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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 54 (15.6%)
No - 134 (38.7%)
both metaphorically and literally - 158 (45.7%)
Total Voters: 346

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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 348585 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1800 on: January 28, 2010, 02:57:41 AM »

Exo 20:8  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
(from the ten commandments.)
Does the orthodox church believe that God made Heaven and earth and all that in them is in six days then rested on the seventh as the ten commandment says?
please don't tell me that 6 days is really longer than 24 hour days,because the Jews would have been working for from day 1 and 2 thousands of years, and maybe even millions of years before taking the sabbath day, for those who want to reconcile scripture to the world.

Personally I can't become roman catholic because they compromised the early church and ancient Israel's belief, with the world, they gave up, they no longer believe in 6 days, but in the first millennium God made this, then the second millennium God made this, if the orthodox can't even belief the first chapter of the Bible without worldy athiestic interpretation, then I might as well not be orthodox, not even christian anything.

*facepalm*
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« Reply #1801 on: January 28, 2010, 03:08:33 AM »

*facepalm*

I have to admit that this thread inspired my choice of avatar and signature.  Tongue
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« Reply #1802 on: January 28, 2010, 03:24:38 AM »

A statement open to debate and unprovable, the Fall was an event that was cosmic in its distortions (the Resurrection was just as cosmic) and thus it is impossible to reach conclusions about a pre-Fall world. I, for one, just posted the opinion of one theologian. I'm not passing it off as a infallible or dogma or the voice of God.

I'd say that is debatable.  How do you know that somewhere our galaxy or the Universe the Word did not become (insert alien descriptor) as well?

We don't actually. But as Fr. John Romanides points out, if we encountered an alien culture, we would need to ask ourselves were exactly they are in terms of theosis.
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« Reply #1803 on: January 28, 2010, 03:54:15 AM »

A statement open to debate and unprovable, the Fall was an event that was cosmic in its distortions (the Resurrection was just as cosmic) and thus it is impossible to reach conclusions about a pre-Fall world. I, for one, just posted the opinion of one theologian. I'm not passing it off as a infallible or dogma or the voice of God.

I'd say that is debatable.  How do you know that somewhere our galaxy or the Universe the Word did not become (insert alien descriptor) as well?

I believe any such idea was condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople.
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« Reply #1804 on: January 28, 2010, 05:24:47 AM »

A statement open to debate and unprovable, the Fall was an event that was cosmic in its distortions (the Resurrection was just as cosmic) and thus it is impossible to reach conclusions about a pre-Fall world. I, for one, just posted the opinion of one theologian. I'm not passing it off as a infallible or dogma or the voice of God.

I'd say that is debatable.  How do you know that somewhere our galaxy or the Universe the Word did not become (insert alien descriptor) as well?

I believe any such idea was condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople.

Can you quote the relevant canon??
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« Reply #1805 on: January 28, 2010, 05:39:51 AM »

A statement open to debate and unprovable, the Fall was an event that was cosmic in its distortions (the Resurrection was just as cosmic) and thus it is impossible to reach conclusions about a pre-Fall world. I, for one, just posted the opinion of one theologian. I'm not passing it off as a infallible or dogma or the voice of God.

I'd say that is debatable.  How do you know that somewhere our galaxy or the Universe the Word did not become (insert alien descriptor) as well?

I believe any such idea was condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople.

Can you quote the relevant canon??

It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."
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« Reply #1806 on: January 28, 2010, 08:51:16 AM »

Guys...God's Grace was in Eden. So A&E and all the animals could have been vegetarians organisms that lived in a garden in Mesopotamia, not the whole world. Evolution had taken place outside of Eden.
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« Reply #1807 on: January 28, 2010, 09:10:47 AM »

Guys...God's Grace was in Eden. So A&E and all the animals could have been vegetarians organisms that lived in a garden in Mesopotamia, not the whole world. Evolution had taken place outside of Eden.

