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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 53 (15.7%)
No - 129 (38.2%)
both metaphorically and literally - 156 (46.2%)
Total Voters: 338

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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 324535 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #3375 on: August 03, 2011, 10:52:00 AM »

I'm sorry if you thought it was a straw man. I think we may be talking at cross-purposes.

I agree that a miracle, though intrinsically implausible, becomes more believable when there are trustworthy witnesses to it. Was that the point you were trying to make? So assuming we can trust St Paul, we can trust that he is right about the 500 witnesses, and that these witnesses were trustworthy. But some people may not be so predisposed to trust St Paul. They might argue that, whatever his personal revelation may have been, he was predisposed by that experience to believe others who were claiming to have seen the Resurrection, or even to exaggerate the number of witnesses. After all, they were no doubt making the same claims earlier, when as Saul he was persecuting them. While before he was predisposed against them, after he became predisposed in their favor.

There is no reason, in other words, to believe that the testimony of these witnesses itself brought about his conversion, and so we have to fall back on St Paul's word that these witnesses did exist and that they were trustworthy. It all hangs on what we believe about St Paul. You say we have no reason to doubt him. I would say that it would be inconsistent with our faith to do so, but anyone who does not share our faith could probably find several reasons to doubt him. He may have interpreted some neurological problem as a supernatural sign, and then read all sorts of things into that. After all, he already showed evidence of a religiously zealous and extreme mindset, and we all know examples of people who were enthusiastic Baptists becoming enthusiastic Orthodox, or whatever you like.

Going to Genesis and the Flood, I agree that even knowing who the author was is problematic. Tradition says it's Moses, modern scholarship says it was a nebulous oral tradition. Of course, to an Orthodox believer, nebulous oral tradition can carry the weight of authority; exclusive reliance on written testimony is a Protestant thing. But whether or not it was by Moses' hand, we do believe it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. This doesn't mean we have to interpret it literally, but it does mean that whether or not we interpret it literally is a question of hermeneutics and our understanding of the patristic consensus. It is not consistent with our faith to doubt that Genesis has any truth value, but only to consider at what level this truth obtains.

I still submit that every miracle requires special pleading, because in every case, we have to believe supernatural intervention overrides ordinary natural laws. This goes for either the Resurrection or the Flood. It is true that, as a global event, there are a lot more potential areas where evidence for or against the Flood may be expected, hence the whole problem of reconciling the Flood narrative with the geological evidence. With the Resurrection, pretty much the only place where we would expect evidence for or against it is the tomb itself. As we know, even there we have a plausible alternative explanation: the disciples stole the body. Whether we accept this explanation or accept the Resurrection again depends on our predisposition.

Some of what you say about Genesis obviously takes modern biblical scholarship and archeology at face value: that it was written to counter pagan myths, that it was not written as a historical narrative, that it relied on oral tradition. All this may be true, but if we're going to accept the secular scholarship so uncritically on that count, why should we not do so where it raises questions about the reliability of the Christian tradition?
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« Reply #3376 on: August 03, 2011, 02:17:18 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.


Noah and his family didn't see the entire world flooded. They didn't get a broad view of the world, so their perspective would have been off.

And while we don't have the 500 witnesses, Paul did and so did those he was writing to. The point is, is that at the time there were witnesses one could appeal to, indicating evidence. With Noah, there were no other witnesses one could turn to in order to say, "Yes, it covered the entire earth" rather than a localized area.
Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.

With the 500 witnesses there were people who could verify the Resurrection. They don't exist today, but at one point they did and Paul was confident enough to rely on them. With the Flood we have no witnesses (not even Noah) to say every square inch of the earth was covered. Certainly the earth from Noah's perspective was covered, but to say he circumnavigated the globe in a few months is quite a stretch.

If you're going to discount the Flood stories on the grounds that they are a "stretch", I wonder why you don't extend the same skepticism to the other miracle accounts we believe in.

And I thought St Paul relied firstly on his vision on the road to Damascus, rather than the 500 witnesses. These witnesses presumably also existed during the time that he was persecuting the Church, didn't they?

