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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 53 (15.9%)
No - 127 (38%)
both metaphorically and literally - 154 (46.1%)
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 296287 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #2565 on: December 07, 2010, 04:22:08 PM »

The problem with science is that it's moving further and further in the direction of incompatibility with Orthodox dogma. Even if we grant for argument's sake that the Genesis account of the origin of the world and of humanity can be understood in a purely allegorical fashion (although I believe this goes against the consensus of the Fathers), we still have to believe that: the soul is specially created and not the product of evolution; and that the physical laws of the universe as a whole were specially designed and created by God. However, evolutionary psychology certainly holds to the theory that our mind, i.e. our soul, is entirely the product of evolution. You can choose to reject this, but on what scientific grounds? What is the rival scientific theory for the origins of our mind? Steven Pinker recently wrote a book on this called the "Blank Slate". He is arguing against the model of the human mind assumed by most social scientists, which holds that mind is largely the product of environment and cultural influences. These social scientists, by the way, do not reject evolution as a whole, they just refuse to acknowledge evolution's implications for the human mind, and the possible differences in mental faculties that you would thus expect between different human populations (divided by sex, race, etc). The debate is strongly colored by political ideology, but it is pretty clear that the trend is for Darwinism to win out in psychology as well as biology. As far as psychological science is concerned, the weight of evidence is against the standard social science model. Ironically, this scientific victory over leftist ideology is also a victory over traditional Christian dogma about the specially created, immortal human soul.

How about the phyiscal laws of the universe? Surely they must be the product of design, and if so, we can't escape the conclusion that the universe has been "designed" just for us? Not so fast, according to an increasing number of physicists. In physics the theory of multiple universes is fast gaining ground, as well as the theory of an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction of space-time. Multiple universes, an idea made popular by Richard Feynman, is simply one theoretically consistent way of interpreting the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: since the position or velocity of a particle can only be estimated probabilistically at any one time, this could either mean that some supernatural force is determining it without our knowledge, or that all possible positions or velocities are being realized across an infinite number of parallel universes. Roger Penrose of Oxford University, meanwhile, believes he has found evidence that matter existed before the big bang, in the form of concentric circles of particularly even radiation patterns that can be observed in the cosmic microwave background. According to him, these must be due to gravitational waves produced by colliding black holes, a phenomenon predicted only for an aging universe, which must have preceded our own.

These are all legitimate scientific developments, judging by science's own standards of legitimacy. Are we just going to accept all of them because the "experts" say so? If so, where does that leave our faith? There are an infinite number of parallel universes. This means there is nothing probabilistically astounding about the physical laws of our own universe. No doubt, if you took a random sample of universes, the majority would not produce any life, since the physical constants would have evolved in such a way as to render the evolution of life impossible. But given an infinite number, a universe with life is bound to appear. As if that weren't bad enough, our own souls are nothing more than highly complex but nevertheless entirely evolved neural networks, qualitatively no different from the nervous systems of any other species. Free will, morality and so forth are simply psychological illusions from an introspective point of view; empirically, science holds them to be epiphenomena, acquired by some learning process, of deeper, evolved psychological phenomena.

Where do we draw the line? Do we not at some point have to say that it doesn't matter what these clever scientists say: our faith teaches so and so and there we stand? And if we have to tell science "Stop!" at this point, why not at an earlier point? Why don't we allow the Tradition of the Church to guide us to the right place to "draw the line"? It is for that reason that I find it hard to accept biological evolution.

The theory of Multiple-Universes has been discussed here before.

The conclusion one makes can easily be in support of the Christian World View just as much as for the secular.

For example, extra dimensional worlds lends credence to the existence of an after-life and what Christians have called Angles and Demons etc.
In other words, there is far more to existence than just our own local "Reality" as Science is just beginning to understand. It is catching up with Religion, not disproving it.

Perhaps. But I would think scientists would attribute angels and demons more to human psychological delusion than to some empirically real interference from parallel universes. Angels and demons are just not part of the scientific repertoire of observable phenomena, so again, we are not in this case letting science be the judge, and yet we as Orthodox believe angels and demons are most certainly empirically real phenomena, not just the figments of our imagination.

I am not disputing the facts insofar as they can be really ascertained by the senses. I am only skeptical of the theoretical conclusions being drawn from them. This brings us back to the whole evolution debate. We see some kind of evolution by natural selection occurring among microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. If it happens among those, surely it must have happened among larger organisms, including humans? The former is an observable fact, but does it logically lead to the latter? No, but certainly the theoretical predilections of biologists overwhelmingly prefer the latter to the former. Or does microevolution among Galapagos finches entail macroevolution of all the world's living species? Strictly speaking, no, but you're not going to find many scientists who are content to sit back and leave all of biological diversity unexplained, and observable microevolution provides just the kind of all-embracing explanation they seek.

It's not just about the facts. I don't believe there are any observable facts that are truly incompatible with special creation. It's more about methodological naturalism, the professional prejudice of biology and other sciences. It's the idea that we are simply not allowed to leave some things to mystery, to stand back and say "Glory be to God for all things". Everything has to be categorized and explained, regardless of where that leads us dogmatically. But why? Does Orthodoxy teach that natural science exists for its own sake? No. Everything must be subordinated to our spiritual goals. If our scientific investigations are leading us away from tradition, we must abandon them or redirect them. Certainly, our own pride wants us to keep studying, until we can come up with the "Theory of Everything" that will once and for all eliminate the need for faith. But Christian humility, I believe, calls us to restrain our intellectual pride, and to leave certain things that have been revealed to us to faith, and not to futile rational inquiry.
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« Reply #2566 on: December 07, 2010, 04:39:15 PM »

death is not a part of God's creation, nor is it phenomenal. Interestingly, several Fathers teach that to say that God took a long time in creation is to rob Him of His glory, as if He was incapable of creating quickly. So thats just another way that evolution comes into direct contrast with the Fathers.