Assuming one believes the book of Genesis to be anything more than allegorical.
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« Reply #1808 on: January 28, 2010, 09:14:25 AM »

There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
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« Reply #1809 on: January 28, 2010, 11:13:47 AM »

To Christianus:
Since you stress the words of the Bible, stretching them outside of their meanings, as a fundamentalist approach to Genesis 1 implies, I will give you a very important quote from the Bible which is granted equal inspired authority.
Quote
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Church interpretes everything for us. Don't replace the authority of the Church. Look at how Peter describes the inspiration: as a movement from the Holy Ghost, and not as a dictation. The Bible, unlike the Qu'ran, doesn't claim to have descended miraculously from heaven; the Bible, unlike the writings of other religions, doesn't pretend to have been spelled word-by-word by God! Inspiration means three things:
1) the events narrated are historically true, but they might be narrated in allegorical ways.
2) the events can contain some minor errors, generally due to the errors of copyists and scribes. The same Luke claims to have made an historiographical research preliminary to his Gospel, thus errors due to an imprecise secular resource may be present.
3) all of the parts in the Bible are orthodox (with an 'o', not necessarily with an 'O') in contents of ethics and dogma.

There's no reason to be so strict in your views. Anyway, I would remind you that the Roman Catholic Church hasn't entirely abandoned the idea that the Bible is historically accurate, as you claimed in your previous posts. Read through the text of Providentissimus Deus by Pope Leo XIII. Accepting evolution as a biological theory doesn't mean anything... the creation of Adam and Eve has been formally declared, for example, to be "special", in the Apostolic Constitution "Humani Generis", despite the same documents showed an opening towards evolution as a fact, that is in its sequence of events, but not in the philosophy behind it (i.e. that evolution is a random process without a guidance).

In Christ,     Alex
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« Reply #1810 on: January 28, 2010, 11:17:32 AM »

To deusveritasest:
Quote
It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."

Thus, should you find out that aliens actually exist, would you lose your faith entirely?
I think that, if aliens actually exist, they should be the next to be preached the Gospel. Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #1811 on: January 28, 2010, 11:55:28 AM »

A statement open to debate and unprovable, the Fall was an event that was cosmic in its distortions (the Resurrection was just as cosmic) and thus it is impossible to reach conclusions about a pre-Fall world. I, for one, just posted the opinion of one theologian. I'm not passing it off as a infallible or dogma or the voice of God.

I'd say that is debatable.  How do you know that somewhere our galaxy or the Universe the Word did not become (insert alien descriptor) as well?

I believe any such idea was condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople.

Can you quote the relevant canon??

It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."

Origen believed in many different ages. If you saw the movie the matrix, then you will be able to understand what Oregin believed in this regard. Like the movie in where there were more than one Neo over a long period of time. Origen believed that Jesus came down to die in each age.

He believed in different Universes in series......not the same as the modern parallel universes.




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« Reply #1812 on: January 28, 2010, 11:59:37 AM »

Guys...God's Grace was in Eden. So A&E and all the animals could have been vegetarians organisms that lived in a garden in Mesopotamia, not the whole world. Evolution had taken place outside of Eden.

Assuming one believes the book of Genesis to be anything more than allegorical.

I see it as being both Literal as well as Allegorical. It was said somewhere that Saint John Chrysostom saw it as being Oral Tradition (which can be poetic in nature) that was written down, and so we should look at it from that aspect.
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« Reply #1813 on: January 28, 2010, 11:59:46 AM »

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but you are being very critical, look at the Nicene Creed, that is what we MUST believe. Almost anything else is pretty much up to debate since it won't affect our salvation...

So are you saying that individuals who don't believe in the Nicene Creed are damned? What do you mean by 'it won't affect our salvation...'

I don't think I said that at all... But if you don't believe the Nicene Creed, you cannot be a Christian and certainly cannot be Orthodox. It is up to God who is saved and who is damned.

So you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
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« Reply #1814 on: January 28, 2010, 12:07:44 PM »

To deusveritasest:
Quote
It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."

Thus, should you find out that aliens actually exist, would you lose your faith entirely?
I think that, if aliens actually exist, they should be the next to be preached the Gospel. Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex

If the Incarnation is to save the entire Universe, and not just us alone then how could one loose faith?




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« Reply #1815 on: January 28, 2010, 12:21:14 PM »

Are you honestly inquiring or trying to convince us that we are wrong? I'm confused...  Huh
I want a return to the in six days God created heaven and earth and all that in them is.

Why?



Quote
Evolution which is a new influence in the church

St. Basil the great believed the creation to be truly ancient. He's not the only one, but he's probably the most "famous". Many early Rabbis also believed the Genesis story to be allegorical poetry, written to prove a point...that being that God created everything. Not "how he did it" but simply that he and he alone created out of nothing. That's the true historical context of the creation story.

Quote

I just want a return to pre-evolution creationism.

What if what you personally want and desire is simply not true?