I think you're twisting my words and taking everything out of context, because what you're presenting is a straw-man.

I've never said that in order for a miracle to be taken literally it has to have witnesses. I simply used it as an example. For Paul on Damascus, he has a personal experience, one we have no reason to doubt. The flood story, however, we have good reason to doubt. That there is no evidence for it in our geological record, that it was delivered over oral tradition, that Genesis was essentially written to counter some of the pagan myths the early Hebrews encountered, that the first part of Genesis isn't written in as a traditional historical narrative, and so on would seemingly give us enough reason to have legitimate grounds to doubt the literal nature of the work.
Do you think that the flood in the Genesis narrative may have been a localized flood and not a global flood?
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« Reply #3377 on: August 03, 2011, 02:35:54 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.


Noah and his family didn't see the entire world flooded. They didn't get a broad view of the world, so their perspective would have been off.

And while we don't have the 500 witnesses, Paul did and so did those he was writing to. The point is, is that at the time there were witnesses one could appeal to, indicating evidence. With Noah, there were no other witnesses one could turn to in order to say, "Yes, it covered the entire earth" rather than a localized area.
Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.

With the 500 witnesses there were people who could verify the Resurrection. They don't exist today, but at one point they did and Paul was confident enough to rely on them. With the Flood we have no witnesses (not even Noah) to say every square inch of the earth was covered. Certainly the earth from Noah's perspective was covered, but to say he circumnavigated the globe in a few months is quite a stretch.

If you're going to discount the Flood stories on the grounds that they are a "stretch", I wonder why you don't extend the same skepticism to the other miracle accounts we believe in.

And I thought St Paul relied firstly on his vision on the road to Damascus, rather than the 500 witnesses. These witnesses presumably also existed during the time that he was persecuting the Church, didn't they?

I think you're twisting my words and taking everything out of context, because what you're presenting is a straw-man.

I've never said that in order for a miracle to be taken literally it has to have witnesses. I simply used it as an example. For Paul on Damascus, he has a personal experience, one we have no reason to doubt. The flood story, however, we have good reason to doubt. That there is no evidence for it in our geological record, that it was delivered over oral tradition, that Genesis was essentially written to counter some of the pagan myths the early Hebrews encountered, that the first part of Genesis isn't written in as a traditional historical narrative, and so on would seemingly give us enough reason to have legitimate grounds to doubt the literal nature of the work.
Do you think that the flood in the Genesis narrative may have been a localized flood and not a global flood?

Yes, re-reading what I said it does seem like I may be denying the flood all-together. But that's not the case. I believe the flood was localized rather than global (though it certainly would have had a global impact).
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« Reply #3378 on: August 03, 2011, 05:40:18 PM »

Do you think that the flood in the Genesis narrative may have been a localized flood and not a global flood?

That's what I would think've happened. It probably inspired other flood stories, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh story of the flood.
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« Reply #3379 on: August 03, 2011, 11:28:50 PM »

While it is still frsh on my mind...  Tongue

What is the relationship between the concepts of natural selection and Christian theology? Fr. Tom begins a series of reflections on Charles Darwin and what he has learned in his research may surprise you!

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/darwin_and_christianity_-_part_1
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« Reply #3380 on: August 04, 2011, 08:28:16 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?

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« Reply #3381 on: August 04, 2011, 04:03:48 PM »

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?

Absolutely! +9001
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« Reply #3382 on: August 09, 2011, 12:52:12 PM »

"Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve
....
John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently....says it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.

"Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost," Schneider says. "So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings."

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.
....
Giberson — who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia — says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.

"When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face," Giberson says. "The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.""
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« Reply #3383 on: August 09, 2011, 02:21:02 PM »

"Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve
....
John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently....says it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.

"Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost," Schneider says. "So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings."

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.
....
Giberson — who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia — says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.

"When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face," Giberson says. "The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.""


I personally don't see the need for an evolutionist to debate whether Adam and Eve existed or whether the Fall happened.  In my opinion, one doesn't need to abandon these ideas to be in agreement with evolution.  What one might be in disagreement with is the exact version of the story.
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« Reply #3384 on: August 09, 2011, 05:19:54 PM »

"Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve
....
John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently....says it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.

"Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost," Schneider says. "So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings."

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.
....
Giberson — who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia — says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.

"When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face," Giberson says. "The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.""


I personally don't see the need for an evolutionist to debate whether Adam and Eve existed or whether the Fall happened.  In my opinion, one doesn't need to abandon these ideas to be in agreement with evolution.  What one might be in disagreement with is the exact version of the story.
Very true.
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« Reply #3385 on: August 09, 2011, 11:00:53 PM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam
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« Reply #3386 on: August 09, 2011, 11:35:08 PM »

With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


St. Augustine disagrees with you.

So you say that plant death doesn't matter? What about the death of single celled organisms when you eat the fruit? Hm, hm?
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« Reply #3387 on: August 10, 2011, 12:26:33 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.
What support do you really have for that viewpoint? Can you give specific quotes of what the Scriptures, the Church, and the Fathers have to say about death that backs up your assertion?
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« Reply #3388 on: August 10, 2011, 02:14:34 AM »

With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


St. Augustine disagrees with you.

So you say that plant death doesn't matter? What about the death of single celled organisms when you eat the fruit? Hm, hm?


I stand by my statement above, and I'm pretty certain that Blessed Augustine would agree.


Selam
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« Reply #3389 on: August 10, 2011, 02:16:59 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.
What support do you really have for that viewpoint? Can you give specific quotes of what the Scriptures, the Church, and the Fathers have to say about death that backs up your assertion?



Scripture is clear: "Life is in the blood." [Leviticus 17:11]



Selam

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« Reply #3390 on: August 10, 2011, 02:31:00 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.
What support do you really have for that viewpoint? Can you give specific quotes of what the Scriptures, the Church, and the Fathers have to say about death that backs up your assertion?



Scripture is clear: "Life is in the blood." [Leviticus 17:11]
Gebre, I know you're much too intelligent and educated to give such a shoddy proof text as that.
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« Reply #3391 on: August 10, 2011, 02:31:31 AM »

With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


St. Augustine disagrees with you.

So you say that plant death doesn't matter? What about the death of single celled organisms when you eat the fruit? Hm, hm?


I stand by my statement above, and I'm pretty certain that Blessed Augustine would agree.
Then prove it.
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« Reply #3392 on: August 10, 2011, 04:47:42 AM »


With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


St. Augustine disagrees with you.

So you say that plant death doesn't matter? What about the death of single celled organisms when you eat the fruit? Hm, hm?


I stand by my statement above, and I'm pretty certain that Blessed Augustine would agree.
Then prove it.


The burden of proof is on those who are promoting a novel interpretation of the meaning of death in order to make evolutionary theory compatible with Orthodoxy.


Selam
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« Reply #3393 on: August 10, 2011, 08:16:50 AM »

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

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

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« Reply #3394 on: August 10, 2011, 08:17:53 AM »

Canon 109 of African Code, (120 of Council of Carthage), ratified at Trullo and Nicea II.

That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

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

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


so 2 Ecumenical Councils declare that physical death is a result of sin.
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« Reply #3395 on: August 10, 2011, 08:19:10 AM »

Council of Orange 529 AD
 CANON 1. If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was "changed for the worse" through the offense of Adam's sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, "The soul that sins shall die" (Ezek. 18:20); and, "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?" (Rom. 6:16); and, "For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved" (2 Pet. 2:19).
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« Reply #3396 on: August 10, 2011, 08:31:44 AM »

The first two of your last three posts, jckstraw, are good evidence that both St Augustine and the Church speaking through the Council of Carthage believed bodily as well as spiritual death are the consequence of sin, against the idea that the human body was subject to death even before the Fall. The last post, however, is not quite germane to your argument, since it concerns the status of body and soul after the Fall, and is arguing against those who believe only the body became subject to death as a result of sin.
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« Reply #3397 on: August 10, 2011, 08:32:19 AM »

Wisdom of Solomon 1:12: Seek not death in the error of your life: and pull not upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands.
13: For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
14: For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth:
15: (For righteousness is immortal:)
16: But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them: for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it.
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« Reply #3398 on: August 10, 2011, 08:33:37 AM »

