Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

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

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

Jetavan

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android said:
Iconodule said:
rakovsky said:
Likewise, the story of the world's creation is an image. It might have happened that explicit way, or probably a different way that we understand better now. But it was an image of what happened. God made the world in different steps, if not in the explicit way we would read it.
Without disagreeing, I would point out that the Fathers also saw the visible creation itself as an image, a symbol, of heavenly realities... therefore it should not be taken "literally" either.
Do you have some cites/references for this? I read a lot in the Fathers (e.g. St. Symeon) that suggest they thought Eden, Adam and Eve, etc. were literally real, although I'd like to find some more support for your POV.
I think Iconodule's position is consistent with the Fathers believing that Eden, Adam, Eve, etc., were literally real. Just because creation is an image of heavenly reality, doesn't mean that it isn't real.

Plus, 2000 years ago, there was no alternative to the Genesis account, for Christians and Jews. Genesis made perfect sense, given the knowledge of the earth and the cosmos that was prevalent back the.
 

Rafa999

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One of the top rules for interpretation of scripture : Take the LITERAL meaning first then the allegorical!

If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
-John 3:12

How can you obtain any knowledge of scriptures if you ignore the plain earthly sense ? This is reflected in the most ancient exegetical methods of the Church passed on by the Hebrews who also used them. Now Genesis 1 says God created the Heavens and the Earth and all the creeping things, fowls,etc. and Man who he breathed his life into. They were not self-created, and God created our Souls (our Souls are not evolved apes, apes cannot breathe the breath of life into humans) and Cosmic evolution goes blatantly against Genesis 1 (by saying the universe is self-generated, supposing this to be true which I am not sure). Just to start... Look at the secularist apologetics floating about all due to evolution.



"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

"But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"


-John 5:45-47

Now the first implicit mention of Christ is in Genesis 1 (The Woman shall crush the head of the serpent, via the Messiah of course) so if you don't believe in the literal account of Genesis 1...can you proclaim yourself a follower of the Christ?
 

Heorhij

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android said:
Heorhij said:
Rafa999 said:
Ask Mar Ephrem if he believed in Evolution. Surely your joking when you say that God created our souls in the image of an ape right? Don't you know Satan loves to mock (ie: like when protestants have symbolic sacraments, or when JWs say that the Archangel Michael, which could not rebuke Satan, is God )?
No one "believes" in evolution. Do you "believe" in gravity or electricity? I guess you simply know that gravity exists and electricity exists. Evolution is a similar phenomenon. If you, as a population geneticist, find out that the frequency of allele "a" in a population X in 1977 was 0.17%, and in 2009 it became 0.45%, then you are pretty much convinced that evolution (=a change in the genetic makeup of populations) is a reality. And these observations are reported daily.
Just to head it off at the pass, what are your thoughts on speciation and what Creationists sometimes call macro/micro-evolution.

To clarify, I find your example to be chalked up by most Creationists as being evidence that there may be variations and adaptations that occur, but that speciation and macroevolution are a whole 'nother ballgame (it's really just a matter of time/scale, but still, while we have your attention....  ;)
It's a good question. I think the best way to approach it is to admit that the terms "species," "genera," etc. are subjective terms, inventions of the human mind. They are used for the sake of convenience. In reality, what exists is a big number of discrete populations. Some of them interbreed (if they reproduce sexually), other do not. There are birds that, as ornithologists admit, look absolutely alike, and yet they form populations that do not interbreed. On the other hand, wolves and domestic dogs look different and yet interbreed.

Overall, the mechanisms that account for evolution are the same, whether they apply to a population that changes, or to two or more populations that are diverging and forming new species. So, perhaps it is fair to say that "microevolution" and "macroevolution" are, again, our convention, the terms that we apply for the sake of didactics rather than because they reflect different phenomena.
 

Heorhij

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Rafa999 said:
if you don't believe in the literal account of Genesis 1...can you proclaim yourself a follower of the Christ?
But does it matter what I proclaim myself? To me, a much more important thing is that my priest considers me a follower of Christ even though I do not believe in the literal account of Genesis 1. Some very high-positioned and autoritative Orthodox bishops are like me in this regard, for example Metropolitan +KALLISTOS of Dioclea. Search this forum and you will find quotes.
 

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Rafa999 said:
One of the top rules for interpretation of scripture : Take the LITERAL meaning first then the allegorical!

If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
-John 3:12

How can you obtain any knowledge of scriptures if you ignore the plain earthly sense ? This is reflected in the most ancient exegetical methods of the Church passed on by the Hebrews who also used them. Now Genesis 1 says God created the Heavens and the Earth and all the creeping things, fowls,etc. and Man who he breathed his life into. They were not self-created, and God created our Souls (our Souls are not evolved apes, apes cannot breathe the breath of life into humans) and Cosmic evolution goes blatantly against Genesis 1 (by saying the universe is self-generated, supposing this to be true which I am not sure). Just to start... Look at the secularist apologetics floating about all due to evolution.