I sympathize with your position. I understand that scientific knowledge of the universe can at first be a scary thing. And it in fact can seem to "contradict" the Bible. But that is only because what we modern Christians believe to be a "literal" intepretation, in truth, really is not. Even us literalists (I used to be one) are not taking Genesis literally.

Let me explain. You say you want a certain POV on Genesis to be true.  But why is YOUR "literal" interpetation of Genesis correct, while for example an athiests "literal" interpretation of Genesis wrong? Some Atheists, who are not well schooled in Carl Sagan's "Bologny detection kit" argue Genesis is an absurd story because, well look, God is doing ungodly things like walking in a garden and has no clue where Adam and Eve are. The problem is, they are assuming that the way THEY read Genesis is in fact how it was read 2000 years ago, or how the writers envisioned it. They assume whoever wrote Genesis took it to be scientifically true. (which is odd because the author(s) of Genesis obviously lived in a pre scientific age, so I doubt science was on their mind)

Many Christians in fact interprete Genesis exactly how an atheist unschooled in religious history would read it. But I would argue that it is this ultra literal reading of Genesis which is MODERN, not the other way around.

I guess I'm taking the JD Crossan POV, that people 1000's of years ago wrote this stuff as allegory, knew it was allegory, and we're the ones who are too stupid to see that and we assume it's meant to be literal, when in fact, our assumption is what is wrong to begin with.

Further more, there are many "literal" interpretations of the creation story. Just go ask 10 Orthodox Jewish Rabbis what the literal story means, you'll likely get at least several different answers. The same goes with Christians.

You want a "literal" creation story...you're going to have to explain then how a bodiless, incorporeal, omniscient God is "walking" around in a Garden on two legs and has no idea where Adam and Eve are. Obviously both cannot be true.

You want Genesis to be "literal" you're going to have to explain who the talking snake is, and why did God send down a talking snake in a perfect unfallen world to begin with? (Genesis never says the snake is Satan because no such concept of a Satan even existed when Genesis was written, so if you assume the snake is Satan, you're not taking Genesis literally but allegorically)

You want Genesis to be literal, you're going to have to explain why Adam and Eve are created twice, not just once. How can we have days before the earth begins revolving around the sun? Or maybe you don't believe we do? I don't know. The point is, if you're going to take Genesis absolutely literally, you're doing (ironically) what the Catholic Church once did when it came to scientific knowledge. Granted you won't be burning people at the stake for spreading "heresies" like the earth is round, or we go around the sun and take a year to do it...however no one on earth can take Genesis 100% literally and remain grounded in reality. That may sound harsh, but it's simply true.

Even people who take Genesis pretty much literally, leave room for some allegorical reading, like God "walking" in the Garden. Because it flies in the face of monotheistic theology to believe God has arms, legs and doesn't know where Adam is hiding.

There were always people who saw these things as allegory, not only in the very early Church, but in 2nd Temple Judaism as well. A non literal reading of Genesis did not begin after Darwin discovered natural selection, it has it's origins in the very first Christian communities, as well as early Judaism. Moses Maimonides a 12th century Jewish philosopher I believe also said Genesis was allegory. So did Origen, and a number of other Christian writers. I think St. Augustine even though I think he believed it to be literal, once wrote that if Christian insisted on reading it literally, and it was ever  proven the earth was much older than 6000 years the pagans would rightly laugh at us Christians. Well, substitute pagans for atheists, and his description was pretty much right on.



Quote
and that's why I'm asking if the orthodox church believe in it. I"ve heard that they don't force you to believe either side.

Whether Catholic or Orthodox, you are free to take Genesis literally, allegorically, or somewhere in the fuzzy middle ground, which is where pretty much every thinking person actually resides. (I've never met ANYONE who believes God literally walked around in the Garden, and couldn't find Adam and Eve because He didn't know where they were)

So if you're going to make an allegorical interpretation on some parts of Genesis, why not just go all the way like many Church fathers did? Granted one is not required to, and I know people who are Orthodox and reject evolution, but they also don't demand I adhere to their wishes and desires on the issue.

I know science can be a scary thing, especially in a scientifically illiterate society such as ours in America, however I don't think there is anything to fear from it once you get past the caricatures like self proclaimed experts saying "science disproves the bible"...no, it does not. It disproves an ultra literalistic intepretation of the bible, however I personally maintain that that ultra literal view was NOT the original view, but crept into Christian theology during the dark ages, and especially in post Enlightenment Protestantism. But that's my opinion. And that's what's great about Orthodoxy, is we can have theologically diverse opinions on many subjects that are not dogmatic.