The first two of your last three posts, jckstraw, are good evidence that both St Augustine and the Church speaking through the Council of Carthage believed bodily as well as spiritual death are the consequence of sin, against the idea that the human body was subject to death even before the Fall. The last post, however, is not quite germane to your argument, since it concerns the status of body and soul after the Fall, and is arguing against those who believe only the body became subject to death as a result of sin.

well, but it says that it is both body and soul that changed at the Fall -- that was the question - does the Church teach that the body dies from sin also.
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« Reply #3399 on: August 10, 2011, 08:34:51 AM »

The first two of your last three posts, jckstraw, are good evidence that both St Augustine and the Church speaking through the Council of Carthage believed bodily as well as spiritual death are the consequence of sin, against the idea that the human body was subject to death even before the Fall. The last post, however, is not quite germane to your argument, since it concerns the status of body and soul after the Fall, and is arguing against those who believe only the body became subject to death as a result of sin.

well, but it says that it is both body and soul that changed at the Fall -- that was the question - does the Church teach that the body dies from sin also.

True, it is yet more evidence for that. I didn't think carefully enough about that point.
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« Reply #3400 on: August 10, 2011, 08:37:21 AM »

Fr. John Romanides, Original Sin According to St. Paul

St. Paul claims that death is the enemy which came into the world and passed unto all men through the sin of one man. Not only many, but all of creation became subject to corruption. The subjugation of man and creation to the power of the devil and death was obviously a temporary frustration of the original destiny of man and creation. It is false to read into Paul's statements about the first and second Adams the idea that Adam would have died even though he had not sinned, simply because the first Adam was made eis psychen zosan—which expression, according to St. Paul's usage within the context, clearly means mortal. Adam could very well have been created not naturally immortal, but if he had not sinned there is no reason to believe that he would not have become immortal by nature. This is certainly implied by the extraordinary powers St. Paul attributes to death and corruption.
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« Reply #3401 on: August 10, 2011, 08:41:34 AM »

plus, you know, it was kinda physical death that Christ defeated through His Cross and Resurrection ... that whole bodily resurrection at the 2nd Coming thing ...
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« Reply #3402 on: August 10, 2011, 09:52:58 AM »

Fr. John Romanides, Original Sin According to St. Paul

St. Paul claims that death is the enemy which came into the world and passed unto all men through the sin of one man. Not only many, but all of creation became subject to corruption. The subjugation of man and creation to the power of the devil and death was obviously a temporary frustration of the original destiny of man and creation. It is false to read into Paul's statements about the first and second Adams the idea that Adam would have died even though he had not sinned, simply because the first Adam was made eis psychen zosan—which expression, according to St. Paul's usage within the context, clearly means mortal. Adam could very well have been created not naturally immortal, but if he had not sinned there is no reason to believe that he would not have become immortal by nature. This is certainly implied by the extraordinary powers St. Paul attributes to death and corruption.

I think to understand Fr John Romanides, one has go understand that in the full context of this quote, Fr John seems to still found no need to fight or see any contradiction between evolution and Orthodoxy, not through a literal understanding of the Scriltures, but rather by what he believed to be the principles of Orthodoxy.

From http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/nicozisin_creationism.htm

Quote
Father John Romanides, a contemporary Orthodox theologian says “Adam and Eve were two children born who were protected by nature and the animal world through the Holy Spirit.”

From http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/397/romanides,-holy-scripture-science/
Quote
In general, Romanides has a great respect – too great a respect - for science. He appears to believe in the “big bang”, and evolution, and psychoanalysis, and seems completely oblivious of the powerful objections brought against all these theories by more independent-minded scientists… He believes that the process of purification, illumination and deification can be reflected in the future findings of neurobiology… Several times he compares his “empirical dogmatics” or “experiential theology” with medicine and psychiatry…

Here's also an article by Fr John that alludes to him having no problem with today's science:
http://preachersinstitute.com/2010/03/08/fr-john-romanides-on-extraterrestrial-life-by-fr-john-romanides/

Oh how I wish Fr John were alive today.  His students seem to not have a problem with evolution.  Wondering if that was really the case with him.


