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Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 75 17.0%
  • No

    Votes: 164 37.3%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 201 45.7%

  • Total voters
    440

Achronos

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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.
 

Achronos

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Not to mention that my own Ethiopian Orthodox Fathers teach that the earth is only approximately 7,000 years old, which obviously precludes the possibility for Darwinian evolution.
Here's my beef with this. You say the Ehtiopian Orthodox Fathers teach that the earth is 7,000 years old and on what authority do they have to make claim to that? They weren't' archeologists or geologists, so what they say in regards to how old the Earth is (and the implications for believing such) really is moot.

As for your dismissal of the obvious link between Darwinian evolution and social Darwinism, that is to be expected. Whenever evolutionists can't answer the challenge, they resort to attacking those who present the challenge as being idiotic and obscurantist. Of course, such attacks are neither answers nor defenses for their sacred cow of evolution.
I'm with you 100% on the social Darwinism aspect. The thing that bothers me about evolution, and I don't care if it's true or not, is what it says about the origin of man. We are nothing but a disease of the dirt, and as such we shouldn't value any of our species either. Without being made in God's image, we have no ground on elevating the human race to something with a little more worth than dust.
 

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Achronos said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Not to mention that my own Ethiopian Orthodox Fathers teach that the earth is only approximately 7,000 years old, which obviously precludes the possibility for Darwinian evolution.
Here's my beef with this. You say the Ehtiopian Orthodox Fathers teach that the earth is 7,000 years old and on what authority do they have to make claim to that? They weren't' archeologists or geologists, so what they say in regards to how old the Earth is (and the implications for believing such) really is moot.
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.

As for your dismissal of the obvious link between Darwinian evolution and social Darwinism, that is to be expected. Whenever evolutionists can't answer the challenge, they resort to attacking those who present the challenge as being idiotic and obscurantist. Of course, such attacks are neither answers nor defenses for their sacred cow of evolution.
I'm with you 100% on the social Darwinism aspect. The thing that bothers me about evolution, and I don't care if it's true or not, is what it says about the origin of man. We are nothing but a disease of the dirt, and as such we shouldn't value any of our species either. Without being made in God's image, we have no ground on elevating the human race to something with a little more worth than dust.
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.
 

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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
 

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jckstraw72 said:
stavros_388 said:
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.
 

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minasoliman said:
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


 

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This, at least, is my understanding of NOMA.
And after writing that post, I thought I'd better see what S.J. Gould himself has to say on the matter. I grabbed this excerpt from the essay linked to below.

Regarding the "war" between religion and science, he writes:

"No such conflict should exist because each subject has a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority-and these magisteria do not overlap (the principle that I would like to designate as NOMA, or "nonoverlapping magisteria").The net of science covers the empirical universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning and value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for starters, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the arch cliches, we get the age of rocks, and religion retains the rock of ages; we study how the heavens go, and they determine how to go to heaven. This resolution might remain all neat and clean if the nonoverlapping magisteria (NOMA) of science and religion were separated by an extensive no man's land. But, in fact, the two magisteria bump right up against each other, interdigitating in wondrously complex ways along their joint border. Many of our deepest questions call upon aspects of both for different parts of a full answer-and the sorting of legitimate domains can become quite complex and difficult. "

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html

I guess I'd say that it's no real fault of his (as a scientist) that he excludes the noetic from his understanding of religion.
 
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jckstraw72 said:
laconicstudent said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
laconicstudent said:
JamesR said:
One problem I have with accepting evolution as an Orthodox Christian is simply that evolution is an ugly process;
Huh? How? I think it is beautiful and elegant.

JamesR said:
being more specific, what about all of those sub-human species that existed before us or around the same time modern humans were rising and went extinct because of evolution? Animals I do not care about, but were these species really animals or closer to humans than we actually think? How could God really just let them die off? How could He really create them knowing that they were basically just lab mice to serve a biological purpose that He knew were going to die in the end? Why favor humans over the rest of them? This is a mystery.
Um, God lets species go extinct all the time even in our modern era. So I don't see the point here.

The issue I have raised that has yet to be satisfactorily addressed is that evolution makes God the Author of death, and therefore the theory is not compatible with an Orthodox worldview. From an Orthodox standpoint, the concept of God using death to create humanity is indeed an "ugly" concept.

Another question I have asked that has yet to be answered is this: If evolution is true, then who or what determines who and what is "fully human"? If we are still evolving, then the sanctity of human life is undermined. We have seen the logical consequence of biological Darwinism, which is social Darwinism. Chattel slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion on demand are the foul fruit of evolutionary theory.



Selam

I guess I just take bishops and priests at their word when they say evolution is acceptable, and don't rely on Internet web forums. Also, death is not the mechanism of evolution; differential reproductive success is.