So is it commonly held amongst Orthodox that the Fathers knew everything?  I'm not trying to be rude, I hope that's not coming across wrong, but I'm not sure why we can't accept the spiritual truth the Fathers taught us about our Faith, and yet realize that they weren't scientists and that the truth of their teaching is not dependent upon their scientific understanding at that time.  Can you clarify?
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« Reply #2567 on: December 07, 2010, 04:53:25 PM »

death is not a part of God's creation, nor is it phenomenal.
Interesting, especially since the central tenet of our faith involves...

a death.

Yet you don't find that phenomenal?
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« Reply #2568 on: December 07, 2010, 04:59:23 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation, nor is it phenomenal. Interestingly, several Fathers teach that to say that God took a long time in creation is to rob Him of His glory, as if He was incapable of creating quickly. So thats just another way that evolution comes into direct contrast with the Fathers.
And I believe that several Fathers used to teach that the Earth was flat or that Earth was the center of the universe. What do we say to 'em?
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« Reply #2569 on: December 07, 2010, 05:28:26 PM »

Everything has to be categorized and explained, regardless of where that leads us dogmatically.
But the categorization and explanation isn't leading us anywhere dogmatically.  If you're heading somewhere, it's of your own choice.  Science neither addresses nor directs dogma.
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« Reply #2570 on: December 07, 2010, 05:42:19 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?
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« Reply #2571 on: December 07, 2010, 06:37:29 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

I don't think plants were considered as 'living' back then...but this is a good point.
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« Reply #2572 on: December 07, 2010, 07:17:03 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

I don't think plants were considered as 'living' back then....
Perhaps, but both plants and animals are spoken as reproducing "after their kind":

Genesis 1:

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”
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« Reply #2573 on: December 07, 2010, 07:50:16 PM »

death is not a part of God's creation, nor is it phenomenal. Interestingly, several Fathers teach that to say that God took a long time in creation is to rob Him of His glory, as if He was incapable of creating quickly. So thats just another way that evolution comes into direct contrast with the Fathers.

So is it commonly held amongst Orthodox that the Fathers knew everything?  I'm not trying to be rude, I hope that's not coming across wrong, but I'm not sure why we can't accept the spiritual truth the Fathers taught us about our Faith, and yet realize that they weren't scientists and that the truth of their teaching is not dependent upon their scientific understanding at that time.  Can you clarify?

its commonly held that the Scriptures are interpreted via the Fathers. if the Scriptures tell us that God created no death (Wisdom 1,2 ) then we should look to the Fathers to understand this.

what reason is there to think that they got their understanding of death from science, rather than the Tradition?
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« Reply #2574 on: December 07, 2010, 07:51:02 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/
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« Reply #2575 on: December 07, 2010, 07:55:12 PM »

death is not a part of God's creation, nor is it phenomenal.
Interesting, especially since the central tenet of our faith involves...

a death.

Yet you don't find that phenomenal?

Christ died to destroy death.
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« Reply #2576 on: December 07, 2010, 08:28:30 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/

So the plants continued to live even after they were eaten?
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« Reply #2577 on: December 07, 2010, 08:35:58 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/
I noticed this:

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Easter 8

This being He placed in Paradise . . . to till the immortal plants, by which is perhaps meant the Divine conceptions, both the simpler and the more perfect.


Is Genesis meant to teach us the biology of plants, or the spiritual truths of revelation?
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« Reply #2578 on: December 07, 2010, 08:51:18 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/
I noticed this:

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Easter 8

This being He placed in Paradise . . . to till the immortal plants, by which is perhaps meant the Divine conceptions, both the simpler and the more perfect.


Is Genesis meant to teach us the biology of plants, or the spiritual truths of revelation?

St. Gregory Palamas later comments on this interpretation by this St. Gregory - he says that although he applies a spiritual interpretation that in no way means he denies the literal interpretation.

and why should spiritual and biological truths be dichotomous like that? Spiritual truths about the created world will almost always overlap with the physicality of the created world.
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« Reply #2579 on: December 07, 2010, 08:54:06 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/

So the plants continued to live even after they were eaten?

Paradise is totally different than anything we know. We can't understand it, and thus the Fathers teach us not to try to go beyond what is revealed. So I accept that Paradise is not like our current existence, but beyond that I don't feel the need to understand or question. nor do i have the ability to provide you with an answer, but i can suggest a method of coming to understand this better. In dealing with these issues, Fr. Seraphim did not simply research, but he ardently prayed to God and the Saints (especially St. Basil, as his Hexameron is considered the standard on the topic) to acquire the mind of the Fathers, and he became quite close to St. Basil through this endeavor. There's nothing stopping any of us from doing the same thing.
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« Reply #2580 on: December 07, 2010, 08:56:47 PM »

There is a quite a chasm between us and the primates.
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« Reply #2581 on: December 07, 2010, 10:01:51 PM »

Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

Not necessarily. Some Fathers seemed to suggest that perhaps Adam and Eve had spiritualized bodies to some extent. I would seriously question whether Adam and Eve would have need for food in the garden anyway--after all, things like human waste are considered to be consequences of the fall. Anyway, here's an excerpt from the book Deification in Christ:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


--Panayiotis Nellas, Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person, pp. 52-53
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« Reply #2582 on: December 07, 2010, 11:59:49 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/
I noticed this:

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Easter 8

This being He placed in Paradise . . . to till the immortal plants, by which is perhaps meant the Divine conceptions, both the simpler and the more perfect.


