfortunes so that by sufferings he might heal in himself the disease which came upon him in the midst of blessedness. St. Cyril of Alexandria, On the Incarnation of the Lord

Behold the life of innocent Adam in Eden, the lordship of man over creation, which together with us groans because of our fall and thirsts to be delivered into the "liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). The Life of St. Paul of Obnora, in the Northern Thebaid

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« Reply #1317 on: September 07, 2009, 12:26:54 AM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?
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« Reply #1318 on: September 07, 2009, 07:22:17 AM »

You contradict yourself, dear jckstraw72,
when you say that if animals are mortal by nature as in a billion-years old universe, they must also be sinful. Now my question is: were animals responsible for Adam's sin too, so that they suddenly became mortal due to Adam's sin? Are new-born children mortal by nature because they're guilty of anything? I don't think the Church Fathers did believe like this. The mortalist position, saying that Adam (and pre-adamitic animals) were ordinarily mortal and that Adam was offered immortality but renounced to it in Eden, is probably a more accurate position. In fact, if Jesus the New Adam was like the first Adam, wouldn't he be immortal in his human nature, so that all attempts to kill him would have miserably failed, including the Cross? And if you deny that immortality doesn't make invulnerable, then you must believe that our spiritual bodies, which we will be turned into the same renewed nature as Jesus', will be immortal but still vulnerable to accidental death or to murder... I think this makes your attempts sound absurd. Evidently Adam was created mortal, because natural death for creatures without a spirit is nothing but a cycle of nature, like the sun raising and falling under the horizon, or the alternation of seasons and years. Nature is by itself CYCLICAL... it's the spirit which makes ETERNAL as God and angels are... In other words, I firmly believe that salvation is a process freeing us from the natural cycle of the universe and elevating us to the eternity of our Creator. The only way to deny this, is to prove that Adam was certainly immortal before the Fall... A thing which must be proved by the Canons, or the Scriptures, or even by a more solid Tradition then the one you portray in your post (which I don't think to prove that the Church entire believed in an immortal Adam... a theory supported by Augustinians such as the Western Churches but not typical of the Eastern Church).

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #1319 on: September 07, 2009, 12:32:07 PM »

every kind of death entered because of sin. otherwise we would have to believe that the God Who is life itself actually desires death, and then we'd have to question why man is called to redeem the entire earth and cosmos if they are actually meant to die.
You confuse several issues here:
1. Did the Fall occur at one point in time?
2. Is the death spoken of in Genesis 2 and Romans 6 a literal, physical death?
3. Are there things which exist which are not created by God?
4. Is the existence of something proof that God wants it to exist?

I will address these issues presently:
1. You seem to believe that Adam and Eve sinned at one particular point, and that before them no one sinned, and after them all sin because of their sin. Consider this: Adam and Eve did actually sin, but their story is included in Scripture not because their sin causes us death, but because all of us sin in exactly the same way they did. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the place of ease to a life of hard, painful work, and they had to live a life of repentance in order to receive Eden once again. In the same way, our sin isolates us from others, causes us heavy labour, and forces us to repent to God and to others.

2. We become spiritually dead when we sin. The question of whether physical death is brought about by sin is not one I think we can address. We simply do not know enough about death. Certainly, in some instances, physical death is the direct result of sin. For example, a person can murder, and that death is the result of sin; furthermore, the death penalty brought by our government in punishment for that sin is the result of the sin. However, the murdered person may not have sinned, and yet died anyway.

3. Now, in Romans 6, St. Paul tells us that the Law was instituted to bring us to repentance. In this way, he states that even sin (the breaking of the Law) can be used by God to bring us salvation. Does that mean that God created sin? Absolutely not! St. Paul himself states that even though grace increases as a result of increasing sin, it is impermissible to use God's grace as an excuse to sin. So God can use even the things which He opposes to bring salvation.

4. So, then, if sin and death are not created by God, yet they can be used by Him to save us, then we can say that all things exist for God's glory. Now, can we also say that if God uses something for His glory, that He desires it to exist? I believe that is a leap unsupported by reason or evidence. Certainly we understand that God does not desire us to sin, and even Scripture tells us that God desires that none should perish, but that all repent. So I believe it is fair to say that God opposes sin and death, yet uses even that which is antithetical to His Being to grant us salvation.
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« Reply #1320 on: September 07, 2009, 03:05:53 PM »

every kind of death entered because of sin. otherwise we would have to believe that the God Who is life itself actually desires death, and then we'd have to question why man is called to redeem the entire earth and cosmos if they are actually meant to die.
You confuse several issues here:
1. Did the Fall occur at one point in time?
2. Is the death spoken of in Genesis 2 and Romans 6 a literal, physical death?
3. Are there things which exist which are not created by God?
4. Is the existence of something proof that God wants it to exist?

I will address these issues presently:
1. You seem to believe that Adam and Eve sinned at one particular point, and that before them no one sinned, and after them all sin because of their sin. Consider this: Adam and Eve did actually sin, but their story is included in Scripture not because their sin causes us death, but because all of us sin in exactly the same way they did. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the place of ease to a life of hard, painful work, and they had to live a life of repentance in order to receive Eden once again. In the same way, our sin isolates us from others, causes us heavy labour, and forces us to repent to God and to others.

2. We become spiritually dead when we sin. The question of whether physical death is brought about by sin is not one I think we can address. We simply do not know enough about death. Certainly, in some instances, physical death is the direct result of sin. For example, a person can murder, and that death is the result of sin; furthermore, the death penalty brought by our government in punishment for that sin is the result of the sin. However, the murdered person may not have sinned, and yet died anyway.

3. Now, in Romans 6, St. Paul tells us that the Law was instituted to bring us to repentance. In this way, he states that even sin (the breaking of the Law) can be used by God to bring us salvation. Does that mean that God created sin? Absolutely not! St. Paul himself states that even though grace increases as a result of increasing sin, it is impermissible to use God's grace as an excuse to sin. So God can use even the things which He opposes to bring salvation.

4. So, then, if sin and death are not created by God, yet they can be used by Him to save us, then we can say that all things exist for God's glory. Now, can we also say that if God uses something for His glory, that He desires it to exist? I believe that is a leap unsupported by reason or evidence. Certainly we understand that God does not desire us to sin, and even Scripture tells us that God desires that none should perish, but that all repent. So I believe it is fair to say that God opposes sin and death, yet uses even that which is antithetical to His Being to grant us salvation.