"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

"But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"


-John 5:45-47

Now the first implicit mention of Christ is in Genesis 1 (The Woman shall crush the head of the serpent, via the Messiah of course) so if you don't believe in the literal account of Genesis 1...can you proclaim yourself a follower of the Christ?
So when  Christ said the temple would be destroyed and he would rebuild it again in 3 days, and everyone thought he meant the Jewish temple, they were right?

Oh, right, he meant he would be destroyed and put to death but would resurrect in 3 days.

And he used parables and metaphors and imagery and symbolism.

And it was people who took some of the OT prophecies LITERALLY that failed to acknowledge Christ as a messiah because he didn't build an earthly kingdom, etc.

Those who take things LITERALLY don't have a very good track record of seeing God.
 

Marc1152

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Rafa999 said:
I'm very worried that Rome accepts evolution as a possible explanation for Genesis 1 (and many if unfortunately not most priests are buying that Genesis 1 can be allegorized as evolution and it's all a "myth"). If you don't believe in Moses can you believe in Christ ? No of course not (John 5:45-47). I heard the Eastern Orthodox were starting to accept this evolution business and it's worrying me.
And it turns out the Earth revolves around the Sun, not the other way around !!!  Doh

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUtl26ZW6so
 

jckstraw72

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android said:
Rafa999 said:
One of the top rules for interpretation of scripture : Take the LITERAL meaning first then the allegorical!

If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
-John 3:12

How can you obtain any knowledge of scriptures if you ignore the plain earthly sense ? This is reflected in the most ancient exegetical methods of the Church passed on by the Hebrews who also used them. Now Genesis 1 says God created the Heavens and the Earth and all the creeping things, fowls,etc. and Man who he breathed his life into. They were not self-created, and God created our Souls (our Souls are not evolved apes, apes cannot breathe the breath of life into humans) and Cosmic evolution goes blatantly against Genesis 1 (by saying the universe is self-generated, supposing this to be true which I am not sure). Just to start... Look at the secularist apologetics floating about all due to evolution.



"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

"But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"


-John 5:45-47

Now the first implicit mention of Christ is in Genesis 1 (The Woman shall crush the head of the serpent, via the Messiah of course) so if you don't believe in the literal account of Genesis 1...can you proclaim yourself a follower of the Christ?
So when  Christ said the temple would be destroyed and he would rebuild it again in 3 days, and everyone thought he meant the Jewish temple, they were right?

Oh, right, he meant he would be destroyed and put to death but would resurrect in 3 days.

And he used parables and metaphors and imagery and symbolism.

And it was people who took some of the OT prophecies LITERALLY that failed to acknowledge Christ as a messiah because he didn't build an earthly kingdom, etc.

Those who take things LITERALLY don't have a very good track record of seeing God.
just because some parts arent literal doesnt mean nothing is literal. the ECFs consistenly interpret Genesis literally. are you sure they dont have a good track record of seeing God?
 

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“There need not be any conflict with religion and science…I don’t care very much for the theory of Intelligent Design…for myself as an Orthodox Christian I have no difficulty in accepting the evolutionary picture of the universe presented by modern science.  And I think we shouldn’t say evolution is merely a theory or speculation, the evidence is very powerful.  I don’t have a problem there for my faith as an Orthodox Christian…but we do wish to affirm that human beings have a unique status in the universe because they are made in the image and likeness of God.”

- Kallistos Ware
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Sleeper said:
“There need not be any conflict with religion and science…I don’t care very much for the theory of Intelligent Design…for myself as an Orthodox Christian I have no difficulty in accepting the evolutionary picture of the universe presented by modern science.  And I think we shouldn’t say evolution is merely a theory or speculation, the evidence is very powerful.  I don’t have a problem there for my faith as an Orthodox Christian…but we do wish to affirm that human beings have a unique status in the universe because they are made in the image and likeness of God.”

- Kallistos Ware

Kallistos Ware is a wonderful theologian, but a poor scientist. Nothing he says regarding evolution is anything more than pure opinion. I am afraid that on this issue, he is capitulating to the desire to be viewed as intellectually relevant in the eyes of worldly minds. Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.


Selam
 

Heorhij

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Sleeper said:
“There need not be any conflict with religion and science…I don’t care very much for the theory of Intelligent Design…for myself as an Orthodox Christian I have no difficulty in accepting the evolutionary picture of the universe presented by modern science.  And I think we shouldn’t say evolution is merely a theory or speculation, the evidence is very powerful.  I don’t have a problem there for my faith as an Orthodox Christian…but we do wish to affirm that human beings have a unique status in the universe because they are made in the image and likeness of God.”