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« Reply #1816 on: January 28, 2010, 12:28:17 PM »

Guys...God's Grace was in Eden. So A&E and all the animals could have been vegetarians organisms that lived in a garden in Mesopotamia, not the whole world. Evolution had taken place outside of Eden.

I think that was Josephus's view of Genesis if I recall. Or if not him, some other first century Jews accepted that, (or both?)
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« Reply #1817 on: January 28, 2010, 12:53:22 PM »

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but you are being very critical, look at the Nicene Creed, that is what we MUST believe. Almost anything else is pretty much up to debate since it won't affect our salvation...

So are you saying that individuals who don't believe in the Nicene Creed are damned? What do you mean by 'it won't affect our salvation...'

I don't think I said that at all... But if you don't believe the Nicene Creed, you cannot be a Christian and certainly cannot be Orthodox. It is up to God who is saved and who is damned.

So you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
I don't really get what your saying. Of course the Church is the Ark of Salvation for all mankind, however not all of mankind is in the Church. However, even if you are in the Church, that doesn't guarantee you salvation in the end, and just because your outside I don't think that necessary excludes you from salvation. As I said, it's ultimately up to God who is saved and who is damned. (However, in the end, God judges through us, so its also really up to each of us, but if we reject God and his grace, then we are damning ourselves)
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« Reply #1818 on: January 28, 2010, 01:10:18 PM »

There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
True how?

Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
What a painfully anthropocentric view of the cosmos.
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« Reply #1819 on: January 28, 2010, 04:16:58 PM »



So you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
I don't really get what your saying. Of course the Church is the Ark of Salvation for all mankind, however not all of mankind is in the Church. However, even if you are in the Church, that doesn't guarantee you salvation in the end, and just because your outside I don't think that necessary excludes you from salvation. As I said, it's ultimately up to God who is saved and who is damned. (However, in the end, God judges through us, so its also really up to each of us, but if we reject God and his grace, then we are damning ourselves)

How many were saved from the flood outside of Noah's Ark? Is that a 'type' for the Church or no?
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« Reply #1820 on: January 28, 2010, 04:34:59 PM »

There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
True how?

Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
What a painfully anthropocentric view of the cosmos.

If it were really that anthropocentric, I would have placed aliens among animals, and thus not worthy of life eternal. Was God judeo-centric for choosing Abraham's descendance to bless all humankind? Similarly, He might have chosen to incarnate on Earth and bless all the world(s). I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do the same with aliens, if they ever existed, I mean we should spread the Gospel to them too. And maybe, they could have received some kind of temporary instruction and salvation as the Jews had. Sincerely, that's not just sci-fi... that's pure imagination, so consider this as a "sci-fi theological experiment", so let's get back to the OT!
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« Reply #1821 on: January 28, 2010, 05:20:49 PM »

To deusveritasest:
Quote
It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."

Thus, should you find out that aliens actually exist, would you lose your faith entirely?
I think that, if aliens actually exist, they should be the next to be preached the Gospel. Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex

Huh? Where are you getting these ideas? The anathema simply indicates that it is heretical to believe that the Logos became anything other than a human. It has nothing to do other beings (sentient or not) outside of Earth exist or not. I would have no problem if they did. And yes, if they appear to be noetic, I think the Gospel should be preached to them.
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« Reply #1822 on: January 28, 2010, 05:22:34 PM »

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but you are being very critical, look at the Nicene Creed, that is what we MUST believe. Almost anything else is pretty much up to debate since it won't affect our salvation...

So are you saying that individuals who don't believe in the Nicene Creed are damned? What do you mean by 'it won't affect our salvation...'

I don't think I said that at all... But if you don't believe the Nicene Creed, you cannot be a Christian and certainly cannot be Orthodox. It is up to God who is saved and who is damned.

So you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?

Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?
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« Reply #1823 on: January 28, 2010, 05:25:58 PM »

There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
True how?

What are you asking? How it is true that modern science is not in conflict with Genesis?

Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
What a painfully anthropocentric view of the cosmos.

It has more to do with where Christ and the Church came than with humanity itself.
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« Reply #1824 on: January 28, 2010, 06:00:46 PM »

you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?

Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?

You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  Smiley
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« Reply #1825 on: January 28, 2010, 06:29:25 PM »

you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?

Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?

You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  Smiley

*facepalm*

The church I went to this past Sunday was azymite, thanks.
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« Reply #1826 on: January 28, 2010, 06:33:30 PM »

What are you asking? How it is true that modern science is not in conflict with Genesis?
I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?