That's exactly what I think. At least, we can share something in common, huh?
I also think that the Bible starts with Adam's fall because he was the first "prophet" who could see God's presence (the beginning of monotheistic religion, possibly) but preferred his egotism and pride to God's offer of immortality. In this sense, we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. He also had descendants who, after the Flood (which I identify with the c. 5600 BCE catastrophic Deluge of the Black Sea), Noachian descendants spread and combined with the pre-existent civilizations. We have proof of this from history, since all Mesopotamian, Indo-European and Egyptian civilizations formed soon after this event in the Middle-East area, and the Ubaidian culture flourished as an empire in the Fertile Crescent, more or less like the empire of the Tower of Babel. It's at that point that all humans outside of the Middle-East got in touch with the Noachian covenant but refused it, thus making necessary the coming of a Saviour. This could also explain the "timing" of the coming of Jesus, some 5600 years after the Flood... a time necessary so that, contaminated by the narrations of the Noachians, all civilizations might have received a common religious heritage from Noah's descendants. Of course, that's my opinion, and I'm not here to impose it, anyway I felt I had to share it with all of you.

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #1321 on: September 07, 2009, 03:58:19 PM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?

feel free to post any Church source that points to the contrary. Do you think all those Saints from various points in Church history were really just crazy or stupid or something. They just hadn't been enlightened by an apostate Anglican yet?

I have learned from this thread that apparently nothing can demonstrate a concensus, and that scientists really no more about Scripture than any number of Saints.
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« Reply #1322 on: September 07, 2009, 04:01:47 PM »

every kind of death entered because of sin. otherwise we would have to believe that the God Who is life itself actually desires death, and then we'd have to question why man is called to redeem the entire earth and cosmos if they are actually meant to die.
You confuse several issues here:
1. Did the Fall occur at one point in time?
2. Is the death spoken of in Genesis 2 and Romans 6 a literal, physical death?
3. Are there things which exist which are not created by God?
4. Is the existence of something proof that God wants it to exist?

I will address these issues presently:
1. You seem to believe that Adam and Eve sinned at one particular point, and that before them no one sinned, and after them all sin because of their sin. Consider this: Adam and Eve did actually sin, but their story is included in Scripture not because their sin causes us death, but because all of us sin in exactly the same way they did. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the place of ease to a life of hard, painful work, and they had to live a life of repentance in order to receive Eden once again. In the same way, our sin isolates us from others, causes us heavy labour, and forces us to repent to God and to others.

can you back this up from Church sources?

Canon 109 of African Code, Council of Carthage, ratified at Trullo and Nicea II.
That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body—that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

Ancient Epitome of Canon CIX.
Whoso shall assert that the protoplast would have died without sin and through natural necessity, let him be anathema.

soooo your position anathematizes you according to 2 Ecumenical Councils ....

Quote
2. We become spiritually dead when we sin. The question of whether physical death is brought about by sin is not one I think we can address. We simply do not know enough about death. Certainly, in some instances, physical death is the direct result of sin. For example, a person can murder, and that death is the result of sin; furthermore, the death penalty brought by our government in punishment for that sin is the result of the sin. However, the murdered person may not have sinned, and yet died anyway.

see my post that includes many Patristic qoutes about physical death entering only after sin.

Quote
3. Now, in Romans 6, St. Paul tells us that the Law was instituted to bring us to repentance. In this way, he states that even sin (the breaking of the Law) can be used by God to bring us salvation. Does that mean that God created sin? Absolutely not! St. Paul himself states that even though grace increases as a result of increasing sin, it is impermissible to use God's grace as an excuse to sin. So God can use even the things which He opposes to bring salvation.

yes of course. He willingly died to defeat death for us. that doesnt mean He ever intended us to die in the first place.

Quote
4. So, then, if sin and death are not created by God, yet they can be used by Him to save us, then we can say that all things exist for God's glory. Now, can we also say that if God uses something for His glory, that He desires it to exist? I believe that is a leap unsupported by reason or evidence. Certainly we understand that God does not desire us to sin, and even Scripture tells us that God desires that none should perish, but that all repent. So I believe it is fair to say that God opposes sin and death, yet uses even that which is antithetical to His Being to grant us salvation.

i fully agree with this. its my position that God did not desire death -- which would make it strange that He would create via a process that necessarily includes death.
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« Reply #1323 on: September 07, 2009, 04:06:07 PM »

You contradict yourself, dear jckstraw72,
when you say that if animals are mortal by nature as in a billion-years old universe, they must also be sinful. Now my question is: were animals responsible for Adam's sin too, so that they suddenly became mortal due to Adam's sin? Are new-born children mortal by nature because they're guilty of anything? I don't think the Church Fathers did believe like this. The mortalist position, saying that Adam (and pre-adamitic animals) were ordinarily mortal and that Adam was offered immortality but renounced to it in Eden, is probably a more accurate position. In fact, if Jesus the New Adam was like the first Adam, wouldn't he be immortal in his human nature, so that all attempts to kill him would have miserably failed, including the Cross? And if you deny that immortality doesn't make invulnerable, then you must believe that our spiritual bodies, which we will be turned into the same renewed nature as Jesus', will be immortal but still vulnerable to accidental death or to murder... I think this makes your attempts sound absurd. Evidently Adam was created mortal, because natural death for creatures without a spirit is nothing but a cycle of nature, like the sun raising and falling under the horizon, or the alternation of seasons and years. Nature is by itself CYCLICAL... it's the spirit which makes ETERNAL as God and angels are... In other words, I firmly believe that salvation is a process freeing us from the natural cycle of the universe and elevating us to the eternity of our Creator. The only way to deny this, is to prove that Adam was certainly immortal before the Fall... A thing which must be proved by the Canons, or the Scriptures, or even by a more solid Tradition then the one you portray in your post (which I don't think to prove that the Church entire believed in an immortal Adam... a theory supported by Augustinians such as the Western Churches but not typical of the Eastern Church).

In Christ,    Alex

i really dont know what you're saying about animals sinning, i didnt say they do. they die because man sinned and thereby introduced death into the world. the entire earth was created as man's kingdom and thus its fate is tied to man. One of the Fathers I quoted said that. and St. Paul tells us that creation awaits the redemption of the Saints.