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« Reply #3403 on: August 10, 2011, 09:56:47 AM »


With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


St. Augustine disagrees with you.

So you say that plant death doesn't matter? What about the death of single celled organisms when you eat the fruit? Hm, hm?


I stand by my statement above, and I'm pretty certain that Blessed Augustine would agree.
Then prove it.


The burden of proof is on those who are promoting a novel interpretation of the meaning of death in order to make evolutionary theory compatible with Orthodoxy.


Selam

You said Blessed Augustine would agree with you. Now that you said that, it's your burden to prove that he would. That's all I care about right now.
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« Reply #3404 on: August 10, 2011, 10:01:03 AM »

The first two of your last three posts, jckstraw, are good evidence that both St Augustine and the Church speaking through the Council of Carthage believed bodily as well as spiritual death are the consequence of sin, against the idea that the human body was subject to death even before the Fall. The last post, however, is not quite germane to your argument, since it concerns the status of body and soul after the Fall, and is arguing against those who believe only the body became subject to death as a result of sin.

well, but it says that it is both body and soul that changed at the Fall -- that was the question - does the Church teach that the body dies from sin also.
I don't think anyone's really arguing, though, that sin brought bodily death as well as spiritual death to the human. The argument I read, and which you aren't answering, is that the death of plants and animals is a direct result of human sin and not part of the original created order.

I'll admit, though, that I got sidetracked a bit by Sauron's language of "spiritual death vs. physical death" and when I saw Gebre address that, misunderstood Gebre to be arguing in favor of the belief that plants and animals were also created to not die. If I were to see Sauron's and Gebre's debate as addressing a distinction between physical and spiritual death in humans, the idea that humans were created to die, and that the death of the human body is not a consequence of the fall, then I would say that Gebre is right.
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« Reply #3405 on: August 10, 2011, 10:24:50 AM »

The first two of your last three posts, jckstraw, are good evidence that both St Augustine and the Church speaking through the Council of Carthage believed bodily as well as spiritual death are the consequence of sin, against the idea that the human body was subject to death even before the Fall. The last post, however, is not quite germane to your argument, since it concerns the status of body and soul after the Fall, and is arguing against those who believe only the body became subject to death as a result of sin.

well, but it says that it is both body and soul that changed at the Fall -- that was the question - does the Church teach that the body dies from sin also.
I don't think anyone's really arguing, though, that sin brought bodily death as well as spiritual death to the human. The argument I read, and which you aren't answering, is that the death of plants and animals is a direct result of human sin and not part of the original created order.

I'll admit, though, that I got sidetracked a bit by Sauron's language of "spiritual death vs. physical death" and when I saw Gebre address that, misunderstood Gebre to be arguing in favor of the belief that plants and animals were also created to not die. If I were to see Sauron's and Gebre's debate as addressing a distinction between physical and spiritual death in humans, the idea that humans were created to die, and that the death of the human body is not a consequence of the fall, then I would say that Gebre is right.

Hasn't this issue already been raised before in this thread? I seem to recall quoting St Gregory of Sinai among others, cited in Fr Seraphim's essay, stating quite explicitly that there was no death of any kind, animal, plant or human, before the Fall. I'm not aware of any Fathers that say otherwise. Mina did cite St Athanasius who spoke of creation falling back into death or something like that, but the saint's words to me suggested more that he was treating death and corruption as the inevitable fate of nature deprived of grace, which is to tend back towards its original state, i.e. nothingness.

