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

DerekMK

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I'd be cautious of citing Giertych for anything that is meant to be taken seriously.  His wikipedia article sums up in English some of his rather strange views.  He is a mix of radical Catholic nationalism (honestly, I about fell out of my chair seeing his name on an Orthodox board and it not being followed by curses - he doesn't really believe Orthodox people in Poland deserve any civil rights), a racist (his theory of Neanderthals still existing has a racial twist to it) and just an old fashioned Polish anti-Semite.  Not really knowing enough to comment on the scientific aspects of it all, but as a Polish-American that follows the politics of Poland, I get the feeling he has about as much respect in the scientific community as an holocaust-denier would have among historians.   
 
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PeterTheAleut said:
Can you cite the dogmatic authority (other than you) that declared this?  Agreeing with Νεκτάριος, I'm not aware that any dogmatic office of the Church has ever proclaimed this to be THE authoritative interpretation of the Bible and the Holy Fathers, such that those who disagree are anathema.
God bless !

There is no "dogmatic authority", I often see this question in your posts, why ? I have told you ( and I think others too) that in the Orthodox Church most parts of the Doctrine are not "DOGMAS". We are not catholics - we have many dogmatic Doctrines -and never were procclaimed as Dogma- but this mean not that we can believe what we want ! Doctrine has authority, Holy Scripture has authority, the Fathers have authority, the Tradition has authority........ ( Theophan was right when he was speaking about the consensus patrum)

When you think you only have to believe the "hard Dogmas" - what faith will you have ? Is not even the Ever-virginity of the Theotokos NOT PROCLAIMED AS DOGMA - or her sinslessness, or her assumption, dormition.......and many other things......DO NOT ALWAYS SEARCH FOR DOGMAS !

Did you read orthodox dogmatic theology and did you see how many things are "dogmatic" but never proclaimed as Dogma. Did not even St. Justin mention the Toll Houses in his Dogmatic Theology ?

In the case of the Evolution theory or evolution philosophy- we have some writings of great Saints and Elders-like St, Nektarios of Aegina, Staretz Ambrosje of Optina........and others.....and they have enough authority.

The evolution theory is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam; the first created man. You don't have to believe ME but look for your own ( why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist ).

IN CHRIST
 

PeterTheAleut

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Christodoulos said:
God bless !

There is no "dogmatic authority", I often see this question in your posts, why ? I have told you ( and I think others too) that in the Orthodox Church most parts of the Doctrine are not "DOGMAS". We are not catholics - we have many dogmatic Doctrines -and never were procclaimed as Dogma- but this mean not that we can believe what we want ! Doctrine has authority, Holy Scripture has authority, the Fathers have authority, the Tradition has authority........ ( Theophan was right when he was speaking about the consensus patrum)
I'm sorry, but when you say such things as the following:
Christodoulos said:
Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !
you are citing a dogmatic authority.  As you yourself even acknowledge, a doctrine doesn't have to be proclaimed DOGMA by an Ecumenical Council to have the same authority as DOGMA.  When you say, though, that Orthodox Christians must accept a doctrine lest one not be Orthodox, you are saying that the doctrine might as well be considered a DOGMA.  (Since you like to argue that you have never said anyone here is not Orthodox, just examine the semantic logic of your statement, "Orthodox Christians cannot accept evolution theory."  Simply following this logical flow, one has to recognize that the statement also makes the converse true: "One who accepts evolution theory cannot be Orthodox.")  What authority do YOU have to say such things, to provide for us the definitive interpretation of the Holy Fathers that we all must follow?

When you think you only have to believe the "hard Dogmas" - what faith will you have ? Is not even the Ever-virginity of the Theotokos NOT PROCLAIMED AS DOGMA - or her sinslessness, or her assumption, dormition.......and many other things......
For the record, no, these beliefs about the Theotokos are not proclaimed as dogma, in that no one (to my knowledge) has been declared anathema for not adhering to them.  They are very central to our veneration of the Theotokos, as can be seen in our rich hymnographical tradition, so that they truly define our understanding of the Virgin, but no one is required by force of excommunication to believe these things about her.  One is recognized as a heretic only for refusing to grant her the title "Theotokos".

Did you read orthodox dogmatic theology and did you see how many things are "dogmatic" but never proclaimed as Dogma. Did not even St. Justin mention the Toll Houses in his Dogmatic Theology ?
If reading the works on dogmatic theology by Fr. Pomazansky and Fr. Justin Popovich--excellent works, I'm sure--drives me to judge my Orthodox brothers and sisters, then I would rather not read them.

In the case of the Evolution theory or evolution philosophy- we have some writings of great Saints and Elders-like St, Nektarios of Aegina, Staretz Ambrosje of Optina........and others.....and they have enough authority.
Maybe so.  I certainly don't deny that these holy men wrote against evolutionary theory and philosophy, and their holiness certainly gives their words great weight for consideration.  But that in itself does not make their teachings binding upon all Orthodox.