- Kallistos Ware

Kallistos Ware is a wonderful theologian, but a poor scientist. Nothing he says regarding evolution is anything more than pure opinion.
As another poor scientist, I disagree. Well-substantiated scientific theories are something entirely different from speculation. Metr. +KALLISTOS just misuses the terminology. As a poor scientist, I would re-phrase what he said this way: "we should not say that the theory of biological evolution is a fantasy on par with fairy tales about goblins, trolls, and unicorns. It is a well-supported scientific theory, like the electromagnetic theory of Maxwell or the theory of relativity in physics, or like Dalton-Lavoisier atomic-molecular theory of the structure of matter in chemistry."

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I am afraid that on this issue, he is capitulating to the desire to be viewed as intellectually relevant in the eyes of worldly minds. Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I never had patience to read all of Fr. Rose's meanderings about evolution, simply because they are based on entirely wrong premises. Theological and philosophical arguments either in favor or against a theory in natural sciences are like arguments of a mechanical engineer either in favor or against what is expressed in Apollinaire's poem about the Mirabeau bridge in Paris (http://www.toutelapoesie.com/poemes/apollinaire/le_pont_mirabeau.htm) :)


Selam
[/quote]
 

Sleeper

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From what I've read of both authors, Ware is far more sane than Rose.  And to be honest Gebre, I find it hard to believe you know what Ware has studied and what he hasn't.  Just because something hasn't been formally published doesn't mean research hasn't been done.  But that's all beside the point.  I only quoted it to show that evolution, despite whether or not it's "true," is not in any way incompatible with Orthodoxy.

Simple studies of the size of the universe, light, elements, DNA and a plethora of other things give a vast amount of support to the idea that life as we know it has been a slow progression over very long amounts of time, in stark contrast to the 6-day creation blitz we find in Genesis.  The simple fact of the matter is that the author of Genesis wasn't trying to give an account of how the world came about.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
 

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chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
i am extremely skeptical of anyone trying to refute the harmonious teaching of the Fathers about Paradise based on scientific observations of the 19th-21st centuries ...
 

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Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.
 

Marc1152

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jckstraw72 said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
i am extremely skeptical of anyone trying to refute the harmonious teaching of the Fathers about Paradise based on scientific observations of the 19th-21st centuries ...
Okay..Do you believe Dinosaurs and Humans existed on Earth at the same time in history?
 

jckstraw72

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Sleeper said:
Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.
im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?
 

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Marc1152 said:
jckstraw72 said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
i am extremely skeptical of anyone trying to refute the harmonious teaching of the Fathers about Paradise based on scientific observations of the 19th-21st centuries ...
Okay..Do you believe Dinosaurs and Humans existed on Earth at the same time in history?
Yes, I believe that with all of my heart. I've seen a dinosaur in real life.
 

Heorhij

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jckstraw72 said:
Sleeper said:
Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.
im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?
That's quite reasonable, I would not ask Darwin about Paradise, but did Darwin ever have a slaightest intention to tell someone about Paradise? I thought Darwin just made a brilliant observation that animal and plant populations evolve because the natural selection favors those genetically determined individuals in these populations who have a reproductive success under the ever-changing conditions of the environment. This observation serves as one of the principal postulates of the modern scientific theory of biological evolution...
 

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rakovsky said:
The OT predicts the Messiah's resurrection. It is hard to find a sentence in the Old Testament that explicitly and completely independently predicts that the Messiah would resurrect.

I think even the NT says that the OT uses images to predict it.

The OT is God's word, but it is an image of the NT. The NT is the fulfillment of the Old. The OT is images and prophecies and law and some explicit real events.

David says that his body wouldn't decay or be left to the grave. (Psalm 16), but St Peter pointed out that it did go to the grave.

For what reason did St Peter say that David's body didn't decay? To show that holy scripture was wrong? No. To show that the OT was an image of the New. David's body decayed, but in fulfillment of the OT images, Christ's did not.

Likewise, the story of the world's creation is an image. It might have happened that explicit way, or probably a different way that we understand better now. But it was an image of what happened. God made the world in different steps, if not in the explicit way we would read it.

By the way, some skeptics and nonChristians have a big problem with Christianity for this reason. They demand a literal reading of the OT and don't realize the image-in-ary approach of the prophecies.

That is why it's in miraculous terms that Jesus "opened their understanding" about the scriptures for the apostles on the Road to Emmaus. Because the explicit-only approach leads to confusion.
The problem with that apology is that this symbolism still advocates a morality of killing one's mistakes, a justice which asserts that the flaw is the responsibility of the flawed, and this results in the profoundly anti-human stance of Christianity. Whether it actually happened or not is irrelevant.
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sleeper said:
Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.
im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?
That's quite reasonable, I would not ask Darwin about Paradise, but did Darwin ever have a slaightest intention to tell someone about Paradise? I thought Darwin just made a brilliant observation that animal and plant populations evolve because the natural selection favors those genetically determined individuals in these populations who have a reproductive success under the ever-changing conditions of the environment.
There's more: all living beings have descended from a common ancestor.
 
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