Please note that the Theokritoffs are not suggesting that we must follow Fr Seraphim's example of reading Genesis exactly as the Fathers did, merely that he comes to honest and logical conclusions regarding the committment to young earth creationism. How is this all an Orthodox needs to know? Are you elevating Fr Seraphim's opinion to the status of infallibility; and one that all Orthodox believers should follow? Where does the Church teach that the Orthodox believer must read Genesis in such a way?
no im not elevating Fr. Seraphim to infallibility -- but rather the concensus of the Church Fathers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems now you are agreeing that if we simply accept the Fathers at their word we will believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis? This is what I have been trying to get at.
Where does the Church decree that the Church Fathers' opinion of science is infallible? No, I am in no way suggesting that we accept the Fathers at their word concerning matters of science. What I am suggesting is that if (as you claim) we must take the Fathers at their word, we must take their literal interpretation of a geocentric cosmology as a literal interpretation, too. As you haven't answered my question as to your opinion on such a position, and as you insist upon agreement with the Fathers, I assume that you must follow the Fathers and hold to a geocentric cosmology.
opinions of science is not the issue at hand, but rather how to properly interpret Genesis. this may have some scientific implications, but science is not the issue.
You are using the opinions of the Fathers to decide how we should properly interpret Genesis; to the exclusion of an accepted scientific stand. As their opinions express the scientific knowlege of their day, the issue most defintely is science; theirs vs ours. If, however, we see that Genesis is to be interpreted as theology, not scientifically we cease to have a conflict with science. Bishop Kallistos speaks on this issue in a brief video at... http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=d32e16f75c0e84e66464
and concerning geocentrism, again i ask, 1. what Scripture were they interpreting to teach geocentrism (if they even unanimously did -- i hear this claimed all the time but never see it ...) and 2. what doctrine would this effect in any way even if they did teach it as Scriptural interpretation?
It impacts the doctrine of creation, brings into question the interpretions of the Fathers, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And yes, the Fathers were unamimous in their belief in a geocentric cosmos. You might be interested in this Catholic believer's site regarding the upholding of geocentrism... http://www.scripturecatholic.com/geocentrism.html
. Don't disregard him out of hand, because his arguments are frighteningly similar to those you make. On that page you will find scriptural references and quotes from the Church Fathers. He's deadly serious and he isn't alone in his opinion.
Geocentrism is the view that the earth is the center of the universe, and that the universe (sun, moon, stars, planets) revolves around the earth. Most geocentrists also believe that the earth stands still, and does not rotate on its axis. Geocentrism is in contrast to heliocentrism, which is the view that the earth rotates on its axis and, along with the other planets, revolves around the sun. While it is permissible for Christians to hold the heliocentric view, heliocentrism can only be advanced as a theory, not a certainty (because neither heliocentrism nor geocentrism can be scientifically proven definitively)
He continues; In fact, three Popes (Paul V, Urban VIII and Alexander VII) have officially declared that heliocentrism is opposed to Sacred Scripture, and condemned the notion that heliocentrism was a truth to be believed with certainty. Instead, the Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition and teachings of the Church support a geocentric cosmology vis-à-vis a heliocentric one. Nota Bene: I am a faithful Catholic, not a scientist. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. When presented with a question of faith (such as how God created the universe), I look to the Scriptures, the Tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church for the answer. I do not rely upon modern scientists who have been unable to prove heliocentrism and disprove geocentrism, especially those who deny the inerrancy of Scripture and generally abhor the Catholic faith.
When interpreted literally, the Scriptures teach us that the earth does not move. Should we interpret the Scriptures literally? The Catholic Church, having adopted the rule of St. Augustine, teaches “not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires; a rule to which it is the more necessary to adhere strictly in these times, when the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate.” Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, No. 15, 1893. This was affirmed by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, No. 36, 1950.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 116, also says: “The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."
In other words, we are to interpret the Scriptures literally unless there is a compelling reason to interpret them otherwise. This is why the Church interprets literally, for example, Matt. 16:18 (Peter is the rock); Matt. 19:9 (remarriage after divorce is adultery); Matt. 26:26-28 (“this is my body”); John 6:51-58 (“eat my flesh”; “drink my blood”); John 3:5 (born of water means baptism); John 20:23 (“whose sins you forgive are forgiven”); 1 Peter 3:21 (“baptism saves you”); and James 5:14-15 (“anoint the sick with oil to save them and forgive their sins”).
We must also remember that the Scriptures were dictated to the sacred writers by the Holy Ghost. Thus, we take God’s Word for what it says, for He is the author of Scripture. There does not seem to be a compelling reason to depart from the literal and obvious sense of the following Scriptures which teach, both implicitly and explicitly, that the earth does not move.
