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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 326717 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #4050 on: April 21, 2012, 11:37:02 AM »

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A modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA), is that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-exist peacefully.

This is the view that has allowed me to function (most of the time) as a Christian without suffering from too much cognitive dissonance. Three cheers for Gould!

NOMA seems like dualism to me. Orthodox theology draws a strong distinction between the created and the uncreated, but not as much between the material and spiritual. To say that they do not overlap does not, to me, sound Orthodox at all.

No one is specifically saying that the material and spiritual do not overlap. NOMA (as I understand it) says that science functions in its own particular way and domain of expertise, and religion/spirituality in its way and domain of human experience. NOMA is simply accepting that the Bible is not a science textbook, and that science indeed works, given time and enough serious participants, as a process. One can still engage with the ascetic struggle and sacramental life of the Church, practice watchfulness of one's thoughts, engage in deeper and deeper prayer, approach theosis (by God's grace), and so on without trying to argue against the bits of science that contradict the Biblical mytho-poetic narrative of creation, for instance. Science works. Orthodox spirituality works. But each works in a very different dimension or domain of human experience.

This, at least, is my understanding of NOMA.

i understand what you're saying, its reasonable. but i still disagree. Here is what St. Theophan the Recluse has to say about it:

Sobraniye pisem (Collected Letters) Vol. 2, (1994), p. 117
A believer has the full right to insinuate himself with spiritual things into the material realm, while materialists crawl with their matter, without a twinge of conscience, into the spiritual realm. Right-mindedness is on our side, while incoherence is on theirs. And this is not because every sandpiper praises its own swamp; rather, it is to the point. Matter cannot be either a power or a purpose. Both are outside of it. Matter can only be a means and a field for spiritual powers, in accordance with the spiritual origin (the Creator) of all things.

Slova na Gospodskiye, Bogorodichnyye, i torzhestvennyye dni (Homilies on Feasts of the Lord and the Theotokos, and festal days) (1883), p. 196
A pure spirit [nous] contemplates God and receives from Him knowledge of mysteries. But even the spirit, combined with the body, after the diversity of the creations of the visible world has been revealed to it through the senses, have been enlightened by the same inward illumination from above, must contemplate in these creations all the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and the mysteries of God’s making and governing of the world, so that even when faced with this great amount of knowledge it can remain unperturbed in the same single Divine contemplation. But, having fallen, a person is captivated by the diversity of created things and even overwhelmed by impressions from them, which supplant within him the very thought of God. Studying created things, he goes no further than what he sees in them – their composition and interrelations – and, not receiving illumination from above, does not see in them the clear reflection of God and the Divine mysteries. The world has become for him a tarnished mirror, in which nothing can be seen but the mirror itself. Hence a great amount of knowledge suppresses within him the knowledge of the one thing; it turns him away from it, makes him cold toward it. Such is the price and such is the fruit of science in a fallen state.

St Feofan Zatvornik, Nastavleniya v duhovnoi zhisni. - Pskov-Pechery Monastery of Holy Dormition: Mosc. Patriarchate Publ., 1994, http://creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html
"The positive teaching of the Church serves to know whether a concept is from the Truth. This is a litmus test for all teachings. Whatever agrees with it, you should accept it, whatever does not- - reject. One can do it without further deliberations.”

Sozertsanie I razmyshlenie. Moscow, Pravilo very, 1998, http://creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html
 "Science goes forward fast, let it do so. But if they infer something inconsistent with the Divine Revelation, they are definitely off the right path in life, do not follow them.”


the mystical prayer life of the Orthodox Church also includes a deeper understanding of creation itself -- far deeper than science can ever attain. Fr. Seraphim Rose, commenting on the teaching of St. Gregory of Sinai, says this:

Genesis, Creation, and Early Man (2nd Edition), p. 458
St. Gregory the Sinaite and other Holy Fathers of the highest spiritual life beheld the first-created world in the state of Divine vision, which is beyond all natural knowledge[.] St. Gregory the Sinaite himself states the “eight primary visions” of the state of perfect prayer are: (1) God, (2) the angelic powers, (3) “the composition of visible things,” (4) the condescension of the Word (the Incarnation), (5) the universal resurrection, (6) the Second Coming of Christ, (7) eternal torments, (Cool the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Why should the “composition of visible things” be included together with the other objects of Divine vision which are all within the sphere of theological knowledge alone, and not scientific knowledge? Is it not because there is an aspect and state of creatures beyond the sphere of scientific knowledge, which can only be seen, as St. Isaac himself saw God’s creation, in vision by God’s grace? The objects of these visions, St. Gregory teaches, “are clearly beheld and known by those who have attained by grace complete purity of mind” (On Commandments and Doctrines 130, Philokalia 4, p. 248).