Is Genesis meant to teach us the biology of plants, or the spiritual truths of revelation?

Jetavan, I already talked about this, and jckstraw gave the same exact answer, and I gave a reply.
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« Reply #2583 on: December 08, 2010, 12:07:16 AM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/

So the plants continued to live even after they were eaten?

Paradise is totally different than anything we know. We can't understand it, and thus the Fathers teach us not to try to go beyond what is revealed. So I accept that Paradise is not like our current existence, but beyond that I don't feel the need to understand or question. nor do i have the ability to provide you with an answer, but i can suggest a method of coming to understand this better. In dealing with these issues, Fr. Seraphim did not simply research, but he ardently prayed to God and the Saints (especially St. Basil, as his Hexameron is considered the standard on the topic) to acquire the mind of the Fathers, and he became quite close to St. Basil through this endeavor. There's nothing stopping any of us from doing the same thing.

jckstraw, no one questions Fr. Seraphim's love and prayers towards God.  I think he is quite exemplary.

But God is not going to care about giving answers concerning matters that do not harm the faith.  Therefore, whatever happened, Fr. Seraphim was Orthodox about the faith, but also researched hard to find answers to things where he didn't understand in science.  If orthodoxinfo.com can understand that "Coptic heretics" can exceed piety far more than many Orthodox, why is it so hard for you to understand that Fr. Seraphim, a great saint, was simply ignorant of the sciences?

In addition, the idea of eating immortal plants in the Garden is something that you should recognize right away.  We eat the living giving flesh and blood of Christ, the immortal.  This is what Genesis is alluding to.  Man was "eating" communion with God, first in life, and later as he matures in true knowledge with the Incarnate Word.  The allegory is very very clear, it hits you at your face where no Protestant or Jew can understand completely.  These first chapters of Genesis are one of the most beautiful chapters that pertains to the truth of Apostolic Christian faith.
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« Reply #2584 on: December 08, 2010, 02:56:53 AM »

I would seriously question whether Adam and Eve would have need for food in the garden anyway--
Why would you question this?  It's pretty clear from scripture that Eve had been eating things prior to the big bite.  The serpent didn't tempt her into eating.  He tempted her into eating something specific. 

Quote from: jckstraw72
Christ died to destroy death.
Exactly.  And you don't find that phenomenal?
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« Reply #2585 on: December 08, 2010, 07:22:30 AM »

Genesis explicitly states:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
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« Reply #2586 on: December 08, 2010, 10:32:46 AM »

Genesis explicitly states:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”


and Wisdom explicitly states that God created no death, and Romans explicitly states that death came into the world by the sin of one man. why cling so tightly to one verse and disregard the others?
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« Reply #2587 on: December 08, 2010, 10:34:30 AM »

I would seriously question whether Adam and Eve would have need for food in the garden anyway--
Why would you question this?  It's pretty clear from scripture that Eve had been eating things prior to the big bite.  The serpent didn't tempt her into eating.  He tempted her into eating something specific. 

Quote from: jckstraw72
Christ died to destroy death.
Exactly.  And you don't find that phenomenal?


Ok, so Christ's death is phenomenal. but since you know thats not what was being discussed, I'm not sure what your point is. Our death, the soul leaving the body, is a tragedy that needed a transformation. Christ's death, on the other hand, is phenomenal, and thus doesnt need a transformation.
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« Reply #2588 on: December 08, 2010, 10:40:07 AM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/

So the plants continued to live even after they were eaten?

Paradise is totally different than anything we know. We can't understand it, and thus the Fathers teach us not to try to go beyond what is revealed. So I accept that Paradise is not like our current existence, but beyond that I don't feel the need to understand or question. nor do i have the ability to provide you with an answer, but i can suggest a method of coming to understand this better. In dealing with these issues, Fr. Seraphim did not simply research, but he ardently prayed to God and the Saints (especially St. Basil, as his Hexameron is considered the standard on the topic) to acquire the mind of the Fathers, and he became quite close to St. Basil through this endeavor. There's nothing stopping any of us from doing the same thing.

jckstraw, no one questions Fr. Seraphim's love and prayers towards God.  I think he is quite exemplary.

But God is not going to care about giving answers concerning matters that do not harm the faith.  Therefore, whatever happened, Fr. Seraphim was Orthodox about the faith, but also researched hard to find answers to things where he didn't understand in science.  If orthodoxinfo.com can understand that "Coptic heretics" can exceed piety far more than many Orthodox, why is it so hard for you to understand that Fr. Seraphim, a great saint, was simply ignorant of the sciences?