If you want me to consider that God intended for man to physically die then please provide some evidence from an authoritative Church source that states this. Otherwise I will continue to believe that man was always meant for immortality just as the Church has always taught.
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« Reply #1324 on: September 07, 2009, 04:16:13 PM »

Quote
2. We become spiritually dead when we sin. The question of whether physical death is brought about by sin is not one I think we can address. We simply do not know enough about death. Certainly, in some instances, physical death is the direct result of sin. For example, a person can murder, and that death is the result of sin; furthermore, the death penalty brought by our government in punishment for that sin is the result of the sin. However, the murdered person may not have sinned, and yet died anyway.

see my post that includes many Patristic qoutes about physical death entering only after sin.
Yes, only those quotes you selected to "prove" your point.
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« Reply #1325 on: September 07, 2009, 04:42:24 PM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?

feel free to post any Church source that points to the contrary.
Let's just presume that a consensus doesn't exist, since this is easiest, and that it's up to you to prove that a consensus does exist.
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« Reply #1326 on: September 07, 2009, 05:01:58 PM »

I was not saying that Adam was to die. I meant that Adam was not immortal by nature. His body was mortal, but until he ate of the Tree of Life (i.e. God's grace) he couldn't die, he was sustained in life by God himself. In fact, separating from God had the effect of interrupting grace to Adam, and this brought him to his natural condition, which is mortality. In fact, Adam was immediately expelled from Eden so that he couldn't eat of the Tree of Life once again and obtain an immortal life in sin. I think this doesn't contradict the conciliar statement that Adam was not mortal (i.e. disposed to die anyway) had he sinned or not. I'd be a fool to contradict the infallible Orthodox Faith.
On the matter of animals, I still think your vision of God is even more cruel then ours. Do you really think that God enslaved animals under Adam's authority so that at our fall animals were also condemned to death? This is absurd, and makes God feel intrinsically "evil" more then a God permitting natural death and offering a chance to get out of it. Adam's authority was that of gardener and pastor for all vegetal and animal life forms in the world, a custodian who was to safeguard nature, and not to possess it as if God had built the world to be enslaved by humans.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1327 on: September 10, 2009, 06:46:30 PM »

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2. We become spiritually dead when we sin. The question of whether physical death is brought about by sin is not one I think we can address. We simply do not know enough about death. Certainly, in some instances, physical death is the direct result of sin. For example, a person can murder, and that death is the result of sin; furthermore, the death penalty brought by our government in punishment for that sin is the result of the sin. However, the murdered person may not have sinned, and yet died anyway.

see my post that includes many Patristic qoutes about physical death entering only after sin.
Yes, only those quotes you selected to "prove" your point.

feel free to post quotes that point to the contrary. if the Church does not have a set, traditional understanding, as you claim, then surely you can find some authoritative sources from within the Church that witness to the contrary.
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« Reply #1328 on: September 10, 2009, 06:47:36 PM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?

feel free to post any Church source that points to the contrary.
Let's just presume that a consensus doesn't exist, since this is easiest, and that it's up to you to prove that a consensus does exist.

ive already provided Scriptures, Patristics, Icons, Canons, and hymns. i seem to be the only one really doing any work here, and then you just sit back and say "nah not good enough." perhaps you could put forth some effort and actually attempt to validate your position ...?
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« Reply #1329 on: September 10, 2009, 06:51:18 PM »

I was not saying that Adam was to die. I meant that Adam was not immortal by nature. His body was mortal, but until he ate of the Tree of Life (i.e. God's grace) he couldn't die, he was sustained in life by God himself. In fact, separating from God had the effect of interrupting grace to Adam, and this brought him to his natural condition, which is mortality. In fact, Adam was immediately expelled from Eden so that he couldn't eat of the Tree of Life once again and obtain an immortal life in sin. I think this doesn't contradict the conciliar statement that Adam was not mortal (i.e. disposed to die anyway) had he sinned or not. I'd be a fool to contradict the infallible Orthodox Faith.

I can agree with this. Different Fathers spoke of it differently -- some said he was immortal, some said mortal, and some said he was at an in between state, but they all agreed that he only physically died because of sin.

Quote
On the matter of animals, I still think your vision of God is even more cruel then ours. Do you really think that God enslaved animals under Adam's authority so that at our fall animals were also condemned to death? This is absurd, and makes God feel intrinsically "evil" more then a God permitting natural death and offering a chance to get out of it. Adam's authority was that of gardener and pastor for all vegetal and animal life forms in the world, a custodian who was to safeguard nature, and not to possess it as if God had built the world to be enslaved by humans.

In Christ,   Alex

but its not my opinion, ive already provided you with Patristic sources saying the same thing, and St. Paul tells us in Scripture that the redemption of the earth is tied to the redemption of the Saints. You might want to also try to argue that there is no concensus, but you can't argue that I'm making this up on my own .... If you want to argue against the notion of a set teaching then please feel free to post sources that teach animals were always meant to die.

and why is it crueler for God to give animals a chance to live forever in perfect harmony as man was meant for, than to make them predisposed for death, as you are claiming?
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« Reply #1330 on: September 10, 2009, 11:26:38 PM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?

feel free to post any Church source that points to the contrary.
Let's just presume that a consensus doesn't exist, since this is easiest, and that it's up to you to prove that a consensus does exist.

ive already provided Scriptures, Patristics, Icons, Canons, and hymns. i seem to be the only one really doing any work here, and then you just sit back and say "nah not good enough." perhaps you could put forth some effort and actually attempt to validate your position ...?
It doesn't take any work to validate the status quo, but it does take work to persuade this skeptic to change his point of view by adopting yours.  All I'm saying is that you have no real way of proving that which you want to prove, for you have to stack the deck by excluding those Fathers who don't embrace your point of view.  For example, if I were to present to you such a Father, I'm willing to bet you would reject him solely because he disagrees with you.  So why should I bother to go through that effort?