The question is: where does the Church teach any other way of looking at Genesis? Are Fr. Florovsky and Met. KALLISTOS significant enough to overhaul 19 centuries of Church Fathers, Saints, councils, icons, hymns, etc?
I don't think that you have realised that you are using Scripture, Church Fathers, Saints, councils, icons, hymns etc as a scientific text; to prove the science of the time of the Fathers. If you do that, you should expect it to be overthrown by modern science. In such a case, anyone is significant enough to overhaul those 19 centuries. I believe it's also important to understand that if one continues to insist that people interpret science as the Fathers did, one is in danger of turning them away from the source of a much greater truth.
no, im using all those sources to interpret Genesis. no matter how many times you try to redirect the conversation to science, im going to bring it back to Scriptural interpretation, which belongs to the Church, and the Church alone. You don't seem to realize that you are using scientists to tell you how to understand the early chapters of Genesis.
No, you are using these sources in an attempt to discredit an accepted scientific theory in favour of the literal interpretation of the Fathers; therefore you are using them as a scientific text. Otherwise what value do they have in any discussion with science? While Scriptural interpretation belongs to the Church and the Church alone, the Fathers are not the extent of that Church. Neither are they experts in the science you are attempting to discredit. And as I understand the early chapters of Genesis as theology, rather than science, science has nothing to say in how I understand it.
If this were an issue like the toll-houses where there really is no concensus on whether they exist, or even if they do, how to understand them -- there have been people on both sides throughout history -- i could understand going either way and asking where does the Church definitively teach the tollhouses.
Again you confuse something we can't actually know with something we can actually have physical knowledge of.
i dont see how this comment follows what i said, but either way, can we really have physical knowledge of the ancient past?
Earlier you tried to contrast the mystical with the mudane. Whereas we have no physical evidence to support or deny the teaching of Tollhouses, there is physical evidence regarding our physical world. And yes, we can really have physical knowledge of the ancient past.
we can see it in the rock layers, but how do we know scientists are interpreting it correctly?
Sorry, but I'm going to have to leave you to do some investigation on how geology works.
science is supposed to be observable, and descent from a common ancestor was not observed since there was no one around to observe it.
By studying the standard phylogenetic tree, it can be seen that every species has a unique genealogical history. Each species has a unique series of common ancestors linking it to the original common ancestor. We should expect that organisms carry evidence of this history and ancestry with them. The standard phylogenetic tree predicts what historical evidence is possible and what is impossible for each given species. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html
Rapid evolution is observed in the Italian Wall Lizards on Pod Mrcaru... http://www.umass.edu/loop/talkingpoints/articles/74409.php
however, God was around, and He gave us an account of the beginning ....
Where does God explain HOW he created our world, let alone the universe? Surely you are not suggesting that our knowledge of our universe should be limited to a few lines in Genesis?
but on this issue there really is a consistent line of teaching -- where do we see another way of interpreting the whole of the Adam and Eve story (not just the length of the days)?
There is no express need for it to be interpreted literally, other than your insistance that one do so to prevent one accepting scientific knowledge beyond of the time of the Fathers. It can and should be interpreted theologically, rather than scientifically; because as a scientific text it fails miserably.
yes. you pegged me. im anti-science. thats why im using a computer. i have already mentioned doctrinal issues that would be affected by inserting a new interpretation of Genesis. are you intentionally overlooking them?
Do you deny that you are selectively anti-science with regard to biological evolution? And as far as doctrinal issues go, I see no problem as I only read Genesis as a theological text and not science. If you scroll through the pages of this thread you will see a variety of opinions on this.
You said earlier: so knowing that science would develop, why didnt the Spirit inspire the Fathers to interpret accordingly? Why do the Fathers speak so forcefully about something that they supposedly weren't even hearing from the Spirit?
The same logic applies to Geocentricism and yet the Fathers didn't interpret it accordingly and they did speak forcefully about something they clearly weren't even hearing from the Spirit.
please provide evidence that the Fathers were unanimously geocentrists, that they were so because of Scripture, and that they were forceful about it.
See above. The Church Fathers were adament in their apologetics with pagans who viewed the cosmos as heliocentric.
also, even if you believe that the Church has not unanimously interpeted Genesis literally, do you honestly believe that opens the door for you to interpret it any way you want at all?
I interpret it theologically, not scientifically. Where does the Church decree that Scripture is supposed to uphold or discredit scientific theories? While the Fathers certainly attempted to show that Scripture was literal in the case of geocentricism, the pagan theory was closer to the truth. I guess that's where St Augustine's quote comes in again.
edited for clarity and pesky *quote* thingies