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

Android_Rewster

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FlickFlack said:
Evolution is a progressive scientific thesis in the discovery of how biological mechanisms function.

I think the only incompatibility between the current Traditional Christian theory and the Evolutionist one is the argument of death. Traditional Christianity asserts that death has not always existed in nature(at least at humans) but it was brought in through the first Sin. Evolution says that death always existed. Otherwise I believe it can be fully reconciled.
I think the explanation for that would be the Orthodox definition of death. We actually consider death to be separation from God, and the earthly death used in the process of natural selection is what we call "sleep". That's why Adam and Eve didn't die(earthly) when they ate the apple, they died(spiritually).
 

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minasoliman said:
Kerdy said:
I just realized evolution is a lot like Sola Scriptura. 

“The bible is true because the bible says it is true.”

“Evolution is true because evolution says it is true.” 
You proved to me I know nothing about detective work by the way I was describing it.  Many of us see the same misrepresentation here with evolution.
I have a real zinger here, but I think I must wait to use it in the private forum.
 

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Android_Rewster said:
FlickFlack said:
Evolution is a progressive scientific thesis in the discovery of how biological mechanisms function.

I think the only incompatibility between the current Traditional Christian theory and the Evolutionist one is the argument of death. Traditional Christianity asserts that death has not always existed in nature(at least at humans) but it was brought in through the first Sin. Evolution says that death always existed. Otherwise I believe it can be fully reconciled.
I think the explanation for that would be the Orthodox definition of death. We actually consider death to be separation from God, and the earthly death used in the process of natural selection is what we call "sleep". That's why Adam and Eve didn't die(earthly) when they ate the apple, they died(spiritually).
Yes, but don't the canons say that Adam and Eve were not created mortals?
 

Android_Rewster

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FlickFlack said:
Android_Rewster said:
FlickFlack said:
Evolution is a progressive scientific thesis in the discovery of how biological mechanisms function.

I think the only incompatibility between the current Traditional Christian theory and the Evolutionist one is the argument of death. Traditional Christianity asserts that death has not always existed in nature(at least at humans) but it was brought in through the first Sin. Evolution says that death always existed. Otherwise I believe it can be fully reconciled.
I think the explanation for that would be the Orthodox definition of death. We actually consider death to be separation from God, and the earthly death used in the process of natural selection is what we call "sleep". That's why Adam and Eve didn't die(earthly) when they ate the apple, they died(spiritually).
Yes, but don't the canons say that Adam and Eve were not created mortals?
I wouldn't know -- I haven't studied a lot of the canons due to having a busy schedule. Could you give a citation?

Anyways, somebody earlier said they thought that God chose two separate humans to become Adam and Eve, and he breathed into them. I cannot offer a proper explanation, and I'm sorry for that. I simply know that the Bible tells the truth and(as far as I know) the facts say that we evolved, so there must be something metaphorical that would allow two completely true counts to exist without contradicting.
 

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Jetavan said:
Interview: Michael Ruse on Evolution, Creationism, and Religion
....
DA: It seems that you are in an odd position. You state that you are a non-believer who nevertheless argues that Darwinism and Christianity are compatible. Because of this you have made enemies of atheists and creationists alike. Could you explain why you think that Darwinism and Christianity are compatible, and where the tensions might lie?

Michael Ruse: I see nothing in Darwinism that should upset the Christian, although I fully admit that the Christian is going to have to work hard on some issues. Obviously you cannot be a Darwinian and believe in a totally literal interpretation of Genesis. However, at least since the time of St. Augustine around 400 A.D. it has been the Christian position that one can and indeed must interpret the Bible metaphorically at times. So I don’t think that literal readings are necessarily part of traditional Christianity, even though they are certainly part of American evangelical Christianity.

Of course, there are certain issues which come up from Darwinism which seem to give great worries for the Christian....
I don't know. Why not believe in both? The world is full of contradictions.
 

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Why would Christians want to believe the Jewish Creation myth of the Tanakh? You might as well believe in the account in Hesiod! The creation account for Christians is found in the Gospel of John.
 

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Pericles said:
Why would Christians want to believe the Jewish Creation myth of the Tanakh? You might as well believe in the account in Hesiod! The creation account for Christians is found in the Gospel of John.
I think the ridicule made here is uncalled for.  We do not pin up the Gospel of John against Genesis, but fulfills it.
 

minasoliman

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Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
We do not pin up the Gospel of John against Genesis, but fulfills it.
Genesis is mythology, the Gospel is truth.
Genesis is truth, the Gospel is fulfillment.
 

minasoliman

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I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
 

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minasoliman said:
I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
Well said! I do appreciate that and my calling Genesis mythology is meant in an academic sense and is not rhetorical. I understand mythology in its positive sense as a genra of sacred literature.
 