Blow and blow and blow all you want, jckstraw72.  Turn up the force of your bluster if you think that will help you.  It will only serve to make me wrap my coat even more tightly around myself.  Or you can just admit that this is an argument you'll never win and give up.
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« Reply #1331 on: September 11, 2009, 03:59:01 AM »

I thought this post so appropriate for this thread, as well, that I decided to quote it here so we can include it in this discussion.

well I have read Fr. Seraphim's book on Genesis in which he quotes toooons of ECFs, plus I have the 38 volume set of Church Fathers and ok, I'm only up to volume 3, but every one of them that has spoken of Genesis has spoken of it literally. St. Theophilus of Antioch gave probably the earliest dating for the earth -- 5000 some years before Christ it was created he says. I have also came across quotes from other Church Fathers regarding Genesis. Additionally many modern Saints and holy elders have maintained the traditional understanding of Genesis -- St. Nektarios, St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Justin Popovich, Elder Cleopa, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Elder Ephraim, Fr. Seraphim, etc etc


Over at Ancient Faith Radio Dr. Jeannie Constantinou has a series on Genesis that quotes extensively from both St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil.  She has come to the exact opposite opinion regarding how the Fathers used the word literal as compared to the way it is used now.  They are quite different.  She shows how Chrysostom does not view the Creation account in a modern sense of the word literal.  Here's the link to the start of that series http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures/P28/.  Also, in earlier podcasts she talks a lot about the Fathers and the danger of proof texting the writings of the Fathers to prove a point.  It's very informative.
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« Reply #1332 on: September 11, 2009, 07:47:28 AM »

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and why is it crueler for God to give animals a chance to live forever in perfect harmony as man was meant for, than to make them predisposed for death, as you are claiming?
Because in the case of animals suffering death due to Adam's sin, there's no direct link between sin and death for animals. How can the sin of Adam bring the death of animals? How can animals become mortal, as if it were a punishment for a sin they never committed? Animals don't even know what sin is... A God imposing death on animals AS A PUNISHMENT for a sin they never committed is to me far more cruel then a God who created a natural life-death cycle and offered to the only sentient being (man) to be elevated outside of this cycle. How can you redeem someone who has never sinned?

Quote
17 And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. 18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou eat the herbs of the earth.

This quote offers an explanation of HOW the earth was cursed: there is no minimal suggestion that death was the curse, on the contrary the part I underlined in bold indicates that the earth is cursed in her power to offer spontaneously her fruits to men, and that this curse was not AGAINST the earth, but AGAINST man. Sincerely, I believe this shows how an association of death to "the earth" can't be extracted from the Bible. On the consent of the Fathers: if at least a saint recognized with the title of "Church Father" confesses a different opinion which has never been condemned and which doesn't contradict the doctrines of the church, that possibility should be left open until an official definition is given by an Ecumenical Council. For example, prayers for the dead were never disputed by the holy Church Fathers, so this makes it a consensum Patrum. The Church Fathers, despite what you said, had no precise date of the Creation of the World. By that, I mean that there was no specific claim of apostolic origin for the idea that Adam was created in a specific date. Even the first calendars adopted by the Church allowed to span between 8000 BCE (Origen) to 4000 BCE (Bede) according to different human-made calculations. Also, you must take in consideration that the Church Fathers saw no contradiction in the absence of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, in Genesis 11 at the time they read it. None of the early Church Fathers discussing the Genesis genealogies quoted this Cainan between Arphaxad and Selah, so he must have been absent in the Septuagint at the time; still st. Luke's gospel references this name in the genealogy of Jesus. This proves nothing but the presence of holes in the lists of Genesis - a phenomenon often called "telescoping", which uses names as markers for an era of human history (Like saying "in the days of Charlemagne" to mean dates around 800 AD).
The only occasion the Byzantine calendar was adopted in the Ecumenical Councils is in the dating system, but this is included only as a conventional date, and indeed there was no anathema in the ECs including those who denied the inspiration of this dating system.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1333 on: September 11, 2009, 10:55:36 AM »

^ And you think one post proves a consensus?

feel free to post any Church source that points to the contrary.
Let's just presume that a consensus doesn't exist, since this is easiest, and that it's up to you to prove that a consensus does exist.

ive already provided Scriptures, Patristics, Icons, Canons, and hymns. i seem to be the only one really doing any work here, and then you just sit back and say "nah not good enough." perhaps you could put forth some effort and actually attempt to validate your position ...?
It doesn't take any work to validate the status quo, but it does take work to persuade this skeptic to change his point of view by adopting yours.  All I'm saying is that you have no real way of proving that which you want to prove, for you have to stack the deck by excluding those Fathers who don't embrace your point of view.  For example, if I were to present to you such a Father, I'm willing to bet you would reject him solely because he disagrees with you.  So why should I bother to go through that effort?

Blow and blow and blow all you want, jckstraw72.  Turn up the force of your bluster if you think that will help you.  It will only serve to make me wrap my coat even more tightly around myself.  Or you can just admit that this is an argument you'll never win and give up.

who are these Fathers that don't embrace the POV of all the other Fathers? Seriously, WHO ARE THEY? your whole argument pinges upon that, but yet you never present these other Fathers, you just assume that I am aware of Fathers who denied the literal level of Genesis and that I just ignore them. Literally, I've never seen such Patristic writings anywhere.

And let's not forget that I've also provided hymns, canons, icons, and Scripture as well. Your understanding of a concensus seems to very strange, and you make it basically impossible to ever demonstrate what the Church teaches ... on anything.
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« Reply #1334 on: September 11, 2009, 11:07:15 AM »

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and why is it crueler for God to give animals a chance to live forever in perfect harmony as man was meant for, than to make them predisposed for death, as you are claiming?
Because in the case of animals suffering death due to Adam's sin, there's no direct link between sin and death for animals. How can the sin of Adam bring the death of animals? How can animals become mortal, as if it were a punishment for a sin they never committed? Animals don't even know what sin is... A God imposing death on animals AS A PUNISHMENT for a sin they never committed is to me far more cruel then a God who created a natural life-death cycle and offered to the only sentient being (man) to be elevated outside of this cycle. How can you redeem someone who has never sinned?

i can't tell you the mind of God about why He did it that way, but I'm not really the one you should be asking:

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The beautiful things of this world are only hints of that beauty with which the first-created world was filled, as Adam and Eve saw it. That beauty was destroyed by the sin of the first people . . . Thus also did the fall into sin of the first people destroy the beauty of God's world, and there remain to us only fragments of it by which we may judge concerning the primordial beauty. Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, pg. 468

The creation of all things is due to God, but corruption came in afterwards due to our wickedness and as a punishment and a help. "For God did not make death, neither does He take delight in the destruction of living things" (Wisdom 1:!3). But death is the work rather of man, that is, its origin is in Adam's transgression, in like manner as all other punishments. St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition 2.28

Commenting on Romans 8:20: What is the meaning of "the creation was made subject to futility"? That it became corruptible. For what cause, and on what account? On account of you, O man. For since you took a body mortal and subject to suffering, so also the earth received a curse, and brought forth thorns and thistles. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 14.