St. Isaac tells us that mystical union with God can lead us to a vision and comprehension of the act of creation itself:

Homily 21, Russian ed.; Homily 85, Greek ed.
Describing how men of the highest spiritual life are enraptured at the future life of incorruption: “And from this one is already exalted in his mind to that which preceded the (making) of the world, where there was no creature, no heaven, no earth, no angels, nothing of that which was brought into being, and to how God, solely by His good will, suddenly brought everything from non-being into being, and everything stood before Him in perfection.”

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« Reply #4051 on: April 21, 2012, 11:49:03 AM »

In the words of Severian, nvm...

Back to the issue of "believe in" vs "believe" or "acknowledge", I hope many people here, evolutionist or creationist, can understand this.  I've already addressed why I disagree with Gebre and jckstraw.  And Gebre, your continued demonization of evolutionists doesn't make you any better than the continued ridicule of creationists.  If you complain of the ridicule, then you should also stop making comments like "sacred cow of evolution".  Or you can continue to demonize, but don't complain if they ridicule you.  You can't have your cake and eat it too my friend.

God bless

Well, if I can accept that my belief in a young earth is a matter of faith, then why can't evolutionists accept that their theory is a matter of faith as well? If someone attempts to ridicule my belief in Creation as a "sacred cow," then so be it. It is indeed an article of my faith. I can admit that, and I am also willing to defend my belief. Evolutionists want to claim that their pet theory is an empirical scientific fact without offering legitimate evidence to substantiate it, and I will consistently call BS on that every time. The narrow minded fundamentalist zeal of evolutionists makes Pat Robertson and his ilk look tame in comparison.

I will also note that the ostensible "evidence" for evolution is highly contested. This "evidence" only appears to have merit within the context of a presuppositional evolutionary framework. By a prima facie ruling out of any and all other competing theories, the evolutionists exalt their own theory as an established "fact." Then they procede to mock, ridicule, and disparage anyone who dares to remain objectively unconvinced. I am too familiar with the game, and I won't allow the evolutionists to dictate the terms and set the rules. As long as they adhere to the strict criteria of the scientific method, then I will listen to what they have to say. But as this thread clearly demonstrates, the evolutionist camp is less concerned with producing actual evidence than with attacking those who are asking for evidence.


Selam


So, which is it, are you going to continue to demonize, or are you going to complain.  Choose one, otherwise, this will be hypocrisy.

I've already had this discussion Gebre.  There's nothing new you're stating.  So for me to defend my stance against you will be repeating myself.  I was trying to talk about the difference between "belief" and "belief in," and I'm no longer concerned into getting into an evolution debate with you.

I won't complain if you continue to demonize evolutionists.  I promise you.  But don't complain back either.  This isn't a "game."  You're doing the same thing you're complaining of right now.
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« Reply #4052 on: April 21, 2012, 01:48:52 PM »

While you're giving credit to the source of your material for an earlier post on this thread, you need to add these to your list of posts needing credits by posting a link or bibliographical reference to the source of this material. You have the same 72 hours to do so. The bibliographical references already provided on the Web page from which you copied these texts don't count. You need to post a link to the Web page itself.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg736877.html#msg736877

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg736878.html#msg736878
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« Reply #4053 on: April 21, 2012, 03:38:01 PM »

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« Reply #4054 on: April 21, 2012, 03:39:32 PM »

While you're giving credit to the source of your material for an earlier post on this thread, you need to add these to your list of posts needing credits by posting a link or bibliographical reference to the source of this material. You have the same 72 hours to do so. The bibliographical references already provided on the Web page from which you copied these texts don't count. You need to post a link to the Web page itself.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg736877.html#msg736877

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg736878.html#msg736878

i dont understand what else you want me to provide for the sources in those 2 posts ... i didnt copy them from a website, and I provided the titles and page numbers.
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« Reply #4055 on: April 21, 2012, 04:06:46 PM »

Quote
i understand what you're saying, its reasonable. but i still disagree. Here is what St. Theophan the Recluse has to say about it:

No offence, but it matters not to me whether or not you agree with it. It is an approach that generally works for me. If I had to put my blinders on to the findings of science in order to be Orthodox, I wouldn't last very long. Thankfully, I don't.
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« Reply #4056 on: April 21, 2012, 04:52:09 PM »

I have a hypothetical scenario:

A historian says that there is no known historical evidence to suggest that a deity intervened in Cyrus the Great's reign in such a way as to enable him to invade the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Isaiah 45 totally says that God used Cyrus the Great as his messiah to invade the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Would you, who are creationists, be compelled to believe that the historian's historical findings were false?
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« Reply #4057 on: April 21, 2012, 04:59:16 PM »

You can moralize all you want about sperm/egg genetic selection. The only thing about it that bothers me is the guarantee that my generation will be the last to suck. When I'm 80 I'll be completely surrounded by a bunch of young nubine geniuses who are better than me at literally everything.

Are you thinking of bioengineering? Well, if scientists discover the gene for pride, then I suppose we will have the power to perfect ourselves without God. But then again, the very act of trying to perfect ourselves without God is prideful.
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« Reply #4058 on: April 21, 2012, 06:03:05 PM »

Quote
i understand what you're saying, its reasonable. but i still disagree. Here is what St. Theophan the Recluse has to say about it:

No offence, but it matters not to me whether or not you agree with it. It is an approach that generally works for me. If I had to put my blinders on to the findings of science in order to be Orthodox, I wouldn't last very long. Thankfully, I don't.

no one's asking you to put blinders on. but there is quite a difference between the findings of science and the interpretation of those findings. St. Theophan is saying that our interpretation of creation (and all things) must be in line with the Orthodox Tradition, or its false.
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« Reply #4059 on: April 21, 2012, 07:43:36 PM »

just for clarity - the text I quoted in post 4037 is my own writing, initially posted on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150264755496604
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« Reply #4060 on: April 21, 2012, 08:36:34 PM »

grace-filled interpretation of Scripture. thats the only way to know about the time before the Fall. science can have nothing to say on this matter.
Very interesting. I guess I never connected the Fall into our fallen interpretation by using science.

Quote
precisely. the Fathers consistently teach that God formed man uniquely out of the clay with His own "hands" which shows that He is the crown of creation. if evolution is true then man just crawled out of the slime with everything else and was not created specially by God.
Let's suppose evolution is true and it took millions of years of evolution to get to the creation of man. Why is it implausible that God could use evolution for His own purpose?

Doesn't the breath of God make us different from the rest of the creatures that were made from "slime"? So what does it matter then?
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« Reply #4061 on: April 22, 2012, 09:48:07 AM »

grace-filled interpretation of Scripture. thats the only way to know about the time before the Fall. science can have nothing to say on this matter.
Very interesting. I guess I never connected the Fall into our fallen interpretation by using science.

Quote
precisely. the Fathers consistently teach that God formed man uniquely out of the clay with His own "hands" which shows that He is the crown of creation. if evolution is true then man just crawled out of the slime with everything else and was not created specially by God.
Let's suppose evolution is true and it took millions of years of evolution to get to the creation of man. Why is it implausible that God could use evolution for His own purpose?

Doesn't the breath of God make us different from the rest of the creatures that were made from "slime"? So what does it matter then?
I would argue that eventually the age of the earth doesnt really matter, even though it matters for some people, but rather the idea of death before the creation of man.  It's not about evolution itself ultimately, but the possibility of animal death before the Fall.
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« Reply #4062 on: April 22, 2012, 10:56:47 AM »

It's not about evolution itself ultimately, but the possibility of animal death before the Fall.
The Scriptures tell us about human death, not the genesis of animal death. But they do tell us:

"The young lions roar after their prey, seeking their food from God."
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« Reply #4063 on: April 22, 2012, 12:55:45 PM »

grace-filled interpretation of Scripture. thats the only way to know about the time before the Fall. science can have nothing to say on this matter.
Very interesting. I guess I never connected the Fall into our fallen interpretation by using science.

Quote
precisely. the Fathers consistently teach that God formed man uniquely out of the clay with His own "hands" which shows that He is the crown of creation. if evolution is true then man just crawled out of the slime with everything else and was not created specially by God.
Let's suppose evolution is true and it took millions of years of evolution to get to the creation of man. Why is it implausible that God could use evolution for His own purpose?

its implausible because it has no similarity to the unified teaching of the Saints through the ages. As Mina said, the main problem is death. We know that God does not desire the death of anything living, but evolution necessarily includes death.