I think it might be better, for those who are concerned about the apparent weight of evidence behind evolution as a scientific theory, to consider the possibility that the death that supposedly already existed in the world prior to humanity was allowed by God in anticipation of Man's fall. I can't think of how this would contradict the Fathers, unless one were to insist that the relative chronology of death and the fall were itself of dogmatic importance. But my impression is that what is important is not the temporal sequence of death and fall, but the causal sequence, with sin causing death.
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« Reply #3406 on: August 10, 2011, 10:28:48 AM »

A propos of the above, I am reminded of Met Anthony Khrapovitsky's theory of redemption, in which he held that the death of each man is allowed by God in anticipation of the sins he will later commit. In other words, there is no inherited original sin which merits death. I remember reading that other bishops in ROCOR had a problem with this, since imposing a penalty in anticipation of later transgressions seemed to be inconsistent with God's justice. However, my impression is that Met Anthony understood that was what important was the causal sequence of sin and death, and that which came first in time is ultimately not important to God, Who is outside time.
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« Reply #3407 on: August 10, 2011, 10:50:26 AM »

I think it might be better, for those who are concerned about the apparent weight of evidence behind evolution as a scientific theory, to consider the possibility that the death that supposedly already existed in the world prior to humanity was allowed by God in anticipation of Man's fall. I can't think of how this would contradict the Fathers, unless one were to insist that the relative chronology of death and the fall were itself of dogmatic importance. But my impression is that what is important is not the temporal sequence of death and fall, but the causal sequence, with sin causing death.

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

When I have a discussion of evolution with Coptic people, we never had any quarrels about this issue.  And frankly, I do ask myself does my faith make a difference either way, evolution or not?  I don't think so, but if other people feel scandalized by this, and I am a heretic to them, then I pray that this issue may be resolved in the future.
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« Reply #3408 on: August 10, 2011, 10:58:52 AM »

I think it might be better, for those who are concerned about the apparent weight of evidence behind evolution as a scientific theory, to consider the possibility that the death that supposedly already existed in the world prior to humanity was allowed by God in anticipation of Man's fall. I can't think of how this would contradict the Fathers, unless one were to insist that the relative chronology of death and the fall were itself of dogmatic importance. But my impression is that what is important is not the temporal sequence of death and fall, but the causal sequence, with sin causing death.

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

Sure, I understand. It is very hard for anyone to believe that there was literally no animal or plant death before the first humans, since we have all those fossils that appear to have died well before humankind appeared. You have to resort to arguing that all the dating is wrong, which is tough. But would you be willing to accept that the death of those animals and plants is in some mystical sense caused by Man's transgression? Or do you feel that this would be impossible to believe, given that animals died before Adam in time? If impossible, is this because you think it's important for sin to precede death in time in order to have caused death?
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« Reply #3409 on: August 10, 2011, 11:03:41 AM »

A propos of the above, I am reminded of Met Anthony Khrapovitsky's theory of redemption, in which he held that the death of each man is allowed by God in anticipation of the sins he will later commit. In other words, there is no inherited original sin which merits death. I remember reading that other bishops in ROCOR had a problem with this, since imposing a penalty in anticipation of later transgressions seemed to be inconsistent with God's justice. However, my impression is that Met Anthony understood that was what important was the causal sequence of sin and death, and that which came first in time is ultimately not important to God, Who is outside time.

This might not be completely analogous, since not only was Met Anthony denying that original sin preceded our individual mortality, but he was denying that there was any sin common to human nature which could cause our mortality. So his theory ends up being dogmatically questionable in any case. I'm not here saying his theory is wrong, but that even after separating temporal from causal sequence you still potentially have a problem here.
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« Reply #3410 on: August 10, 2011, 11:18:51 AM »

I think it might be better, for those who are concerned about the apparent weight of evidence behind evolution as a scientific theory, to consider the possibility that the death that supposedly already existed in the world prior to humanity was allowed by God in anticipation of Man's fall. I can't think of how this would contradict the Fathers, unless one were to insist that the relative chronology of death and the fall were itself of dogmatic importance. But my impression is that what is important is not the temporal sequence of death and fall, but the causal sequence, with sin causing death.

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

Sure, I understand. It is very hard for anyone to believe that there was literally no animal or plant death before the first humans, since we have all those fossils that appear to have died well before humankind appeared. You have to resort to arguing that all the dating is wrong, which is tough. But would you be willing to accept that the death of those animals and plants is in some mystical sense caused by Man's transgression? Or do you feel that this would be impossible to believe, given that animals died before Adam in time? If impossible, is this because you think it's important for sin to precede death in time in order to have caused death?