I'm not even going to bother addressing the hackery that is equating evolution with social Darwinism, it is disingenuous and idiotic.
but you dont take Saints at their word when they say that evolution is NOT acceptable ...?!
No. I let my Bishop and priest interpret the Fathers instead of being my own infallible theologian. Had enough of that as a Protestant. I JUST said that, are you not paying attention?
 
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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
laconicstudent said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
laconicstudent said:
JamesR said:
One problem I have with accepting evolution as an Orthodox Christian is simply that evolution is an ugly process;
Huh? How? I think it is beautiful and elegant.

JamesR said:
being more specific, what about all of those sub-human species that existed before us or around the same time modern humans were rising and went extinct because of evolution? Animals I do not care about, but were these species really animals or closer to humans than we actually think? How could God really just let them die off? How could He really create them knowing that they were basically just lab mice to serve a biological purpose that He knew were going to die in the end? Why favor humans over the rest of them? This is a mystery.
Um, God lets species go extinct all the time even in our modern era. So I don't see the point here.

The issue I have raised that has yet to be satisfactorily addressed is that evolution makes God the Author of death, and therefore the theory is not compatible with an Orthodox worldview. From an Orthodox standpoint, the concept of God using death to create humanity is indeed an "ugly" concept.

Another question I have asked that has yet to be answered is this: If evolution is true, then who or what determines who and what is "fully human"? If we are still evolving, then the sanctity of human life is undermined. We have seen the logical consequence of biological Darwinism, which is social Darwinism. Chattel slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion on demand are the foul fruit of evolutionary theory.



Selam

I guess I just take bishops and priests at their word when they say evolution is acceptable, and don't rely on Internet web forums. Also, death is not the mechanism of evolution; differential reproductive success is.

I'm not even going to bother addressing the hackery that is equating evolution with social Darwinism, it is disingenuous and idiotic.
With respect my friend, there is not a unanimity of concensus amongst Priests and Bishops that evolution is compatible with Orthodox theology. I am aware that Bishop Kallistos Ware (who I admire and respect in many ways) is essentially a believer in evolution, but he is not the authority on the matter. I consider Father Seraphim Rose to be a father of the Orthodox Faith, and he wrote extensively on the falsehood of evolution. Not to mention that my own Ethiopian Orthodox Fathers teach that the earth is only approximately 7,000 years old, which obviously precludes the possibility for Darwinian evolution.

As for your dismissal of the obvious link between Darwinian evolution and social Darwinism, that is to be expected. Whenever evolutionists can't answer the challenge, they resort to attacking those who present the challenge as being idiotic and obscurantist. Of course, such attacks are neither answers nor defenses for their sacred cow of evolution.

But I am repeating myself.


Selam
The link is not obvious. It is ridiculous to link a stupid social policy based on straw manned evolution to actual biology? What do you really wish to discuss? Social theory? Straw manned evolution or real biology?
 

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laconicstudent said:
jckstraw72 said:
laconicstudent said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
laconicstudent said:
JamesR said:
One problem I have with accepting evolution as an Orthodox Christian is simply that evolution is an ugly process;
Huh? How? I think it is beautiful and elegant.

JamesR said:
being more specific, what about all of those sub-human species that existed before us or around the same time modern humans were rising and went extinct because of evolution? Animals I do not care about, but were these species really animals or closer to humans than we actually think? How could God really just let them die off? How could He really create them knowing that they were basically just lab mice to serve a biological purpose that He knew were going to die in the end? Why favor humans over the rest of them? This is a mystery.
Um, God lets species go extinct all the time even in our modern era. So I don't see the point here.

The issue I have raised that has yet to be satisfactorily addressed is that evolution makes God the Author of death, and therefore the theory is not compatible with an Orthodox worldview. From an Orthodox standpoint, the concept of God using death to create humanity is indeed an "ugly" concept.

Another question I have asked that has yet to be answered is this: If evolution is true, then who or what determines who and what is "fully human"? If we are still evolving, then the sanctity of human life is undermined. We have seen the logical consequence of biological Darwinism, which is social Darwinism. Chattel slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion on demand are the foul fruit of evolutionary theory.



Selam

I guess I just take bishops and priests at their word when they say evolution is acceptable, and don't rely on Internet web forums. Also, death is not the mechanism of evolution; differential reproductive success is.