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Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
Well said! I do appreciate that and my calling Genesis mythology is meant in an academic sense and is not rhetorical. I understand mythology in its positive sense as a genra of sacred literature.
A lot of high falutin jargon that means little to the non-academic types that frequent this forum. Can you rephrase the above in terms the unlearned can understand?
 

minasoliman

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Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
Well said! I do appreciate that and my calling Genesis mythology is meant in an academic sense and is not rhetorical. I understand mythology in its positive sense as a genra of sacred literature.
The thing is Pericles you compared it earlier to the myths of Hesiod.  It's not so much your use of academia, but here in the forums, there is an Orthodox veneration of these books and stories, which understandably does not exist in academia.  Nevertheless, you need to be careful how you word things.  A paten to an outsider can be just a regular gold plate, but to us as Orthodox we don't just say, "we should just use any plate."  It was consecrated for a purpose and therefore given a certain amount of respect.

If you're going to talk about the OT in this forum, you need to be careful how you talk about it.
 

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minasoliman said:
Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
Well said! I do appreciate that and my calling Genesis mythology is meant in an academic sense and is not rhetorical. I understand mythology in its positive sense as a genra of sacred literature.
The thing is Pericles you compared it earlier to the myths of Hesiod.  It's not so much your use of academia, but here in the forums, there is an Orthodox veneration of these books and stories, which understandably does not exist in academia.  Nevertheless, you need to be careful how you word things.  A paten to an outsider can be just a regular gold plate, but to us as Orthodox we don't just say, "we should just use any plate."  It was consecrated for a purpose and therefore given a certain amount of respect.

If you're going to talk about the OT in this forum, you need to be careful how you talk about it.
Fair enough the point is to surprise not to offend. My reference to Hesiod was for effect and I have great respect for the literary and religious culture of Hellenism, of which Christianity is a part. However while I respect Genesis as a Judaeo-Christian creation narrative, I personally wouldn't advise a literal reading of any more that I would suggest a literal reading of Hesiod. The literary genre that both authors composed in is the same and differs in that Hesiods Theogony is poetry whilst Genesis is prose.
 

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Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
Genesis is truth, the Gospel is fulfillment.
Genesis is not fact.
Superior "academic" arrogance always attracts followers.  Usually people who don't think on their own, but followers nonetheless.
 

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Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
I hope Pericles you understand that the books of the Old Testament must be held in high regard and great reverence.  Even if some passages are hard to be taken literally, I don't dismiss it as "Jewish Mythology" as if it lacks truth.  There is a great deal of respect and reverence one should still have for these writings.  Don't fall into the Marcion trap that we would pin the New Testament against the Old.

The NT is light that shines on the OT and reveals from within it the hidden Truth of Christ that was obscured before.  NT is the hand that ripped open the veil of the OT, that we may behold its true and deep glory.  Therefore, the tone by which one talks about the OT must be no different than how one handles the cup that holds the blood of Christ and the paten that holds the Body.  Just because the Eucharist is more important does not lessen the importance of what holds the elements of the Eucharist.  OT is sacred enough that you should be able to talk about it without insulting it as if it's the same as any other myth.  God was revealed through the Tanakh, and so we should honor the Tanakh and not dismiss it.
Well said! I do appreciate that and my calling Genesis mythology is meant in an academic sense and is not rhetorical. I understand mythology in its positive sense as a genra of sacred literature.
The thing is Pericles you compared it earlier to the myths of Hesiod.  It's not so much your use of academia, but here in the forums, there is an Orthodox veneration of these books and stories, which understandably does not exist in academia.  Nevertheless, you need to be careful how you word things.  A paten to an outsider can be just a regular gold plate, but to us as Orthodox we don't just say, "we should just use any plate."  It was consecrated for a purpose and therefore given a certain amount of respect.

If you're going to talk about the OT in this forum, you need to be careful how you talk about it.
Fair enough the point is to surprise not to offend. My reference to Hesiod was for effect and I have great respect for the literary and religious culture of Hellenism, of which Christianity is a part. However while I respect Genesis as a Judaeo-Christian creation narrative, I personally wouldn't advise a literal reading of any more that I would suggest a literal reading of Hesiod. The literary genre that both authors composed in is the same and differs in that Hesiods Theogony is poetry whilst Genesis is prose.
Wait are you suggesting that Christianity is more Pagan than (true) Jewish...
 