In addition, the idea of eating immortal plants in the Garden is something that you should recognize right away.  We eat the living giving flesh and blood of Christ, the immortal.  This is what Genesis is alluding to.  Man was "eating" communion with God, first in life, and later as he matures in true knowledge with the Incarnate Word.  The allegory is very very clear, it hits you at your face where no Protestant or Jew can understand completely.  These first chapters of Genesis are one of the most beautiful chapters that pertains to the truth of Apostolic Christian faith.

i dont see any reason to think that Fr. Seraphim didnt understand the science, and thus vainly searched the faith to fill in a gap -- he was actually quite academically brilliant, and fully accepted evolution until he began reading the Fathers. i realize that from a scientific viewpoint is hard to accept that someone could understand science and not accept evolution, but nevertheless, it happens.

and by the witness of the Fathers and holy elders of our modern times, evolution isnt a non-issue that doesnt touch the faith - unless Sts. Nektarios, Barsanuphius of Optina, John of Kronstadt, Justin Popovich, Elder George Calciu, Elder Paisios, Fr. Seraphim, etc are just fools. thats the only option i could see here - if you're correct, and this really doesnt matter, then all these holy mens are just fools. or perhaps they just had too much time on their hands and so they decided to jump into something frivolous (which would still be foolish). sorry, but i'll go with the Saints.

perhaps scientists have too much time on their hands, and maybe would do better to stop spending their time concocting fairy tales about the supposed distant past.
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« Reply #2589 on: December 08, 2010, 10:42:15 AM »

Everything has to be categorized and explained, regardless of where that leads us dogmatically.
But the categorization and explanation isn't leading us anywhere dogmatically.  If you're heading somewhere, it's of your own choice.  Science neither addresses nor directs dogma.

false. if the categorization and explanation lead us to the belief that death is a natural part of creation then that is indeed a dogmatic change.
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« Reply #2590 on: December 08, 2010, 10:46:56 AM »

I'm asking some very simple, easy questions. Either you are dodging them or you simply don't understand them.
No, you are asking some interesting philosophical and rhetorical questions -- they are just not the kinds of questions that science has any desire to answer.

Yet it depends on how you answer them that determines what "science" is or whether there can be any science at all. Those are your presuppositions which you say don't exist. If you can't examine the presuppositions then any claim to the truth of your science is empty.

One does not need to know the presupposition of science to realize that it works and benefits mankind.

In other words, the ends justify the means. Good thinking- have you tried black magic? I've heard it can do wonders for your lovelife and bank account. As for the benefits of "science", I wonder how nuclear weapons or chemical spills are benefiting mankind. Nevermind that. You're right, materially we are very well off (well, some of us are) thanks to new technologies. If material well-being were the criterion of truth, then modern science would be my religion.

But the purpose of true natural philosophy is not making us live longer or creating neat gadgets (as much as I like these things)- like all wisdom, its purpose is to lift us up to the contemplation of heavenly realities and the glorification of God.

As St. Nikolai said: "'... whoever reads the natural without knowing the spiritual content and significance of what he has read, reads death, sees death, appropriates death." No wonder we arrived at this miserable, death-based theory of evolution by natural selection.

What is the means in this case, except for honest, objective inquiry? How could that be construed as bad or wrong, in the eyes of the Creator, or others? Scientists seek to objectively understand the world around us, and make it a better place for everyone, using the tools they have available to them; nature, and objective inquiry.

Unfortunately for many people, the type of natural philosophy which you speak of tends to be be very subjective and lead a person down a completely different path than one who is sitting next to them pursuing the same type of 'truth'. What is the criteria for true and false natural philosophy which seeks to draw us nearer to God? Different methods appear to work for different people. Until the distinctive criteria is defined which separates true from false, which separates good from bad, people will continue to forge their own paths seeking the divine, and there will be no ultimate resolution towards spiritual truth for humanity as a whole.

Yet, this 'death based theory' may end up saving many lives because of it.

could you cite one example of a life that has been saved by the theory that his or her great-ancestor was a blob of goo? does the person have to give intellectual assent to this story in order for its healing powers to work?

Do you have to know how your internet works in order to benefit from it? I don't think so, but the fact that someone did in fact know how it works is the reason why we have it today.

The adaptive evolution of bacteria, viruses, other microbes and parasites plays a central role in medicine since this process is needed to understand issues such as antibiotic resistance,[9] pathogen virulence.[10] and pathogen subversion of the immune system.[11]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_medicine

so youre saying we wouldnt be able to make medicinal advances if we didnt teach people that we are related to apes? im failing to see how the theory of common descent is necessary for scientists to understand how medicines work today. (couldnt they figure that out by observing/testing stuff ....?)

Darwin's idea that every living organism shares a common ancestor is the breakthrough that led to the development of the modern field of evolutionary biology/medicine as it exists today. Scientists do not need to sit around and ponder the fact that every living organism is related, it is a foregone conclusion that has been established long ago; however it is the basis for understanding evolutionary biology/medicine. It's like trying to learn basketball without knowing how to run. It is the basis for further understanding and development. Again, if you want to see how common descent is useful/relevant to the understanding of modern medicine, please read my above posts.

Darwin's idea that every living organism shares a common ancestor was developed through the observations that he made of his present world, correct? so it seems to me that it is these, and later observations, experiments, etc that are allowing us to advance in medicine, and not the theories about the past that are also derived from those same observations. science could easily advance based on the observations it makes without having to project those observations into the past. so im still unclear about what the actual purpose of the theory of common descent is, other than as a trivial pursuit, or to replace the traditional understanding of history.

for instance, are you saying that a scientist who rejects the theory of common descent, and simply considers what his observations and experiments are telling him about our present time, is unable to make medicinal advances?