I'm not even going to bother addressing the hackery that is equating evolution with social Darwinism, it is disingenuous and idiotic.
but you dont take Saints at their word when they say that evolution is NOT acceptable ...?!
No. I let my Bishop and priest interpret the Fathers instead of being my own infallible theologian. Had enough of that as a Protestant. I JUST said that, are you not paying attention?
please ask your bishop and/or priest to interpret what St. Theophan is saying here (NOT asking whether or not they agree with him, but simply for their interpretation of his words, since you leave that up to them), and get back to us about it:

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God, trans. Lisa Marie Baranov (2010), pp. 127-128
What ought we to preach? We should cry to all, ‘Sons of the Kingdom [of Heaven]! Don’t run from the Kingdom into bondage and slavery’ – for they are in fact running. Some are captivated by freedom of mind. They say, ‘We don’t want the bonds of faith and the oppression of authority, even Divine authority; we’ll figure things out and make up our minds for ourselves.’ So they have made up their minds. They have built fables in which there is more childishness than in the mythology of the Greeks – and they magnify themselves … Others are enticed by the broad path of the passions. They say, ‘We don’t want to know positive commandments or the demands of conscience – this is all abstract: we need tangible naturalness.’ And they have gone after it. What has come of it? They have bowed down before dumb beasts. Has not the theory that man originated from animals arisen from this moral fall? This is where they have gone! And everyone runs from the Lord, everyone runs …”

pp. 227-228
The truth of God is simple; can a proud mind study it? Such a mind would rather think up its own thing: sensational things, although empty and as weak as a spider’s web. To see that this is so, look at the current theories of the creation of the world: they are like a somnambulistic or drunken delirium. And yet how good they seem to those who invented them! How much energy and time are wasted on this – and all in vain! The deed was accomplished simply: ‘He spake and they cam to be. He commanded and they were created’ (Ps. 148:5). No one can think up anything better than this solution.

Sozertsaniye i razmyshleniye (Contemplations and Reflections) (1998) p. 146
These days many nihilists of both sexes, naturalists, Darwinists, Spiritists, and Westernizers in general have multiplied among us. All right, you’re thinking – would the Church have been silent, would it not have proferred its voice, would it not have condemned or anathematized them if there had been something new in their teaching? To be sure – a council would have done so without doubt, and all of them, with their teachings, would have been given over to anathema. To the current Rite of Orthodoxy only the following item would have been added: ‘To Büchner, Feuerbach, Darwin, Renan, Kardec, and all their followers – anathema! But there is no need, either for a special council or for any kind of addition. All of their false teachings were anathematized long ago. At the present time, not only in principal cities but in all place and churches the Rite of Orthodoxy ought to be brought in and celebrated, so that all the teachings contrary to the word of God might be collected and that it might be proclaimed to everyone what they must fear and from what teachings they must flee, and all might know. Many are seduced intellectually only through ignorance, and therefore a public condemnation of pernicious teachings would save them from destruction. If the action of an anathema is terrible to someone, then let him avoid the teachings that lead to it. Let him who is afraid of it for the sake of others bring them back to a healthy teaching. If you who are not favorably disposed to this action are Orthodox, then you are going against yourself; and if you have already lost sound teaching, then what business do you have concerning what is done in the Church that supports it? After all, you’ve already separated yourself from the Church and have your own convictions, your own way of looking at things – well, live with them then. It’s all the same whether or not your name and your teaching are uttered under the anathema: you are already under anathema if you philosophize against the Church and persist in this philosophizing.
 

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stavros_388 said:
jckstraw72 said:
stavros_388 said:
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, (8) 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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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
minasoliman said:
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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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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PeterTheAleut said:
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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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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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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Achronos said:
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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stavros_388 said:
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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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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jckstraw72 said:
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.

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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Achronos said:
jckstraw72 said:
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.

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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minasoliman said:
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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Achronos said:
jckstraw72 said:
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.

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.

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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NicholasMyra said:
minasoliman said:
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:

"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:

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:

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:

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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NicholasMyra said:
minasoliman said:
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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we were "made" from earth just like the beasts were but with a something extra..
 

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jckstraw72 said:
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.

jckstraw72 said:
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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NicholasMyra said:
jckstraw72 said:
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:
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
jckstraw72 said:
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:

‘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:
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:
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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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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laconicstudent said:
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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jckstraw72 said:
laconicstudent said:
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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Orthodox Creationism is based upon the interpretations of the Fathers, not observations of the fallen world ...
 
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jckstraw72 said:
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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laconicstudent said:
jckstraw72 said:
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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jckstraw72 said:
laconicstudent said:
jckstraw72 said:
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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jckstraw72 said:
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.

jckstraw72 said:
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:

jckstraw72 said:
God is not the cause of physical death, He allowed it to put a limit on our life of sin.
jckstraw72 said:
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.

jckstraw72 said:
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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NicholasMyra said:
jckstraw72 said:
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.

jckstraw72 said:
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:

jckstraw72 said:
God is not the cause of physical death, He allowed it to put a limit on our life of sin.
jckstraw72 said:
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.

jckstraw72 said:
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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jckstraw72 said:
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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NicholasMyra said:
jckstraw72 said:
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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