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The anthropology of the Fathers was based, in large measure, on Genesis. Myth or not, it's foundational...
 

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Pericles said:
Kerdy said:
Pericles said:
minasoliman said:
Genesis is truth, the Gospel is fulfillment.
Genesis is not fact.
Superior "academic" arrogance always attracts followers.  Usually people who don't think on their own, but followers nonetheless.
Well give it up then!
*slowly shakes head back and forth, generating a numb glare with the expression of a colossal lack of amusement and states,*

"Wow.  That was original..."
 

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Kerdy said:
minasoliman said:
Kerdy said:
I just realized evolution is a lot like Sola Scriptura. 

“The bible is true because the bible says it is true.”

“Evolution is true because evolution says it is true.” 
You proved to me I know nothing about detective work by the way I was describing it.  Many of us see the same misrepresentation here with evolution.
You don't have to agree with my observation, but you shouldn’t say there aren’t similarities between how the two are represented.
There are no similarities between how the two are represented.

Ugh, why'd I look at this thread again?
 

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That person said:
Kerdy said:
minasoliman said:
Kerdy said:
I just realized evolution is a lot like Sola Scriptura.  

“The bible is true because the bible says it is true.”

“Evolution is true because evolution says it is true.”  
You proved to me I know nothing about detective work by the way I was describing it.  Many of us see the same misrepresentation here with evolution.
You don't have to agree with my observation, but you shouldn’t say there aren’t similarities between how the two are represented.
There are no similarities between how the two are represented.

Ugh, why'd I look at this thread again?
::)

I didn't say couldn't.  I said shouldn't, because it would be incorrect.  Amazing...
 

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That person said:
Kerdy said:
minasoliman said:
Kerdy said:
I just realized evolution is a lot like Sola Scriptura. 

“The bible is true because the bible says it is true.”

“Evolution is true because evolution says it is true.” 
You proved to me I know nothing about detective work by the way I was describing it.  Many of us see the same misrepresentation here with evolution.
You don't have to agree with my observation, but you shouldn’t say there aren’t similarities between how the two are represented.
There are no similarities between how the two are represented.

Ugh, why'd I look at this thread again?
Yeah me too.
 

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Pericles said:
Asteriktos said:
The anthropology of the Fathers was based, in large measure, on Genesis.
And in larger measures of Greek Philosophy, especially Platonism.
What anthropological ideas would you say, in particular, were taken from Platonism?
 

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Many people in the early Church (and Philo of Alexandria) believed that Plato actually stole ideas from the Tanakh itself, that Moses was the original Platonist before Plato existed.

I would say more accurately, the Church had perhaps a lot of its foundation in Hellenic Judaism.  Maybe elements of Aramaic Judaism existed in other parts of the Church, but for the Greek world, Judaism was still quite foundational, especially in liturgical development.
 

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minasoliman said:
I would say more accurately, the Church had perhaps a lot of its foundation in Hellenic Judaism.  Maybe elements of Aramaic Judaism existed in other parts of the Church, but for the Greek world, Judaism was still quite foundational, especially in liturgical development.
If one is looking for influences on Plato, Zoroastrianism is more likely candidate than Judaism. Yes Hellenistic Judaism would have been an influence on early Christianity. Hellenism didn't come into Christianity from outside, it was foundational. Christianity was from its inception a Hellenistic religion. All Hellenistic religions have a Greek element and a local element, Egyptian, Persian, Levantine etc. This is why we speak of 'Hellenism' and not Hellenic, when talking about Greek influence in the ancient classical world, its an important distinction lost on many.
 

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Zoroastrianism and Judaism were very close.  It has been postulated that even Judaism received influence from Zoroastrianism, which I don't think might be a far stretch especially in the Babylonian Captivity.  At this time, the books of the Old Testament were being compiled, and some believe that some parts might have been added to or modified based on oral tradition within the texts.

Whatever the case is, all worked out in God's favor I suppose.  Still doesn't lessen the value of the Old Testament in the Church.  Gnosticism tried to turn Christianity into the pluralistic pagan system, and the Church refused, citing the exclusivist beliefs of Christianity, which is Jewish in nature.

Some of the most foundational phrases and hymns in the Church is Jewish in nature.  The very idea of a Liturgy is Jewish.