If you can't describe the past, how can you predict the future? As stated before, nothing in biology really makes sense without assuming common descent. It is the backbone which holds the entire discipline together. If you conduct your own tests/studies, they will all bring you back to the same conclusion: that every animal on the planet shares a common ancestor with one another. Nevertheless, I will give you a specific example of how common descent aids research:

Atavisms.

"An atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations ago.[27] Atavisms occur because genes for previously existing phenotypical features are often preserved in DNA, even though the genes are not expressed in some or most of the organisms possessing them.[28] Some examples of this are hind-legged snakes or whales;[27][29][30] the extra toes of ungulates that do not even reach the ground,[31] chicken's teeth,[32] reemergence of sexual reproduction in Hieracium pilosella and Crotoniidae;[33] and humans with tails,[27] extra nipples,[29] and large canine teeth.[29]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent#DNA_sequencing

So if we didn't assume common ancestry in this case, we would not expect genes for teeth to show up in the chicken DNA, nor would we expect humans to have genes for making a tail. We might just assume it was a 'freak' mutation, without any correlation to the animals/persons past. However, if we assume common ancestry, we see that the DNA shows a rich history of the animals evolutionary past. You can pinpoint genes turned off which used to be functional (e.g. tails in humans, teeth in chickens) and you can even correlate the same mutations across genomes among different species (e.g. humans and chimps). Likewise, we can determine why and how such genes were deactivated, and apply this same concept to genes that affect the expression of inherited diseases.





we dont need to understand the past to predict the future. we can study our times to predict the future, which is what every scientist is doing anyways! what we think we know of the past, and what we predict about the future all comes from the same body of research that we are doing now anyways.

so we have a body of research, roughly from Darwin till now. using this body of research, scientists attempt to project into, and understand the past. using this same body of research they attempt to predict the future. i fail to see why its necessary to project into the past in order to project into the future, when the projection in either direction is based on the same body of research anyways. even if you didnt project into the past, you would still have that exact same body of research with which to project into the future. so i still question what is the purpose of projecting into the past, other than as mere intellectual stimulation, or to be a counter to traditional Christian understandings.
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« Reply #2591 on: December 08, 2010, 12:38:07 PM »

Genesis explicitly states:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”


and Wisdom explicitly states that God created no death, and Romans explicitly states that death came into the world by the sin of one man. why cling so tightly to one verse and disregard the others?

Because Genesis is the basis for modern creationism...
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« Reply #2592 on: December 08, 2010, 12:57:38 PM »

Genesis explicitly states:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”


and Wisdom explicitly states that God created no death, and Romans explicitly states that death came into the world by the sin of one man. why cling so tightly to one verse and disregard the others?

Because Genesis is the basis for modern creationism...

the entire Tradition is the basis for Orthodox creationism. perhaps Evangelicals are limited to Genesis in their scope (although I doubt that very much), but certainly the Orthodox are not.
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« Reply #2593 on: December 08, 2010, 01:16:12 PM »

Sounds compatible with Orthodoxy.
And quite beautiful if you ask me.
Evolution is an absolutely phenomenal wonder of God's creation.  Those who deny it are denying him part of his glory.

death is not a part of God's creation....
Didn't Adam and Eve eat plants (which thus lead to the death of plants) before the Fall?

http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/

So the plants continued to live even after they were eaten?

Paradise is totally different than anything we know. We can't understand it, and thus the Fathers teach us not to try to go beyond what is revealed. So I accept that Paradise is not like our current existence, but beyond that I don't feel the need to understand or question. nor do i have the ability to provide you with an answer, but i can suggest a method of coming to understand this better. In dealing with these issues, Fr. Seraphim did not simply research, but he ardently prayed to God and the Saints (especially St. Basil, as his Hexameron is considered the standard on the topic) to acquire the mind of the Fathers, and he became quite close to St. Basil through this endeavor. There's nothing stopping any of us from doing the same thing.

jckstraw, no one questions Fr. Seraphim's love and prayers towards God.  I think he is quite exemplary.

But God is not going to care about giving answers concerning matters that do not harm the faith.  Therefore, whatever happened, Fr. Seraphim was Orthodox about the faith, but also researched hard to find answers to things where he didn't understand in science.  If orthodoxinfo.com can understand that "Coptic heretics" can exceed piety far more than many Orthodox, why is it so hard for you to understand that Fr. Seraphim, a great saint, was simply ignorant of the sciences?

In addition, the idea of eating immortal plants in the Garden is something that you should recognize right away.  We eat the living giving flesh and blood of Christ, the immortal.  This is what Genesis is alluding to.  Man was "eating" communion with God, first in life, and later as he matures in true knowledge with the Incarnate Word.  The allegory is very very clear, it hits you at your face where no Protestant or Jew can understand completely.  These first chapters of Genesis are one of the most beautiful chapters that pertains to the truth of Apostolic Christian faith.

i dont see any reason to think that Fr. Seraphim didnt understand the science, and thus vainly searched the faith to fill in a gap -- he was actually quite academically brilliant, and fully accepted evolution until he began reading the Fathers. i realize that from a scientific viewpoint is hard to accept that someone could understand science and not accept evolution, but nevertheless, it happens.

and by the witness of the Fathers and holy elders of our modern times, evolution isnt a non-issue that doesnt touch the faith - unless Sts. Nektarios, Barsanuphius of Optina, John of Kronstadt, Justin Popovich, Elder George Calciu, Elder Paisios, Fr. Seraphim, etc are just fools. thats the only option i could see here - if you're correct, and this really doesnt matter, then all these holy mens are just fools. or perhaps they just had too much time on their hands and so they decided to jump into something frivolous (which would still be foolish). sorry, but i'll go with the Saints.

perhaps scientists have too much time on their hands, and maybe would do better to stop spending their time concocting fairy tales about the supposed distant past.