Quote
Doesn't the breath of God make us different from the rest of the creatures that were made from "slime"? So what does it matter then?

of course the breath of God is an essential element, but the Fathers do point out that even our bodies are made uniquely from all the rest of creation. God did not just speak us into existence, but He used His own "hands." The Fathers see in this an indication of our uniqueness and special role in creation.
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« Reply #4064 on: April 22, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »

It's not about evolution itself ultimately, but the possibility of animal death before the Fall.
The Scriptures tell us about human death, not the genesis of animal death. But they do tell us:

"The young lions roar after their prey, seeking their food from God."

the Scriptures do, in fact, tell us about animal death. We are explicitly told that initially animals ate only plants. Obviously, this was not true of Moses' day, so he was inspired to include this to teach us that the world was then different.

Also, the Wisdom of Solomon speaks about God's intent for all things:

Wisdom of Solomon 1:12-16 Do not invite death by the error of your life, or bring on destruction by the works of your hands; because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal. But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away and made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his company (emphasis added).

Also, Romans 8:20: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope.

Commenting on this verse, St. John Chrysostom shows that the death of the Fall was that of all of creation, in his Homilies on Romans 14:

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

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

St. Ireneaus teaches the same:

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

St. Methodios:

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

and St. Justin Popovich, in his The Orthodox Philosophy of Truth: The Dogmatics of the Orthodox Church vol. 3 p. 792, teaches the same:

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

so for the Fathers, Scripture does tell us about the origin of animal death, and indeed, of death throughout the entire creation.
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« Reply #4065 on: April 22, 2012, 01:16:03 PM »

It's not about evolution itself ultimately, but the possibility of animal death before the Fall.
The Scriptures tell us about human death, not the genesis of animal death. But they do tell us:

"The young lions roar after their prey, seeking their food from God."
I'm not much to argue about what Scriptures tell us about scientific evidence.  I find that the evidence is clear and consistent that physical animal death existed millions and millions of years before the dawn of man.  If God wanted to make it clear for us that there was no non-human death before the Fall, He would have at least made the evidence inconsistent for us.  But such ideas do not shake up my Orthodox faith.  I know that the first 300 years of the Church, practically all written record of the Church fathers alludes to the idea that angels, especially sinful ones, can in fact inbreed with humans, a view which slowly died down afterwards.  I see the same thing happening in this case without any damage to the essential Orthodox faith.

As for the verse, it comes from the book of psalms, so assuming the position of a creationist's advocate, that only talks about conditions after the Fall, and not before like in Genesis.
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« Reply #4066 on: April 22, 2012, 03:44:31 PM »

we were "made" from earth just like the beasts were but with a something extra..
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« Reply #4067 on: April 22, 2012, 08:06:13 PM »

so for [some] Fathers, Scripture does tell us about the origin of animal death, and indeed, of death throughout the entire creation.
They're wrong.

Although the specific quotes you cited don't seem to really care about the existence of biological animal death before the Fall, they seem concerned with the existence of the corruption and death introduced by the Fall. And, as our father among the saints Irenaeus points out, biological death and the far more corrupting and terrible Death introduced by the Fall aren't synonymous.

In that model, God introduced biological human death as a merciful limiter of spiritual death. And since Wisdom says that God didn't make the death introduced by the Fall, it would therefore be logical to conclude that the death being referred to is not mere biological death.

Of course, you could say St. Irenaeus was wrong on that point. But then it becomes Father vs. Father and the "patristic witness" collapses.

the Scriptures do, in fact, tell us about animal death. We are explicitly told that initially animals ate only plants.
Where?
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« Reply #4068 on: April 22, 2012, 10:41:15 PM »

so for [some] Fathers, Scripture does tell us about the origin of animal death, and indeed, of death throughout the entire creation.
They're wrong.

Although the specific quotes you cited don't seem to really care about the existence of biological animal death before the Fall, they seem concerned with the existence of the corruption and death introduced by the Fall. And, as our father among the saints Irenaeus points out, biological death and the far more corrupting and terrible Death introduced by the Fall aren't synonymous.

In that model, God introduced biological human death as a merciful limiter of spiritual death. And since Wisdom says that God didn't make the death introduced by the Fall, it would therefore be logical to conclude that the death being referred to is not mere biological death.