This one especially answers your objection:
He [the Apostle Paul] discourses concerning creation's bondage, an shows for whose sake such a thing has occurred -- and he places the blame on us. What then? In suffering these things on account of another, has creation been maltreated? By no means, for it has come into being for my sake. So then, how could that which has come into being for my sake be unjustly treated in suffering those things for my correction? St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 14

What armed death against the cosmos? The fact that one man tasted of the tree only. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 10.

It is said that when the world was first created it was not subject to flux and corruption. According to Scripture it was only later corrupted and "made subject to futility" -- that is, to man -- not by its own choice but by the will of Him to whom it is subject, the expectation being that Adam, who had fallen into corruption, would be restored to his original state. St. Gregory of Sinai, On Commandments and Doctrines 11

Inasmuch, therefore, as the opinions of certain [orthodox persons] are derived from heretical discourses, they are both ignorant of God’s dispensations, and of the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the [earthly] kingdom which is the commencement of incorruption, by means of which kingdom those who shall be worthy are accustomed gradually to partake of the divine nature . . . It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: “For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature has been subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; since the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.32.1

For the creation was made subject to futility, [St. Paul] says, and he expects that it will be set free from such servitude, as he intends to call this world by the name of creation. For it is not what is unseen [the angelic world] but what is seen that is subject to corruption. The creation, then, after being restored to a better and more seemly state, remains, rejoicing and exulting over the children of God at the resurrection; for whose sake it now groans and travails, waiting itself also for our redemption from the corruption of the body, that, when when we have risen and shaken off the mortality of the flesh . . . and have been set free from sin, it also shall be freed from corruption and be subject no longer to futility, but to righteousness.  St. Methodios of Olympus and Patara, Discourse on the Resurrection, ANF, vol. 6, p. 366

The fate of visible nature has, from the beginning of its existence, been under the power of the influence of man . . . Organically and mystically connected with man as with a God-like creature of God, nature in the essence of its life depends upon man and always moves strictly commensurately with man. When man chose the path of sin and death as his path through history, all of nature, as the results of its inner dependency on man, followed after him. The fall of man was at the same time the fall of nature, and the curse of man became the curse of nature. And from that time man and nature, like two inseparable twins, blinded by one and the same darkness, deadened by one and the same death, burdened by one and the same curse, go hand in hand through history, through the abysmal wilderness of sin and evil. Together they stumble, together they fall, and together they arise, ceaselessly striving toward the distant conclusion of their sorrowful history. St. Justin Popvich, The Orthodox Philosophy of Truth: The Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church vol. 3 p. 792

Adam was placed as lord and king of all the creatures . . . And so, when he was taken captive, the creation which ministered to and served him was taken captive together with him. For through him death came to reign over every soul. St. Macarius the Great, Homilies 11.5


As long as Adam loved God and observed His commandment, he dwelt in the Paradise of God and God abode in the paradisiacal heart of Adam. Naked Adam was clothed with the grace of God and, surrounded by the animals, he held and caressed them lovingly, and they, in turn, licked him devoutly, as their Master. When Adam violated God's commandment., he was stripped of the grace of God, clothed with a garment of skin and exiled from Paradise. Grace-filled Adam became wild, and many animals, because of Adam, were also made savage, and instead of approaching him with devoutness and licking him with love, they lashed out at him with rage in order to tear at or bite him. Elder Paisios, Epistles, pg. 203-204



Quote
Quote
17 And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. 18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou eat the herbs of the earth.

This quote offers an explanation of HOW the earth was cursed: there is no minimal suggestion that death was the curse, on the contrary the part I underlined in bold indicates that the earth is cursed in her power to offer spontaneously her fruits to men, and that this curse was not AGAINST the earth, but AGAINST man. Sincerely, I believe this shows how an association of death to "the earth" can't be extracted from the Bible. On the consent of the Fathers: if at least a saint recognized with the title of "Church Father" confesses a different opinion which has never been condemned and which doesn't contradict the doctrines of the church, that possibility should be left open until an official definition is given by an Ecumenical Council. For example, prayers for the dead were never disputed by the holy Church Fathers, so this makes it a consensum Patrum. The Church Fathers, despite what you said, had no precise date of the Creation of the World. By that, I mean that there was no specific claim of apostolic origin for the idea that Adam was created in a specific date. Even the first calendars adopted by the Church allowed to span between 8000 BCE (Origen) to 4000 BCE (Bede) according to different human-made calculations. Also, you must take in consideration that the Church Fathers saw no contradiction in the absence of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, in Genesis 11 at the time they read it. None of the early Church Fathers discussing the Genesis genealogies quoted this Cainan between Arphaxad and Selah, so he must have been absent in the Septuagint at the time; still st. Luke's gospel references this name in the genealogy of Jesus. This proves nothing but the presence of holes in the lists of Genesis - a phenomenon often called "telescoping", which uses names as markers for an era of human history (Like saying "in the days of Charlemagne" to mean dates around 800 AD).
The only occasion the Byzantine calendar was adopted in the Ecumenical Councils is in the dating system, but this is included only as a conventional date, and indeed there was no anathema in the ECs including those who denied the inspiration of this dating system.