I'm not sure if such questions make a big difference to me.  I read a post somewhere by a person who shared that his priest believed that Adam's sin had such an effect that caused a reverberation of death even backwards in time.  I thought that was an interesting idea.  But this makes no difference to me.  What I do believe is that man is God's special creation, created through communion with God to be a god in the world and to improve it.  However, man sinned, fell under the sway of death, choosing the world alone over divine life with God, and through that decision is actually making the world a worse place to live in year by year, causing all of creation to cry out for a Savior.  It's not so surprising to find therefore that some of the greatest desert fathers had such a loving relationship with nature in a sense deifying it with them.  Whether before Adam such things partook of natural corruption or not doesn't seem to hurt the central understanding of my salvation.  In fact, I'm inclined to even say that even though through Adam, sin caused man's death, Christ seems to prefer the restoration of the world by death, a death that leads to new and improved life, and if we were to allegorize the fossil history, it seems to be teaching us just that.
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« Reply #3411 on: August 10, 2011, 11:22:28 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.


Selam


Simply saying "ridiculous" is not a rational argument. I think you need to respond to my hypothetical.

For example, in the pre-fall world, Adam and Eve were given plants to eat. If Adam picks a tomato of the vine, would that tomato live forever? Then when he bites into it, don't individual cells of the tomato die as they tear? Now the tomato is in chunks in his stomach, dissolving in sulfuric acid. Is every cell of that tomato still alive? Now it is shuttling through the small intestines as sludge, where Adam is absorbing it into his body. Not one cell of that tomato has died? According to you, what happened to every single cell of that tomato?

Go beyond that. Why did Adam and Eve even need to eat at all?

Go beyond that. Why be fruitful and multiply if there is no death? The world population is going to reach seven billion people this year and is already bursting at the seams, even though 150,000 people die every day. Care to tell me what the population would be if no one ever died? (Hint: the answer will be in trillions)

According to you, did Adam have fingernails and hair or not?
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« Reply #3412 on: August 10, 2011, 11:27:24 AM »

i completely agree with Gebre. the major issue is the question of death. if God is the author of death, then death is good. then we must ask why Scripture refers to death as the last enemy to be overthrown, and why Christ defeated death.

I think that is spiritual death, not physical death.

I think it is quite clear that there was physical death built into the pre-fall world. For example, Adam and Eve were given all plant (except one) to eat. If they plucked a carrot out of the ground and ate it, the carrot was dead. If the cow eat grass, the blades of grass were chewed, digested, and eliminated as poop.

How about Adam and Eve themselves? Did they have hair and fingernails, which are composed of dead cells? If there was no death, why be given the command to be fruitful and multiply in the pre-fall world?




With respect, this is a ridiculous argument. Christ did not come to conquer the death of grass and fingernail tissue. He came to conquer sin and death, which became inextricably linked after the Fall. There was no animate death prior to sin, and that is clearly what the Scriptures and the Church refer to when speaking of death. To assert that death means only spiritual death is a subjective interpretation that lacks import from Scripture, the Church, and the Fathers.
What support do you really have for that viewpoint? Can you give specific quotes of what the Scriptures, the Church, and the Fathers have to say about death that backs up your assertion?



Scripture is clear: "Life is in the blood." [Leviticus 17:11]



Selam

The Scripture was not written so that you will have a science text. The Scripture was written so that "ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name." John 20:31.

Sponges and jellyfish do not have blood. According to you, are they alive?
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« Reply #3413 on: August 10, 2011, 11:37:28 AM »

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

Sure, I understand. It is very hard for anyone to believe that there was literally no animal or plant death before the first humans, since we have all those fossils that appear to have died well before humankind appeared. You have to resort to arguing that all the dating is wrong, which is tough. But would you be willing to accept that the death of those animals and plants is in some mystical sense caused by Man's transgression? Or do you feel that this would be impossible to believe, given that animals died before Adam in time? If impossible, is this because you think it's important for sin to precede death in time in order to have caused death?