Of course, you could say St. Irenaeus was wrong on that point. But then it becomes Father vs. Father and the "patristic witness" collapses.

the quotes I provided are clear that corruption and death did not exist in all of creation before the Fall. and where does St. Irenaeus say that biological death is not a result of the Fall? Of course physical and spiritual death are not synonymous, but that does not mean they are not both results of the Fall. God is not the cause of physical death, He allowed it to put a limit on our life of sin. There is no contradiction here, which you are attempting to introduce. St. Irenaeus tells us that the deliverance from corruption that is coming for the entire creation is a return to the condition of the prelapsarian world:
Quote
For God is rich in all things, and all things are His. It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: "For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature has been subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; since the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." Against Heresies 5.32.1

Quote
the Scriptures do, in fact, tell us about animal death. We are explicitly told that initially animals ate only plants.
Where?

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Here is what St. Basil says about this time before the Fall:

Quote
‘Let the Church neglect nothing; everything is a law. God did not say: “I have given you the fishes for food, I have given you the cattle, the reptiles, the quadrupeds.” It is not for this that He created, says the Scripture. In fact, the first legislation allowed the use of fruits, for we were still judged worthy of Paradise.

‘What is the mystery which is concealed for you under this?

‘To you, to the wild animals and the birds, says the Scripture, fruits, vegetation and herbs (are given) … We see, however, many wild animals which do not eat fruits. what fruit does the panther accept to nourish itself? What fruit can the lion satisfy himself with?

‘Nevertheless, these beings, submitting to the law of natures, were nourished by fruits. But when man changed his way of life and departed from the limit which had been assigned him, the Lord, after the Flood, knowing that men were wasteful, allowed them the use of all foods; “eat all that in the same was as edible plants” (Gen. 9:3). By this allowance, the other animals also received the liberty to eat them.

‘Since then the lion is a carnivore, since then also vultures watch for carrion. For the vultures were not yet looking over the earth at the very moment when the animals were born; in fact, nothing of what had received designation or existence had yet died so that the vultures might eat them. Nature had not yet divided, for it was all in its freshness: hunters did not capture, for such was not yet the practice of men; the beasts, for their part, did not yet tear their prey, for they were not carnivores … But all followed the way of the swans, and all grazed on the grass of the meadow …

‘Such was the first creation, and such will be the restoration after this. Man will return to his ancient constitution in rejecting malice, a life weighed down with cares, the slavery of the soul with regard to daily worries. When he has renounced all this, he will return to that paradisal life which was not enslaved to the passions of the flesh, which is free, the life of closeness to God, a partaker of the life of the angels.’
 On the Origin of Humanity 2.6-7

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov teaches the same in his Homily on Man:
Quote
According to its creation, there was on it only the splendid, only the wholesome, there was only that which was suitable for the immortal and blessed life of its inhabitants . . . The beasts and other animals lived in perfect harmony among themselves, nourishing themselves on plant life.

St. Maximus, Ad Thalassium 6.1:
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What I am saying is that in the beginning sin seduced Adam and persuaded him to transgress God's commandment, whereby sin gave rise to pleasure and, by means of this pleasure, nailed itself in Adam to the very depths of our nature, thus condemning our whole human nature to death and, via humanity, pressing the nature of (all) created beings toward mortal extinction.
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« Reply #4069 on: April 22, 2012, 11:22:33 PM »

If biological death didn't exist, the planet would be rapidly buried, literally, in bacteria. Just sayin'. Not to mention I'm having a hard time figuring out just what this ate before the Fall




Or how plant death somehow doesn't count. Or where viruses came from.
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« Reply #4070 on: April 22, 2012, 11:25:27 PM »

If biological death didn't exist, the planet would be rapidly buried, literally, in bacteria. Just sayin'. Not to mention I'm having a hard time figuring out just what this ate before the Fall




Or how plant death somehow doesn't count. Or where viruses came from.

you are attempting to use your knowledge of the fallen world to understand the pre-fallen world. it doesnt work that way. the Fathers tell us continually and very clearly that the only way to know about the pre-fallen world is by the revelation of God.
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« Reply #4071 on: April 22, 2012, 11:32:33 PM »

If biological death didn't exist, the planet would be rapidly buried, literally, in bacteria. Just sayin'. Not to mention I'm having a hard time figuring out just what this ate before the Fall




Or how plant death somehow doesn't count. Or where viruses came from.

you are attempting to use your knowledge of the fallen world to understand the pre-fallen world. it doesnt work that way. the Fathers tell us continually and very clearly that the only way to know about the pre-fallen world is by the revelation of God.