In Christ,   Alex

ok but the obvious thing you're leaving out is that:
1. apparently many early Fathers were interested/concerned with the date of the earth
2. they all calculated a young age based on a literal reading of Genesis! There were variant numbers between the Hebrew and Septuagint, and probably even between different manuscripts of the Septuagint, thus they didn't get exactly the same numbers, but absolutely none of them give you anywhere near enough time for evolution. and the Church eventually officially adopted the Byzantine Creation Era calendar thus showing its mind on the matter.
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« Reply #1335 on: September 11, 2009, 01:07:26 PM »

You are still giving to the Church Fathers more authority then necessary. All of the Church Fathers were moved by personal speculation, which is a series theologumena. The same Church Fathers you proof-text here were also sure that the world would have finished by 500 AD. NONE of the them but Augustine proposed a less literal interpretation of the six millenial days of the world, yet the world is not finished in c. 500 AD, and we're still here to witness this. You are abusing of the principle "consent of the Fathers" to "prove" your positions, but the truth is that the Church Fathers are infallible only when they witness Apostolic Tradition, i.e. those doctrines which have been handed down directly by Jesus to the Blessed Apostles. Often, the Fathers use expressions clearly stating that a belief or practice comes directly from the Apostles themselves, such as "we have received this tradition" etc. which are absent afaik in most if not anyone of the Fathers you quoted. Our ancestors in the Faith used to read the Scriptures to reconstruct the date of Creation only and exclusively for their conviction that the world would be over in 6000 AM.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1336 on: September 11, 2009, 01:32:02 PM »

You are still giving to the Church Fathers more authority then necessary. All of the Church Fathers were moved by personal speculation, which is a series theologumena.

 Even when we take this sentence in context of your argument, this is just as bold a statement as you seem to be claiming others are making for their beliefs.  All of the Fathers were moved by personal speculation?  I submit that this statement cannot be held as true; the great cloud of witnesses spoken of in Scripture tells us otherwise.  A great many achieved Theosis and were true Theologians devoid of mere speculation.   
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« Reply #1337 on: September 11, 2009, 01:43:02 PM »

who are these Fathers that don't embrace the POV of all the other Fathers? Seriously, WHO ARE THEY? your whole argument pinges upon that, but yet you never present these other Fathers, you just assume that I am aware of Fathers who denied the literal level of Genesis and that I just ignore them. Literally, I've never seen such Patristic writings anywhere.
You just don't get it, do you?  I'm not arguing anything except that you bear ALL the burden of proof in this argument, since you are the one trying to prove something.  I'm not trying to prove anything.

And let's not forget that I've also provided hymns, canons, icons, and Scripture as well. Your understanding of a concensus seems to very strange, and you make it basically impossible to ever demonstrate what the Church teaches ... on anything.
No, I just think you're being too dogmatic about this and trying to formulate and prove Church teaching where none is even necessary.
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« Reply #1338 on: September 11, 2009, 01:43:24 PM »

You are still giving to the Church Fathers more authority then necessary. All of the Church Fathers were moved by personal speculation, which is a series theologumena.

 Even when we take this sentence in context of your argument, this is just as bold a statement as you seem to be claiming others are making for their beliefs.  All of the Fathers were moved by personal speculation?  I submit that this statement cannot be held as true; the great cloud of witnesses spoken of in Scripture tells us otherwise.  A great many achieved Theosis and were true Theologians devoid of mere speculation.   


thank you Gabriel. and furthermore, if I am really just proof-texting then by all means present any evidence from within the Church to the contrary. Scripture itself tells us that God does not desire the death of living things, that death entered because of sin, and that death is the last enemy to be overthrown, thus when the Fathers teach about the origin of death they are indeed transmitting the Apostolic Tradition.
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« Reply #1339 on: September 11, 2009, 01:48:38 PM »

who are these Fathers that don't embrace the POV of all the other Fathers? Seriously, WHO ARE THEY? your whole argument pinges upon that, but yet you never present these other Fathers, you just assume that I am aware of Fathers who denied the literal level of Genesis and that I just ignore them. Literally, I've never seen such Patristic writings anywhere.
You just don't get it, do you?  I'm not arguing anything except that you bear ALL the burden of proof in this argument, since you are the one trying to prove something.  I'm not trying to prove anything.

you are attempting to persuade myself and others that I am fabricating a false concensus, and that I am merely proof-texting. This would imply that there is actually another viewpoint that could be presented but which I am ignoring. There is a burden on you to demonstrate that there is actually a variant viewpoint in the history of the Church. Otherwise your interpretation of Scripture is completely your own which is a Protestant thing to do.

Quote
And let's not forget that I've also provided hymns, canons, icons, and Scripture as well. Your understanding of a concensus seems to very strange, and you make it basically impossible to ever demonstrate what the Church teaches ... on anything.
No, I just think you're being too dogmatic about this and trying to formulate Church teaching where none is even necessary.

I'm not attempting to formulate any teaching. I'm presenting to you the words of the illumined Fathers. If anyone is fabricating a teaching I guess it would have to be them. and yes, i think its necessary to establish that death, the great enemy of creation, is not God's fault but rather is our fault. If we blame God for death then we're really not much better than Calvinists.

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« Reply #1340 on: September 11, 2009, 01:58:23 PM »

who are these Fathers that don't embrace the POV of all the other Fathers? Seriously, WHO ARE THEY? your whole argument pinges upon that, but yet you never present these other Fathers, you just assume that I am aware of Fathers who denied the literal level of Genesis and that I just ignore them. Literally, I've never seen such Patristic writings anywhere.
You just don't get it, do you?  I'm not arguing anything except that you bear ALL the burden of proof in this argument, since you are the one trying to prove something.  I'm not trying to prove anything.

you are attempting to persuade myself and others that I am fabricating a false concensus, and that I am merely proof-texting.
I think that's self-evident.

This would imply that there is actually another viewpoint that could be presented but which I am ignoring. There is a burden on you to demonstrate that there is actually a variant viewpoint in the history of the Church. Otherwise your interpretation of Scripture is completely your own which is a Protestant thing to do.
But I'm not offering my own interpretation of Scripture.  Besides, others here have already done the work of demonstrating an alternate point of view from the Fathers.

Quote
And let's not forget that I've also provided hymns, canons, icons, and Scripture as well. Your understanding of a concensus seems to very strange, and you make it basically impossible to ever demonstrate what the Church teaches ... on anything.
No, I just think you're being too dogmatic about this and trying to formulate Church teaching where none is even necessary.