When Marcion tried to blot out the Old Testament, the Church rejected this, and showed the importance of the OT in the Church.  People who converted from paganism and became great leaders of the Church also were indebted to the "philosophical richness" of the Old Testament, which lead to ideas that Plato was really a follower of Moses.

The Syriac Church and the Ethiopian Church has a lot more Jewish elements in their respective liturgies than Hellenism.  They were on the margins or outside the empire. Thus, only imperial Christianity, not ALL Christianity maintained Hellenism.

Christianity in my opinion is a lot more complex than Hellenistic.  Truly, the Jewish nature is fully embedded and remains.  A lot of Hellenic culture and philosophy indeed permeated its beliefs simply because of the imperial nature of the Church, but we forget there were also churches not part of the imperial structure.
 

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Pericles said:
pmpn8rGPT said:
Wait are you suggesting that Christianity is more Pagan than (true) Jewish...
I'm suggesting that Christianity is more Hellenistic than (false) Jewish.
And the story of Genesis is falsely Jewish?  True Judaism is based on the Torah, false Judaism is based on the Talmud which is MUCH more similar to Pagan Mythology than Genesis.
 

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I hope we all realize Satan's goal is not necessarily to convince us God does not exist or Jesus was not the Christ.  If he can confuse us into absolute frustration, he is just as happy.
 

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Pericles said:
Asteriktos said:
The anthropology of the Fathers was based, in large measure, on Genesis.
And in larger measures of Greek Philosophy, especially Platonism.
You should read the 11 chapters against Ioannes Italos from the Synodicon of Orthodoxy. Every day, with your morning and evening prayers, until you are cured of your "Hellenism".

To them who profess piety yet shamelessly, or rather impiously, introduce into the Orthodox and Catholic Church the ungodly doctrines of the Greeks concerning the souls of men, heaven and earth, and the rest of creation,

Anathema, anathema, anathema.

To them who maintain that although the wise men of the Greeks and the foremost of the heresiarchs were put under anathema by the Seven Holy and Catholic Councils and by all the fathers that shone forth in Orthodoxy as ones alien to the Catholic Church because of the adulterations and loathsome superabundance of error in their teachings, yet they are exceedingly more excellent, both here and in the future judgment, than those pious and orthodox men who, by human passion or by ignorance, have committed some offense,

Anathema, anathema, anathema.

To them who undertake Greek studies not only for purposes of education but also follow after their vain opinions, and are so thoroughly convinced of their truth and validity that they shamelessly introduce them and teach them to others, sometimes secretly and sometimes openly,

Anathema, anathema, anathema.

To them who of themselves refashion creation by means of mythical fabrications and accept the Platonic ideas as veritable, saying that matter, being self-subsistent, is given form by these ideas, and who thereby clearly calumniate the free will of the Creator Who brought all things into being out of non-being and Who, as Maker, established the beginning and end of all things by His authority and sovereignty,

Anathema, anathema, anathema.

To them who accept and transmit the vain Greek teachings that there is a pre-existence of souls and teach that all things were not produced and did not come into existence out of non-being, that there is an end to the torment or a restoration again of creation and of human affairs, meaning by such teachings that the Kingdom of the Heavens is entirely perishable and fleeting, whereas the Kingdom is eternal and indissoluble as Christ our God Himself taught and delivered to us, and as we have ascertained from the entire Old and New Scripture, that the torment is unending and the Kingdom everlasting to them who by such teachings both destroy themselves and become agents of eternal condemnation to others,

Anathema, anathema, anathema.
 

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Asteriktos said:
Pericles said:
Asteriktos said:
The anthropology of the Fathers was based, in large measure, on Genesis.
And in larger measures of Greek Philosophy, especially Platonism.
What anthropological ideas would you say, in particular, were taken from Platonism?
Thoughts? I can start, if you prefer. The seemingly unimportant phrase "garments of skin" (Gen. 3:21) played a not-insignificant role in many Fathers, as they saw in this phrase the whole of that which we were "clothed" with after the fall, including corruption (waste removal, need to eat, etc.) and many things that would seem to be neutral and can be used for both good or evil (sexual relations, work, etc.) Whether the Genesis account was literal (ie. whether they actually were given literal animal skins to wear) on this point was secondary to the Fathers, though not entirely meaningless; the larger issue was the anthropological content that the Fathers could fill the phrase with, using it as a rallying point for various anthropological beliefs.
 
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