Then maybe creationists should stop insisting on a version of pre-Fall history that makes no sense and has holes large enough to run an aircraft carrier through. Strangely, I only see this "you are using your fallen intellect/evul atheist science" applied to one side of the argument.
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« Reply #4072 on: April 22, 2012, 11:45:06 PM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...
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« Reply #4073 on: April 22, 2012, 11:48:37 PM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.
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« Reply #4074 on: April 22, 2012, 11:52:26 PM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.
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« Reply #4075 on: April 23, 2012, 12:02:52 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

If we had overwhelming physical evidence of such with none to the contrary, certainly.
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« Reply #4076 on: April 23, 2012, 12:08:16 AM »

the quotes I provided are clear that corruption and death did not exist in all of creation before the Fall.
Only if you're looking for that conclusion.

and where does St. Irenaeus say that biological death is not a result of the Fall?
You know what I meant. Because right after you say:

God is not the cause of physical death, He allowed it to put a limit on our life of sin.

St. Irenaeus tells us that the deliverance from corruption that is coming for the entire creation is a return to the condition of the prelapsarian world:
I would disagree with your understanding of the nature of that world, of course.

the Scriptures do, in fact, tell us about animal death. We are explicitly told that initially animals ate only plants....

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
That's a terrible understanding of Genesis 1:30, and one that would never be supported by the near-eastern context of genesis.
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« Reply #4077 on: April 23, 2012, 12:14:04 AM »

the quotes I provided are clear that corruption and death did not exist in all of creation before the Fall.
Only if you're looking for that conclusion.

and where does St. Irenaeus say that biological death is not a result of the Fall?
You know what I meant. Because right after you say:

God is not the cause of physical death, He allowed it to put a limit on our life of sin.

St. Irenaeus tells us that the deliverance from corruption that is coming for the entire creation is a return to the condition of the prelapsarian world:
I would disagree with your understanding of the nature of that world, of course.

the Scriptures do, in fact, tell us about animal death. We are explicitly told that initially animals ate only plants....

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
That's a terrible understanding of Genesis 1:30, and one that would never be supported by the near-eastern context of genesis.


so just for clarity's sake -- the only understanding of Genesis 1:30 I gave was of a few Saints -- are you saying its their understanding that is terrible?

also, no I dont know what you mean about St. Irenaeus. Where does he say that physical death did NOT come about as a result of the Fall? I said God is not the cause of it -- sin is the cause of it.
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« Reply #4078 on: April 23, 2012, 12:18:16 AM »

so just for clarity's sake -- the only understanding of Genesis 1:30 I gave was of a few Saints -- are you saying its their understanding that is terrible?
Yeah. Their Hebrew wasn't very good, and they were speculating. Sort of like when a lot of ancient Orthodox dudes talked about the Four Humours and menstruation cursing you. I mean, if it's all or nothing, you gotta pick all or nothing, right?
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« Reply #4079 on: April 23, 2012, 12:21:18 AM »

so just for clarity's sake -- the only understanding of Genesis 1:30 I gave was of a few Saints -- are you saying its their understanding that is terrible?
Yeah. Their Hebrew wasn't very good, and they were speculating. Sort of like when a lot of ancient Orthodox dudes talked about the Four Humours and menstruation cursing you. I mean, if it's all or nothing, you gotta pick all or nothing, right?

well I don't believe the Fathers were speculating about the pre-fallen world, so I guess we have no common ground to converse on. Christ is Risen!
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« Reply #4080 on: April 23, 2012, 12:23:25 AM »

so just for clarity's sake -- the only understanding of Genesis 1:30 I gave was of a few Saints -- are you saying its their understanding that is terrible?
Yeah. Their Hebrew wasn't very good, and they were speculating. Sort of like when a lot of ancient Orthodox dudes talked about the Four Humours and menstruation cursing you. I mean, if it's all or nothing, you gotta pick all or nothing, right?

well I don't believe [my choice of] Fathers were speculating about the pre-fallen world, so I guess we have no common ground to converse on. Christ is Risen!
Indeed he is Risen!