I'm not attempting to formulate any teaching. I'm presenting to you the words of the illumined Fathers. If anyone is fabricating a teaching I guess it would have to be them. and yes, i think its necessary to establish that death, the great enemy of creation, is not God's fault but rather is our fault. If we blame God for death then we're really not much better than Calvinists.
But the way you've approached this argument on this thread, it is you and you alone who are organizing pertinent and related Patristic writings into a single body of work with the goal of persuading us to adopt your particular point of view as if it were Church dogma.  So I am not questioning, nor have I ever questioned the Fathers.  I have only questioned you.  As I said before on this thread, it's all about you.
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« Reply #1341 on: September 11, 2009, 02:01:28 PM »

jckstraw72, have you yet listened to the podcast linked in Reply #1331 above?
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« Reply #1342 on: September 11, 2009, 02:09:05 PM »

jckstraw72, have you yet listened to the podcast linked in Reply #1331 above?

not yet, i dont have speakers. ill have to wait till i get to a computer on campus.
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« Reply #1343 on: September 11, 2009, 02:12:04 PM »

who are these Fathers that don't embrace the POV of all the other Fathers? Seriously, WHO ARE THEY? your whole argument pinges upon that, but yet you never present these other Fathers, you just assume that I am aware of Fathers who denied the literal level of Genesis and that I just ignore them. Literally, I've never seen such Patristic writings anywhere.
You just don't get it, do you?  I'm not arguing anything except that you bear ALL the burden of proof in this argument, since you are the one trying to prove something.  I'm not trying to prove anything.

you are attempting to persuade myself and others that I am fabricating a false concensus, and that I am merely proof-texting.
I think that's self-evident.

This would imply that there is actually another viewpoint that could be presented but which I am ignoring. There is a burden on you to demonstrate that there is actually a variant viewpoint in the history of the Church. Otherwise your interpretation of Scripture is completely your own which is a Protestant thing to do.
But I'm not offering my own interpretation of Scripture.  Besides, others here have already done the work of demonstrating an alternate point of view from the Fathers.

Quote
And let's not forget that I've also provided hymns, canons, icons, and Scripture as well. Your understanding of a concensus seems to very strange, and you make it basically impossible to ever demonstrate what the Church teaches ... on anything.
No, I just think you're being too dogmatic about this and trying to formulate Church teaching where none is even necessary.

I'm not attempting to formulate any teaching. I'm presenting to you the words of the illumined Fathers. If anyone is fabricating a teaching I guess it would have to be them. and yes, i think its necessary to establish that death, the great enemy of creation, is not God's fault but rather is our fault. If we blame God for death then we're really not much better than Calvinists.
But the way you've approached this argument on this thread, it is you and you alone who are organizing pertinent and related Patristic writings into a single body of work with the goal of persuading us to adopt your particular point of view as if it were Church dogma.  So I am not questioning, nor have I ever questioned the Fathers.  I have only questioned you.  As I said before on this thread, it's all about you.

when was an alternative POV from the Fathers shown? you have a few quotes that deal only with the length of days, none of which give you enough time for evolution. another thing to think about -- some Fathers seem to have interpreted the days to be 1000 years because of other Scriptural verses! that is a far cry from someone pulling from secularist science to interpret Scripture. and if 3 or 4 Fathers really overturns a concensus then there isn't a whole lot that we can actually believe.

but as i have said repeatedly, the length of the days is probably the least important issue here. you still have the big issue of death. no one has presented any evidence that says God desires death.
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« Reply #1344 on: September 11, 2009, 02:58:42 PM »

not yet, i dont have speakers. ill have to wait till i get to a computer on campus.

Just plug some headphones into your computer.
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« Reply #1345 on: September 11, 2009, 03:41:47 PM »

Why does people put the wrong words in my mouth (or better, in my keybord LOL)?
I never said that the Church Fathers were wrong in their speculation. I just said they were speculating on the subject, since no explicit tradition from the Apostles has come to us, so that we might affirm Adam to have been created precisely 5500 years before Adam (which makes me think: how could man have reached 6 billion people on Earth after all natural disasters, epidemics and wars, when the Flood happened according to the Septuagint only around 3250 BCE?). Indeed, they were only reading in the ONLY spontaneous meaning possible at the time, the literal one, given that the science of the time was so primitive. I insist in listening to Augustine's good suggestion: when scientific observation and reason contradict a LITERAL reading of the Scriptures, we must listen to science too and try to harmonize them. Only the modern theory of a 15 billion year old world is compatible with the existence of stars distant million years; this is the main problem that the crazy and non-sensic "creation scientists" can't validly overcome. Saying that light speed is decaying, when no scientific proof exists of this, is an absurdity. Also, considering that MOST of our universe is ruled by the value of the speed of light ('c' in the famous E=mc^2 formula of Albert Einstein), the entire universe would have had different characteristics, most of them leading to the destruction of the universe or to its sterility. For example a universe where c is greater, the energy extracted from mass would have been too great, so that the stars would have consumed too rapidly. And this is just a little example. The extremly precise balance of forces and dynamics in the ACTUAL world proves God's existence more then any conjecture, and I am surprised that a creationist is attacking me, since I am one of the few still supporting the existence of a literal Adam, and of a literal Flood (while its extent was more limited then in a global flood theory). History and a literal reading of the Bible simply DON'T MATCH in their respective chronologies. Why would God deceive us, and make the universe seem older then it is? Doesn't this contrast with the words "The heavens declare the glory of God"? If the heavens declare the glory of God, then the how's and when's of creation must be encoded in the fabric of the universe as we know it. The wind/breath of God can still be heard roaming in the sound of Big Bang, as scientists proved long ago. This roaming is the only testimony of what happened when God stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and traced the firmament over the earth.
The thing which drives me mad is that while I accept all possible beliefs on creation (including the idea of 6 literal days), and even the conclusions on darwinian evolution I recently debated here can be entirely plausible, you jckstraw72 accuse me and others (including bishops and theologians of our times) of being heretic. Sincerely, I can't understand where your hatred comes from. My only possible explanation is that you're frightened by physical death... that you consider it intrinsically evil, and can't accept that God established this cycle too. Death - I mean, physical death - as proven useful in the world after the Fall. Only through death we can get in communion with God. I also think that the free violation of God's commandment by Adam and Eve was somehow providential, so that natural death might have let humans understand how important is God and how weak and futile we are on our own. It's more or less like a child who, naively, understands the importance of a toy only he has lost or broken it. Our forefathers were children in faith, and they hadn't understood the difference between "immortal by nature" and "immortal by grace", and this is the root of their rebellion and pride.
I feel really offended by your lack of understanding and love towards most your brothers and sisters in Orthodoxy (but I didn't offendfor myself, afterall I am nothing in this world and my opinion counts anything in the Church).
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« Reply #1346 on: September 11, 2009, 04:37:24 PM »