Quote
It has more to do with where Christ and the Church came than with humanity itself.
What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".
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« Reply #1827 on: January 28, 2010, 06:39:46 PM »


I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?

Did he say he was referring to a non-allegorical interpretation? All I saw was a reference to it being non-literal.


What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".

Like I showed, the 7th Anathema against Origen from Constantinople II condemns the idea that the Word became anything other than human.
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« Reply #1828 on: January 29, 2010, 08:29:21 AM »


I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?

Did he say he was referring to a non-allegorical interpretation? All I saw was a reference to it being non-literal.


What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".

Like I showed, the 7th Anathema against Origen from Constantinople II condemns the idea that the Word became anything other than human.

I never denied the unique event of Incarnation taking place on Earth alone, so I'm with you on this point, deusveritasest.
You have asked whence I get my idea that, if aliens do exist, we should preach the Gospel to them. The answer is: because of the cosmic nature of Christ's sacrifice. If other sentient human-like beings exist out there, I can't think of humankind as the ONLY 'stupid' race preferring sin over obedience (there might be exceptions to this principle, of course... but the idea that humanity alone has fallen from grace in the entire universe sounds strange). On the contrary, I think that a noetic being has a great possibility to fall from grace. Human reason has proved to be one of the main enemies of theosis, after all we live "in the age of reason" and in one of the most atheistic worlds possible. Which doesn't mean that all reason is evil: reason is good when it is God-centered and assisted by grace. Actually, the only other example of sentient beings (i.e. angels) has also proved to be as weak as we are - except in that case only a part of that form of spiritual life has fallen from grace! I find it necessary to repeat that this is pure speculation, so it is no use to condemn each other's views. Up to now, we don't even have a proof of sentient life outside of the Solar System, so I don't see any reason why there should be some consent of the Church Fathers on the subject.
What I know for sure, is that modern theologians and saints, both in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, are far more open on the subject in our days. One case for all is (for what RCism is concerned) the words expressed privately by st. Pio of Pietralcina, who believed that non-sinning aliens live on other planets and Niccolò Cusano who confessed that "there's no star, from which we're authorized to exclude the existence of other beings, even different then us".

I hope the matter is clearer now.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1829 on: January 29, 2010, 08:35:50 AM »

In my humble opinion, the central messages of Genesis are the following.
a) God has created everything,
b) Evil was not in God's initial plan.
c) It is Man's fault that we are born mortals and capable of sinning.
d) God's will is to make Man live eternally with Him in the "7th Day" (this actually represents His Rest).

That's all. Death existed outside God's Rest (7th Day) in all the world, except for some garden (Eden) in Mesopotamia. I don't know who said this first, but it was once mentioned in a topic around (credit goes to the poster, I guess?) and it seems really logical to me.
Also, wasn't it St. Athanasius who suggested that death was natural before the 6th Day?

If anyone sees any contradiction between the current scientific consensus and Genesis, (s)he should better talk about it rather than just say "There are so many contradicitons!!11one".
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« Reply #1830 on: January 29, 2010, 09:56:19 AM »

you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?

Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?

You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  Smiley

*facepalm*

The church I went to this past Sunday was azymite, thanks.

Ouch! Egg on my face!  Tongue
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« Reply #1831 on: January 29, 2010, 11:30:20 PM »

but just believe the plain words of day, Jesus was dead for three literal days
How do you fit "three literal days" between Friday afternoon and before sunrise on Sunday?
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« Reply #1832 on: January 30, 2010, 12:29:42 AM »

That's all. Death existed outside God's Rest (7th Day) in all the world, except for some garden (Eden) in Mesopotamia.
So, you believe that there was a literal Eden where death did not occur sometime during the history of the Earth?  And outside of that, death has been a natural occurrence?
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« Reply #1833 on: January 30, 2010, 03:35:32 AM »

Death is in no way a natural occurance... I think all Orthodox would even agree to that.
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« Reply #1834 on: January 30, 2010, 03:44:19 AM »

Death is in no way a natural occurance... I think all Orthodox would even agree to that.
I'm sure you'd be surprised.  Tongue  The majority of Orthodox I know would consider death to be a completely natural occurrence.
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« Reply #1835 on: January 30, 2010, 03:45:50 AM »

But is that the mainstream Orthodox view? A lot of what you've stated in the last conversations I've had with you haven't reflected mainstream views in Orthodoxy. Just because you "know some people" doesn't mean it's officially a mainstream view.
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« Reply #1836 on: January 30, 2010, 03:52:39 AM »