I guess the moral is:

ALL FATHERS ARE GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
BUT SOME FATHERS ARE MORE GUIDED THAN OTHERS.

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« Reply #4081 on: April 23, 2012, 12:28:04 AM »

so just for clarity's sake -- the only understanding of Genesis 1:30 I gave was of a few Saints -- are you saying its their understanding that is terrible?
Yeah. Their Hebrew wasn't very good, and they were speculating. Sort of like when a lot of ancient Orthodox dudes talked about the Four Humours and menstruation cursing you. I mean, if it's all or nothing, you gotta pick all or nothing, right?

well I don't believe [my choice of] Fathers were speculating about the pre-fallen world, so I guess we have no common ground to converse on. Christ is Risen!
Indeed he is Risen!

I guess the moral is:

ALL FATHERS ARE GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
BUT SOME FATHERS ARE MORE GUIDED THAN OTHERS.



So we are supposed to accept that the Fathers advocating a literal interpretation of Geneis are in, but we get to ignore the parts where they talk about the Humors and stuff like that?
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« Reply #4082 on: April 23, 2012, 01:10:21 AM »

So we are supposed to accept that the Fathers advocating a literal interpretation of Geneis are in, but we get to ignore the parts where they talk about the Humors and stuff like that?
It's either that, or accept that the Fathers were guided by the Faith they received and by the Holy Spirit, but still had to wrestle with ideas and philosophies and presuppositions, and weren't always right.

And that's harder, so it's lame.  Wink
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« Reply #4083 on: April 23, 2012, 01:13:05 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
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« Reply #4084 on: April 23, 2012, 01:14:19 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.
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« Reply #4085 on: April 23, 2012, 01:16:37 AM »

So we are supposed to accept that the Fathers advocating a literal interpretation of Geneis are in, but we get to ignore the parts where they talk about the Humors and stuff like that?
It's either that, or accept that the Fathers were guided by the Faith they received and by the Holy Spirit, but still had to wrestle with ideas and philosophies and presuppositions, and weren't always right.

And that's harder, so it's lame.  Wink
I agree.  I suppose that's the point I was making about the Nephilim interpretation.
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« Reply #4086 on: April 23, 2012, 01:18:10 AM »

I suppose that's the point I was making about the Nephilim interpretation.
Man, that takes me back. I had friends during my highschool years who believed that the nephilim were hybrid reptiles and that the book of Enoch was some sort of ancient alien tome.
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« Reply #4087 on: April 23, 2012, 01:20:09 AM »

I suppose that's the point I was making about the Nephilim interpretation.
Man, that takes me back. I had friends during my highschool years who believed that the nephilim were hybrid reptiles and that the book of Enoch was some sort of ancient alien tome.
I'm amazed the Bible was even discussed in high school (unless you were in private school).
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« Reply #4088 on: April 23, 2012, 08:39:52 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
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« Reply #4089 on: April 23, 2012, 09:35:19 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.
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« Reply #4090 on: April 23, 2012, 09:49:26 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.

sure, i agree with that. without this assumption of uniformity it'd be pretty darn hard to do any science. but recognizing this assumption puts a limit on science which is spoken of by the ancient and modern Fathers. the idea that science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has does not have to negate the existence of a once-paradisiacal world -- for the Orthodox Christian we can understand it as the world operating as it has since the time of the Fall (or maybe even the Flood). This is what Fr. John Romanides says -- that science and philosophy can take us back to the Fall, but they cannot break the barrier of the Fall. Creationism isn't anti-science, it just sets stronger limits on science.
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« Reply #4091 on: April 23, 2012, 10:20:59 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.

There is no evidence of a Pre-Fallen World outside the Bible and some pagan mythologies.The world always seemed to function by the same laws.
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« Reply #4092 on: April 23, 2012, 10:24:24 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.

sure, i agree with that. without this assumption of uniformity it'd be pretty darn hard to do any science. but recognizing this assumption puts a limit on science which is spoken of by the ancient and modern Fathers. the idea that science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has does not have to negate the existence of a once-paradisiacal world -- for the Orthodox Christian we can understand it as the world operating as it has since the time of the Fall (or maybe even the Flood). This is what Fr. John Romanides says -- that science and philosophy can take us back to the Fall, but they cannot break the barrier of the Fall. Creationism isn't anti-science, it just sets stronger limits on science.