An academic is not a scientist.  I'm reading about the history of Fr. Seraphim's education.  It's all liberal arts.  He studied Chinese philosophy, Oriental languages, enjoyed opera and other arts, even dabbled with Buddhism.  He was close friends with a Taoist and learned ancient Chinese because of the Taoist beliefs.

St. Nektarios and St. Justin Popovich seem to have not learned sciences at all.  Their whole life were a theological upbringing it seems.

Some of these people lived during the Bolshevik Revolution, which is understandable if they always associate evolution with atheism.  Fr. George Calciu was very well known for his anti-communist stand.  It's not a surprise to me there that his thoughts against the atheism of communism (which is unnecessary, since many of our recent OO saints saw communism in essence as good, or at least socialism, because they understood as take from the rich, and help the poor) also influenced the false dichotomy of atheism and evolution.

Others lived at a time when Darwin just first came up with the ideas, and when you first hear of the ideas, you hear rumors, and the scientific community was even split and critical.

Despite how you want to pin me into calling them fools, I have repeatedly mentioned that my intention in bringing out the mistakes of Church fathers are not to deride them or dismiss them, but to understand the culture and upbringing they're coming from.  They leave us with very valuable spiritual teachings.  They however misunderstood or were misinformed of the science of evolution.
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« Reply #2594 on: December 08, 2010, 11:32:08 PM »

The problem with science is that it's moving further and further in the direction of incompatibility with Orthodox dogma. Even if we grant for argument's sake that the Genesis account of the origin of the world and of humanity can be understood in a purely allegorical fashion (although I believe this goes against the consensus of the Fathers), we still have to believe that: the soul is specially created and not the product of evolution; and that the physical laws of the universe as a whole were specially designed and created by God. However, evolutionary psychology certainly holds to the theory that our mind, i.e. our soul, is entirely the product of evolution. You can choose to reject this, but on what scientific grounds? What is the rival scientific theory for the origins of our mind? Steven Pinker recently wrote a book on this called the "Blank Slate". He is arguing against the model of the human mind assumed by most social scientists, which holds that mind is largely the product of environment and cultural influences. These social scientists, by the way, do not reject evolution as a whole, they just refuse to acknowledge evolution's implications for the human mind, and the possible differences in mental faculties that you would thus expect between different human populations (divided by sex, race, etc). The debate is strongly colored by political ideology, but it is pretty clear that the trend is for Darwinism to win out in psychology as well as biology. As far as psychological science is concerned, the weight of evidence is against the standard social science model. Ironically, this scientific victory over leftist ideology is also a victory over traditional Christian dogma about the specially created, immortal human soul.

Evolutionary psychology looks at patterns of behaviors and finds how they are evolved.  Spirituality takes these patterns of behaviors and transcends them to an even higher degree of morality.  The mind is a combination of physical and spiritual factors.  So behavioral psychologists only see how things work with the brain, how the brain reacts to stimuli around us and how we react, which is pretty much what behavior is.

In spirituality, we go beyond the physical norm.  We seek self-improvement through God.  We transcend our physical side, bringing it up towards heavenly contemplations.  I always like to think of the brain as the seat of the soul, not the soul itself.  And so, the rational soul cannot find itself fit into animal brains because they are not as highly developed as the human brain.  It is in this seat, God blessed us and infused in us His Image and Likeness.  So when images in PT scans or FMRIs flair up, we are only mapping where the soul is pushing the buttons of the brain so to speak.  There is still much to learn about neuroscience, and no matter what, I don't think evolutionary psychology will disprove anything.  Look around you.  Only humans are able to describe the world around us in such an advanced manner.  Only humans are able to somehow control and subdue Nature around us, and in fact, this is precisely where human nature is heading.  Only humans are able to look upon those who are least fit to survive in Nature, and able to find and invent advanced tools that can help them survive and live better lives.  And just as God creates us in His Image and Likeness, we tame animals in our image and likeness.  No one else with earthly features can do that.

This is one evidence of something one cannot physically see, the essence of something that is hoped for by creation.  It is as if the whole universe is a painting of God, and humanity is God's signature on the bottom right hand corner.  It really doesn't belong here, but we are also by nature what is here, and so we can influence the world, maybe the universe in ways no other creature can.

Quote
How about the phyiscal laws of the universe? Surely they must be the product of design, and if so, we can't escape the conclusion that the universe has been "designed" just for us? Not so fast, according to an increasing number of physicists. In physics the theory of multiple universes is fast gaining ground, as well as the theory of an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction of space-time. Multiple universes, an idea made popular by Richard Feynman, is simply one theoretically consistent way of interpreting the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: since the position or velocity of a particle can only be estimated probabilistically at any one time, this could either mean that some supernatural force is determining it without our knowledge, or that all possible positions or velocities are being realized across an infinite number of parallel universes. Roger Penrose of Oxford University, meanwhile, believes he has found evidence that matter existed before the big bang, in the form of concentric circles of particularly even radiation patterns that can be observed in the cosmic microwave background. According to him, these must be due to gravitational waves produced by colliding black holes, a phenomenon predicted only for an aging universe, which must have preceded our own.