It has nothing to do with fossils. Plants were given to man to eat in the pre-fall world. Plants are alive, so I do not understand how man could eat a living plant and not kill it. Was the plan that Adam would pick a peach off a tree, eat it, poop out the whole peach, and then stick it back on the tree?
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« Reply #3414 on: August 10, 2011, 12:01:31 PM »

Was the plan that Adam would pick a peach off a tree, eat it, poop out the whole peach, and then stick it back on the tree?

LOL. Someone didn't get the memo.
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« Reply #3415 on: August 10, 2011, 12:07:38 PM »

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

Sure, I understand. It is very hard for anyone to believe that there was literally no animal or plant death before the first humans, since we have all those fossils that appear to have died well before humankind appeared. You have to resort to arguing that all the dating is wrong, which is tough. But would you be willing to accept that the death of those animals and plants is in some mystical sense caused by Man's transgression? Or do you feel that this would be impossible to believe, given that animals died before Adam in time? If impossible, is this because you think it's important for sin to precede death in time in order to have caused death?

It has nothing to do with fossils. Plants were given to man to eat in the pre-fall world. Plants are alive, so I do not understand how man could eat a living plant and not kill it. Was the plan that Adam would pick a peach off a tree, eat it, poop out the whole peach, and then stick it back on the tree?


The Fr Seraphim essay also provides patristic quotes showing that there wasn't even defecation in Paradise, so part of your argument is moot. And I suppose "fruit of the herb" is not meant to be alive. The point is that, however hard it is for us to understand, there was no death of any kind in Paradise.
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« Reply #3416 on: August 10, 2011, 12:11:51 PM »

Jonathan, you're right - the question of animal and plant death has already been gone over many times in this thread. Evidnece has been put forth from the Fathers and it has been rejected.
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« Reply #3417 on: August 10, 2011, 01:38:28 PM »

All my life, animal and plant death before the Fall didn't seem to be an issue to me.  Most of the Coptic Sunday School servants, priests, and bishops I knew taught me a version of Old Earth Creationism.  It comes to my shock therefore to read posts by Gebre as espousing the "Ethiopian" view, but doesn't seem to realize he is probably contradicting the view of HH Pope Shenouda.  And I'm not talking about evolution, just merely the possibility of animal and plant death before the Fall.

Sure, I understand. It is very hard for anyone to believe that there was literally no animal or plant death before the first humans, since we have all those fossils that appear to have died well before humankind appeared. You have to resort to arguing that all the dating is wrong, which is tough. But would you be willing to accept that the death of those animals and plants is in some mystical sense caused by Man's transgression? Or do you feel that this would be impossible to believe, given that animals died before Adam in time? If impossible, is this because you think it's important for sin to precede death in time in order to have caused death?

It has nothing to do with fossils. Plants were given to man to eat in the pre-fall world. Plants are alive, so I do not understand how man could eat a living plant and not kill it. Was the plan that Adam would pick a peach off a tree, eat it, poop out the whole peach, and then stick it back on the tree?


The Fr Seraphim essay also provides patristic quotes showing that there wasn't even defecation in Paradise, so part of your argument is moot. And I suppose "fruit of the herb" is not meant to be alive. The point is that, however hard it is for us to understand, there was no death of any kind in Paradise.

So Adam didn't have an anus? How about intestines? According to the patristic quotes, how did the nitrogen cycle work?

Was there respiration in Paradise?

You suppose that "fruit of the herb" is not meant to be alive? What does that mean?
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« Reply #3418 on: August 10, 2011, 01:38:54 PM »

Was the plan that Adam would pick a peach off a tree, eat it, poop out the whole peach, and then stick it back on the tree?

LOL. Someone didn't get the memo.

Could you please explain your comment?
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« Reply #3419 on: August 10, 2011, 02:17:35 PM »

Jonathan, you're right - the question of animal and plant death has already been gone over many times in this thread. Evidnece has been put forth from the Fathers and it has been rejected.
For those who are new to this discussion, would you be willing to go back through this thread and point out exactly where the evidence has been provided and rejected? Would you also care to explain why the evidence was rejected? (because it was put forth as evidence of a patristic consensus that is contrived, artificial, and possibly non-existent)
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