So what will take us back before the Fall?Is that understanding denied to us?
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« Reply #4093 on: April 23, 2012, 10:32:40 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.

sure, i agree with that. without this assumption of uniformity it'd be pretty darn hard to do any science. but recognizing this assumption puts a limit on science which is spoken of by the ancient and modern Fathers. the idea that science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has does not have to negate the existence of a once-paradisiacal world -- for the Orthodox Christian we can understand it as the world operating as it has since the time of the Fall (or maybe even the Flood). This is what Fr. John Romanides says -- that science and philosophy can take us back to the Fall, but they cannot break the barrier of the Fall. Creationism isn't anti-science, it just sets stronger limits on science.

So what will take us back before the Fall?Is that understanding denied to us?

The Fathers are our guides because they held visions of creation in prayer, and the same mystical experiences are open to all of us. In recent times Elder Joseph of Vatopedi was granted a vision of Creation in which he saw it just as Moses reported it.

 Here is what St. Isaac the Syrian says about it:

Quote
Homily 21, Russian ed.; Homily 85, Greek ed.
Describing how men of the highest spiritual life are enraptured at the future life of incorruption: “And from this one is already exalted in his mind to that which preceded the (making) of the world, where there was no creature, no heaven, no earth, no angels, nothing of that which was brought into being, and to how God, solely by His good will, suddenly brought everything from non-being into being, and everything stood before Him in perfection.”
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« Reply #4094 on: April 23, 2012, 10:46:31 AM »

Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...

You have fun with that, my priest has said the woe is an icon, which is quite enough for me to reject that attitude. Had more than enough of "the physical universe is a lie" as a fundie nondenominational anyways.

no one said its a lie. no one said science is a lie. but the fallen world is quite different from the pre-fallen world. Essentially what you're doing is looking at a cancer patient and assuming they always had cancer and always exhibited all the effects of cancer.

I dont understand the analogy.
He's saying that the Fall retroactively engineered the world to look like it had always been fallen.

It'd be tough to find that one in any of the Fathers, though. Stargate didn't come out until 1994.

thats not what I'm saying. perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly, but I've said nothing about the world looking like it's always been fallen. The fallenness that we see began with the Fall, and the Tradition tells us there was a time of Paradise before that which we do not see except through prayer. I'm saying that the Fathers tell us that the world was not always sunk into corruption and death. Once it was "healthy" -- without the "cancer" of corruption and death, but evolutionists are looking at the fallen world and assuming it is normative for the entire history of the earth. I do not believe that the fallenness we see now gives the impression that the world was always fallen -- that is more akin to the evolutionist position which holds that death has always existed.
This isn't just an evolutionist belief, FWIW. One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that we can only work with the evidence we have now and that science is powerless to posit anything other than a natural explanation of the evidence. Such stories as a paradisical world where death did not exist, where the laws of nature were totally different from what they are now, are beyond the reach of science. Could such a world have existed? Many Christians suggest that not only is it possible that such a world could have existed, we have evidence of such a world in the Scriptures. This belief, however, is the proper realm of religious faith, not of science, since science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has.

sure, i agree with that. without this assumption of uniformity it'd be pretty darn hard to do any science. but recognizing this assumption puts a limit on science which is spoken of by the ancient and modern Fathers. the idea that science can only assume that the universe operates now as it always has does not have to negate the existence of a once-paradisiacal world -- for the Orthodox Christian we can understand it as the world operating as it has since the time of the Fall (or maybe even the Flood). This is what Fr. John Romanides says -- that science and philosophy can take us back to the Fall, but they cannot break the barrier of the Fall. Creationism isn't anti-science, it just sets stronger limits on science.

So what will take us back before the Fall?Is that understanding denied to us?

The Fathers are our guides because they held visions of creation in prayer, and the same mystical experiences are open to all of us. In recent times Elder Joseph of Vatopedi was granted a vision of Creation in which he saw it just as Moses reported it.

 Here is what St. Isaac the Syrian says about it:

Quote
Homily 21, Russian ed.; Homily 85, Greek ed.
Describing how men of the highest spiritual life are enraptured at the future life of incorruption: “And from this one is already exalted in his mind to that which preceded the (making) of the world, where there was no creature, no heaven, no earth, no angels, nothing of that which was brought into being, and to how God, solely by His good will, suddenly brought everything from non-being into being, and everything stood before Him in perfection.”


How did Joseph of Vatopedi saw it?
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