You talked about two things.  Multiple universes is an understanding with "theoretical physicists."  It is here where theory really doesn't mean theory in the sense other scientists deal with, but rather a hypothesis confirmed by intense and complicated mathematical calculations leading to a speculative interpretation.  When I hear this, I cannot help but criticize it and remind people that Aristotle uses mathematical calculations to prove that everything revolves around us in a perfect circular fashion, except the planets, which revolve with "circles upon circles" around us.  His calculations were correct, and his interpretations were consistent with his calculations, but his perceptions were not reality.

On the other hand, Roger Penrose is different.  He actually has something tangible.  To that I say, so what?  I don't see anything wrong with his theory.  It doesn't contradict my faith at all.  I don't think it means there was no beginning.  We just have to wait and see how he advances in finding more evidence and more studies to further his understanding of what he's finding.  Have confidence in God's work man.  Be patient.  When there are new advances in science, I don't get worried about whether it will contradict my faith or not.  I KNOW it will not contradict my faith.  Instead, I get excited as we further in knowledge of what is around us.  I cannot wait for the next scientific discovery.  I don't think, "what will science come up with next to discredit us?" I think, "what else did God do in the cosmos?"

Quote
These are all legitimate scientific developments, judging by science's own standards of legitimacy. Are we just going to accept all of them because the "experts" say so? If so, where does that leave our faith? There are an infinite number of parallel universes. This means there is nothing probabilistically astounding about the physical laws of our own universe. No doubt, if you took a random sample of universes, the majority would not produce any life, since the physical constants would have evolved in such a way as to render the evolution of life impossible. But given an infinite number, a universe with life is bound to appear. As if that weren't bad enough, our own souls are nothing more than highly complex but nevertheless entirely evolved neural networks, qualitatively no different from the nervous systems of any other species. Free will, morality and so forth are simply psychological illusions from an introspective point of view; empirically, science holds them to be epiphenomena, acquired by some learning process, of deeper, evolved psychological phenomena.

Where do we draw the line? Do we not at some point have to say that it doesn't matter what these clever scientists say: our faith teaches so and so and there we stand? And if we have to tell science "Stop!" at this point, why not at an earlier point? Why don't we allow the Tradition of the Church to guide us to the right place to "draw the line"? It is for that reason that I find it hard to accept biological evolution.

Again, the difference between speculation and true scientific research.  I give Penrose more credence than Hawking for instance.  I don't discredit Hawking's genius, but at the same time, I think he gave an interpretation that leads to one of two things:
1.  If the multiverse is with infinite proportion, then that means he has successfully given us something that contradicts the very fabric of science, i.e. that it is now impossible to empirically test this, and thus, he turned Nature into nothing different than a deist reality.
2.  He cheapens infinity if infinity can truly become testable, and yet can be formed out of a "multiversal" or "M-theoretical" ballanced "nothing."  In that case, I can say with all confidence, God is greater than infinity.  He is the only one that can take what never existed, and turn it into a cosmic balance of existence even if it's in infinite proportions.  I think the Aeropagite writings considers God as "beyond Infinite," (and the EO saint, St. Maximus the Confessor confirms this) or an infinity infinitely greater than created infinity.  Number theorists have shown that there is a countable infinity and an infinity that is not countable.  If M-theory is true, is only then confirms a countable infinity, an infinity that can be observable.  There still exists the unobservable infinity.

In other words, I believe nothing can shake my strong belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and I have no doubt that scientific advances will not change one with a correct mindset, and I am not afraid of what they will find out.  My faith at this moment is a rock as it should be, not on the sandy foundations of over-literalism, but on the strong foundations of spirituality.
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« Reply #2595 on: December 08, 2010, 11:36:39 PM »

In physics the theory of multiple universes is fast gaining ground, as well as the theory of an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction of space-time....According to him, these must be due to gravitational waves produced by colliding black holes, a phenomenon predicted only for an aging universe, which must have preceded our own.
There's still the question of what made the multiple universes possible. Why are there multiple "verses" instead of just one?
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« Reply #2596 on: December 09, 2010, 03:54:57 PM »

There are different types of death mentioned in the Bible:

1. Physical death, after which one spends time (how much?) in sheol, a relatively 'neutral' resting place of those who have physically died.

In the Old Testament, physical death itself is not seen as anything other than part of the normal pattern of biological life. Psalm 104:29 talks about God who "takes away their breath so that "they die and return to dust." In Job 38:39-41, God says that He provides food for the carnivorous lion and other animals; and in the next chapter, God points Job to consider the eagle, whose "young ones feast on blood".
    
The physical death that occurs before its time, is the physical death that is the result of sin (Job 24:19, e.g.). The committing of sin leads to an early death.

In the New Testament, physical death is seen as necessary (unless one is living at the time of the Second Coming) before one can obtain one's imperishable resurrection body.

2. Spiritual death, or alienation from God caused by the committing of sin. Genesis 3, the expulsion from the Garden, is a prime example of such spiritual death. Spiritual death, though, can be reversed through repentance (Ephesians 2).

3. The "second death", the permanent death from which there is no escape. This is the death of Gehenna, permanent separation from God (Matthew 10:28; Revelation 2:11).