But is that the mainstream Orthodox view? A lot of what you've stated in the last conversations I've had with you haven't reflected mainstream views in Orthodoxy.
What exactly is the mainstream view?  Except for very specific issues, I've never met two Orthodox people who agree on anything.  Tongue  It was that variety of circles and thoughts that I found attractive about Orthodoxy.  It isn't monolithic.
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« Reply #1837 on: January 30, 2010, 03:53:09 AM »

Actually it is probably a fairly common view amongst the laity. As surprising as it may be, the vast majority of people in the pews don't set around debating the finer points of various theological issues.
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« Reply #1838 on: January 30, 2010, 03:55:14 AM »

As surprising as it may be, the vast majority of people in the pews don't set around debating the finer points of various theological issues.
I remember the first time I heard about the essence/energies distinction, the majority of my Orthodox friends had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  Just look at Roman Catholics who think the Immaculate Conception refers to the the conception of Christ.
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« Reply #1839 on: January 30, 2010, 03:57:52 AM »

This might be a case of theology and natural science speaking at cross-purposes, though. While death is a natural process observed at the present time, death isn't perfectly natural in the sense of man's potentional and purpose.

“Death is not part of God’s primary purpose for His creation. He created us, not in order that we should die, but in order that we should live. What is more, He created us as an undivided unity. In the Jewish and Christian view, the human person is to be seen in thoroughly holistic terms: we are each of us, not a soul temporarily imprisioned in a body and longing to escape, but an integrated totality that embraces soul and body together… As the separation of body and soul, death is therefore a violent affront against the wholeness of our human nature. Death may be something that awaits us all, but it at the same time profoundly abnormal. It is monstrous and tragic. Confronted by the death of those close to us and by our own death, despite all our realism we are justified in feeling also a sense of desolation, of horror and even indignation…Jesus Himself wept beside the grave of His friend, Lazarus (Jn11:35) and in Gethsemane He was filled with anguish at the prospect of His own death (Mt26:38). St Paul regards death as an “enemy to be destroyed:” (1Cor 15:26). The fact that we are all going to die is a reflection of the fact that we are all living in a fallen world – in a world that is distorted and out of joint; crazy, ecrase.
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« Reply #1840 on: January 30, 2010, 04:22:55 AM »

^Indeed. The word "Natural" has different meanings in theology and science.
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« Reply #1841 on: January 30, 2010, 12:06:38 PM »

When we say that death isn't natural, it typically means that man's soul being torn from his body was never meant to happen.
Now, I'm sure some people like to get specific and say that cellular death is natural, but the death man experiences is not. However, I haven't heard that explanation anywhere outside of this forum. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist as a common view, but I haven't heard it from any Orthodox person i've met in real life, and I haven't heard it taught by any Priest or even on Ancient Faith Radio or the Orthodox Christian Network. (or even any of the books i've read)
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« Reply #1842 on: January 30, 2010, 02:57:36 PM »

here is a clip of Bishop Kallistos Ware on the subject...

http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=d32e16f75c0e84e66464

I think it's a pretty good Wink

Whether you are an evolutionary theist or a fundamental creationist, this should not be a point of division in the body of Christ and cause one to refuse communion with another christian. The Nicene Creed says we "believe in one God the Father Almighty maker of all things visible and invisible".
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« Reply #1843 on: January 30, 2010, 07:23:53 PM »

here is a clip of Bishop Kallistos Ware on the subject...

http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=d32e16f75c0e84e66464

I think it's a pretty good Wink

Whether you are an evolutionary theist or a fundamental creationist, this should not be a point of division in the body of Christ and cause one to refuse communion with another christian. The Nicene Creed says we "believe in one God the Father Almighty maker of all things visible and invisible".

Quite true, it shouldn't be a point of division, but in practice this subject has been elevated to a deciding factor for judging the faith of others. I've heard many claim - family members amongst them - that one cannot accept evolution and be a Christian.

I like the video, too.  Smiley
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« Reply #1844 on: January 30, 2010, 08:17:01 PM »

What are you asking? How it is true that modern science is not in conflict with Genesis?
I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?

Quote
It has more to do with where Christ and the Church came than with humanity itself.
What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".

It' also jut as likely that "Aliens" are exactly what the Judeo-Christian Tradition has always said existed, beings from another realm of existence ( Demons, Angles etc etc.). They already know about God.
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