Why does people put the wrong words in my mouth (or better, in my keybord LOL)?
I never said that the Church Fathers were wrong in their speculation. I just said they were speculating on the subject, since no explicit tradition from the Apostles has come to us, so that we might affirm Adam to have been created precisely 5500 years before Adam (which makes me think: how could man have reached 6 billion people on Earth after all natural disasters, epidemics and wars, when the Flood happened according to the Septuagint only around 3250 BCE?). Indeed, they were only reading in the ONLY spontaneous meaning possible at the time, the literal one, given that the science of the time was so primitive. I insist in listening to Augustine's good suggestion: when scientific observation and reason contradict a LITERAL reading of the Scriptures, we must listen to science too and try to harmonize them. Only the modern theory of a 15 billion year old world is compatible with the existence of stars distant million years; this is the main problem that the crazy and non-sensic "creation scientists" can't validly overcome. Saying that light speed is decaying, when no scientific proof exists of this, is an absurdity. Also, considering that MOST of our universe is ruled by the value of the speed of light ('c' in the famous E=mc^2 formula of Albert Einstein), the entire universe would have had different characteristics, most of them leading to the destruction of the universe or to its sterility. For example a universe where c is greater, the energy extracted from mass would have been too great, so that the stars would have consumed too rapidly. And this is just a little example. The extremly precise balance of forces and dynamics in the ACTUAL world proves God's existence more then any conjecture, and I am surprised that a creationist is attacking me, since I am one of the few still supporting the existence of a literal Adam, and of a literal Flood (while its extent was more limited then in a global flood theory). History and a literal reading of the Bible simply DON'T MATCH in their respective chronologies. Why would God deceive us, and make the universe seem older then it is? Doesn't this contrast with the words "The heavens declare the glory of God"? If the heavens declare the glory of God, then the how's and when's of creation must be encoded in the fabric of the universe as we know it. The wind/breath of God can still be heard roaming in the sound of Big Bang, as scientists proved long ago. This roaming is the only testimony of what happened when God stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and traced the firmament over the earth.
The thing which drives me mad is that while I accept all possible beliefs on creation (including the idea of 6 literal days), and even the conclusions on darwinian evolution I recently debated here can be entirely plausible, you jckstraw72 accuse me and others (including bishops and theologians of our times) of being heretic. Sincerely, I can't understand where your hatred comes from. My only possible explanation is that you're frightened by physical death... that you consider it intrinsically evil, and can't accept that God established this cycle too. Death - I mean, physical death - as proven useful in the world after the Fall. Only through death we can get in communion with God. I also think that the free violation of God's commandment by Adam and Eve was somehow providential, so that natural death might have let humans understand how important is God and how weak and futile we are on our own. It's more or less like a child who, naively, understands the importance of a toy only he has lost or broken it. Our forefathers were children in faith, and they hadn't understood the difference between "immortal by nature" and "immortal by grace", and this is the root of their rebellion and pride.
I feel really offended by your lack of understanding and love towards most your brothers and sisters in Orthodoxy (but I didn't offendfor myself, afterall I am nothing in this world and my opinion counts anything in the Church).

how do you know there isnt an Apostolic Tradition coming down to us, considering that Scripture, Patristics, canons, hymns, and icons all point to the same understanding?

i never called you a heretic. im simply asking for someone to demonstrate that their interpretation is a sound Orthodox interpretation rather than something modern man has just made up by the influence of evolution.

in order for St. Augustine's words to apply to me I would first have to be convinced that evolution is scientifically sound. i find it to be a philosophy rather than science since it is built upon a series of assumptions, thus I find St. Augustine's quote much more fitting for theistic evolutionists.
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« Reply #1347 on: September 11, 2009, 04:54:51 PM »

I don't know how to make you understand that I'M NOT an evolutionist. I don't believe evolution is a sound theory (which doesn't mean I am condemning those who support a creation THROUGH evolution). Still I see other observations - both mathematical and empirical - that point to a very old universe and can't be explained out with a Young Earth model of creation. There are a variety of belief systems spanning from progressive creationism/day-age theory and others which accept a scientifical DATING of creation according to empirical sciences (astrophysics, archeology, geology, paleontology...) but deny biological evolution and abiogenesis for their more or less explicit contradiction with the Scriptures.

In Christ,   Alex
Quote
Inasmuch, therefore, as the opinions of certain [orthodox persons] are derived from heretical discourses, they are both ignorant of God’s dispensations, and of the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the [earthly] kingdom which is the commencement of incorruption, by means of which kingdom those who shall be worthy are accustomed gradually to partake of the divine nature . . . It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: “For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature has been subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; since the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.32.1

PS: The application of this passage to the conversation has been detrimental to our conversation: it seems clear that you're accusing me and others of heresy.
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« Reply #1348 on: September 11, 2009, 05:14:53 PM »

I don't know how to make you understand that I'M NOT an evolutionist. I don't believe evolution is a sound theory (which doesn't mean I am condemning those who support a creation THROUGH evolution). Still I see other observations - both mathematical and empirical - that point to a very old universe and can't be explained out with a Young Earth model of creation. There are a variety of belief systems spanning from progressive creationism/day-age theory and others which accept a scientifical DATING of creation according to empirical sciences (astrophysics, archeology, geology, paleontology...) but deny biological evolution and abiogenesis for their more or less explicit contradiction with the Scriptures.

In Christ,   Alex
Quote
Inasmuch, therefore, as the opinions of certain [orthodox persons] are derived from heretical discourses, they are both ignorant of God’s dispensations, and of the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the [earthly] kingdom which is the commencement of incorruption, by means of which kingdom those who shall be worthy are accustomed gradually to partake of the divine nature . . . It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: “For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature has been subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; since the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.32.1

PS: The application of this passage to the conversation has been detrimental to our conversation: it seems clear that you're accusing me and others of heresy.

well he says that the opinion of certain orthodox people are derived from heretical sources, not that the people are heretical. i think deriving an interpretation of Scripture from secularist scientists constitutes getting an opinion from a heretical source.
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #1349 on: September 11, 2009, 07:33:01 PM »

and if 3 or 4 Fathers really overturns a concensus then there isn't a whole lot that we can actually believe.
I would correct that by saying that if 3 or 4 Fathers really overturns a consensus then there isn't a whole lot we can actually proclaim as dogma, which is actually a good thing.
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