(See Creation or Evolution, Denis Alexander)
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« Reply #2597 on: December 09, 2010, 04:52:57 PM »

I was reading that as an explanation of how death can be explained from an evolutionary viewpoint and yet support the idea of some kind of death (spiritual) that is the result of sin; thus creation and evolution being compatible with the teaching of the Fathers/scripture.  But it appears that this affirms the theory that all death is a result of sin.  Is that what you and the author are saying, or am I misunderstanding?
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« Reply #2598 on: December 09, 2010, 05:20:36 PM »

I was reading that as an explanation of how death can be explained from an evolutionary viewpoint and yet support the idea of some kind of death (spiritual) that is the result of sin; thus creation and evolution being compatible with the teaching of the Fathers/scripture.  But it appears that this affirms the theory that all death is a result of sin.  Is that what you and the author are saying, or am I misunderstanding?

just making spiritual death a result of sin wouldnt be consonant with the Fathers .... the fact that all death is a result of sin is NOT a theory. If all people die physically anyways then Christ's physical death would be meaningless.
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« Reply #2599 on: December 09, 2010, 05:54:29 PM »

Why would it be meaningless?  Didn't he have to die in order to defeat death once and for all?
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« Reply #2600 on: December 09, 2010, 06:14:48 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
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« Reply #2601 on: December 09, 2010, 07:01:24 PM »

But it appears that this affirms the theory that all death is a result of sin.
The author is arguing that in the Old Testament everyone has an ideal length of life -- maybe 70, 80 years or more. To die when one has lived a full life, that sort of death is not the result of sin.

However, if one dies before one's time, say, at age 30, or so, then that would be a result of sin.
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« Reply #2602 on: December 09, 2010, 07:09:20 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.
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Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #2603 on: December 09, 2010, 07:14:40 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

That stretch just doesn't fly. It's pretty clear what is meant. Mortal is death. Reread canon one.
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« Reply #2604 on: December 09, 2010, 07:41:35 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

That stretch just doesn't fly. It's pretty clear what is meant. Mortal is death. Reread canon one.
There's nothing here that says that "animals and plants were created mortal" is anathema.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #2605 on: December 09, 2010, 08:05:10 PM »

Why would it be meaningless?  Didn't he have to die in order to defeat death once and for all?

because if God created death then death is good since everything that God creates is good. So why does He defeat it if its good?
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« Reply #2606 on: December 09, 2010, 08:06:40 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

the possibility for death was there because of free will, but not death itself. if Adam was made mortal then death was indeed a part of the created order.
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« Reply #2607 on: December 09, 2010, 08:09:18 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

That stretch just doesn't fly. It's pretty clear what is meant. Mortal is death. Reread canon one.
There's nothing here that says that "animals and plants were created mortal" is anathema.

that particular canon might not deal with animals and plants, but the Church's mind on this is clear:
http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/no-plant-death-before-the-fall/
http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-entire-creation-was-created-incorrupt/

but why would you break it down between humans; and animals and plant? does the theory of evolution allow for human immortality? but doesnt allow for plant and animal immortality?
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« Reply #2608 on: December 09, 2010, 08:16:04 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

That stretch just doesn't fly. It's pretty clear what is meant. Mortal is death. Reread canon one.
There's nothing here that says that "animals and plants were created mortal" is anathema.

Nope!
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« Reply #2609 on: December 09, 2010, 08:24:30 PM »

Council of Carthage (418)
Quote
ST. ZOSIMUS 417-4I8

COUNCIL OF MILEUM II 416, APPROVED BY INNOCENT AND COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE (XVI) 418, APPROVED BY ZOSIMUS

(against the Pelagians) *
Original Sin and Grace *

101 Can. 1. All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Church have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, * let him be anathema.

102 Can. 2. Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Through one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Rom. 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration. *


St. Augustine (354-430), The External History of the Pelagian Controversy
Quote
...Cœlestius behind at Carthage. Here Cœlestius sought ordination as a presbyter. But the Milanese deacon Paulinus stood forward in accusation of him as a heretic, and the matter was brought before a synod under the presidency of Bishop Aurelius.

Paulinus’ charge consisted of seven items, which asserted that Cœlestius taught the following heresies: that Adam was made mortal, and would have died, whether he sinned or did not sin; that the sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race; that new-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his sin; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die on account of the death or the fall of Adam, nor, on the other, rise again on account of the resurrection of Christ; that infants, even though not baptized, have eternal life; that the law leads to the kingdom of heaven in the same way as the gospel; and that, even before the Lord’s coming, there had been men without sin....
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.v.ii.ii.html?highlight=adam,made,mortal,carthage#highlight
I believe one can distinguish these two ideas:

1. Physical death was part of the created order in Genesis 1 and 2.

2. God made Adam, and gave Adam the ability to transcend mortality by participating in the life of God (spiritual life) -- but Adam chose to go against God's law, thus separating himself from the life of God, and succumbing to physical death and spiritual death.

One can affirm that Adam was not made mortal, while affirming that physical death was also part of the created order.

the possibility for death was there because of free will, but not death itself. if Adam was made mortal then death was indeed a part of the created order.

Sort of.

Death is absence/separation from God. We are not totally separate, we can pray, be sanctified, and be saved in spirit. Life, which is from God, is still given to the next generation. However, without Him, we will die beyond our separated bodies.

Therefore, Death isn't part of natural creation, but a consequence of the lack of the fullness of God's life giving power.   
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Tags: science Theory of Evolution evolution creationism cheval mort 
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