The evolution theory is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam; the first created man. You don't have to believe ME but look for your own.
And yet many here, whose wisdom and knowledge of this subject I trust, have said that there is no clearly defined "Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam."  Yes, many Fathers have written on this subject, but one cannot pick and choose which Fathers to follow and preach in an attempt to build an artificial consensus patrum.


( why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist )
Such snide remarks as this certainly do not help your cause here.
 

DerekMK

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Christodoulos said:
why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist.
Frankly, I don't care whether you or anyone else is a branch theorist.  What I was getting at is that you pick and choose from a troupe of schismatic "saints", renegade "elders", fundamentalist protestant thought with a few actual Orthodox sources thrown in for good measure.  Your "traditionalism" is entirely self-serving and quite often contradictory. 

So put up or shut up - there is either a source from a universally recognized Orthodox authority (i.e a pan-Orthodox synod, an anathema issued by a synod of bishops etc) condemning evolutionary biology or there isn't. 
 

ChristianLove

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My first thought about a source is whether the science presented lines up with our fathers, but maybe I'm wrong and we should accept others as higher authority in understanding our universe even if their findings come across as empirically flawed?

I do not know the political views of these scientists. Good to know about Poland's political concerns, but I do know that if we stop listening to a scientist because he is an evangelical or a politician even with strong antiIsrael arguments, then we would have major problems with all our sources, since we would have to logically discount all agnostics and atheists as sources as well, since they obviously do not promote a healthy Orthodox world view. Seems to me that none of these scientists are holy saints but the holy saints that I have read thus far all agree with Intelligent Design and the creationists' viewpoints.

Let me provide some examples without hopefully sounding judgemental:

Charles Darwin- Charles Darwin, left his faith in Christ and the Holy Scriptures as taught by his school in favor of an atheistic antichristian mindset and began exploring nature with the eyes of one author's geological understanding. Finally he gave us "Origin of Species" based on very limited data. While many of his writings have been empirically disproven through logical presentations by numerous evolutionary and intelligent design scientists, some have kept his later in life antichristian premise and promoted new materialistic world viewpoints under his name and call it "neodarwinism" probably to simply tag unto a momentous movement among some who deny the faith or for other marketing or nonmarketing reasons.

Stephen Jay Gould, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins- Atheists I talk with regularly tout these modern leaders of the metaphysical sciences on every occasion possible. They are so vehemently trying to tell all their listeners and readers that the reason for all the pains, troubles and suffering of the world, is Christianity and infact all people of all faiths. They foolishly assume as the communists, that if you wipe out religion from the world, you will stop all wars and usher an era of peace based on their brand of "science". Was it not this same brand of atheism that murdered millions of our fellow brothers, sisters, moms and Dads in the former soviet union? Was not this same evolutionary thought process which led Adolph Hitler to consider the Arian race supreme above all other races and use his war machines to try to implement Darwin's "survival of the fittest" under Nazism? For a wonderful video of the debate between the atheist promoter against Christianity and a Roman Catholic defender of Christians' benefit to mankind, feel free to look up http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=201727-1 . I found Hitchens to have been so soundly defeated based on facts of history that atheists actually have written supportive statement for D'Souza, saying that they need to "update" their knowledge with his presentations in order to find stronger counterarguments. D'Souza uses their systems to show the logical fallacies in their arguments, but that might get too far off topic.

louis Pasteur- He was a creationist who found us some of the most wonderful medical ways of healing the body.

Dr. Henry Morris- whose scientific views seem to be clearly inline with our Orthodox Church fathers, but who also spends some time denying honorable belief in Holy Tradition because of his modern evangelical misunderstandings in regards to our Faith in Christ. Strange for one from an Orthodox worldview, to see him promote many of the same Holy Traditional belief in the Holy Trinity and venerable Scriptures, while denying the work of the men and the Church that the Holy Spirit inspired to bring him the One Faith.

Maybe we should trust our Church Fathers and simply believe that the Holy Trinity who created all of us, and who was the only eyewitness of Creation, has led our saints and inspired them to understand and reveal truth about creation and rightly lead our scientists to first spend worship time in a monastery and be observed for their heart of Love for God and their sincere humble trust in Christ our God, before exposing them to the history of creation science and the modern macroevolutionary turns to them?

Or should we discount all church fathers who almost unanimously agree with the teachings of intelligent design, because they did not have access to some of the latest leaps from microevolutionary theories into macroevolution and simply say they were ignorant of God's Creation and they should not be trusted as source of areas where "modern science" now claims a higher ground than them.

I do not want to wrongly come across as one who has all the answers, because obviously there are wonderful mysteries in Creation. I honestly know that empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not.

Hopefully, we can humbly love one another even as we think through our questions of trust in the Holy Spirit's work through the fathers of our faith, while focusing more on loving as they have loved and proclaiming pure Love above all our knowledge (1 Cor 13).
 

PeterTheAleut

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^ (referring to the above post)

By "Intelligent Design" do you mean the (pseudo?)-scientific system put forward by such men as Michael Behe and William Dembski?  I'm not sure that many of our ascetic fathers would have access to their writings to be able to make an informed judgment of the specifics of their ideas.  I'm sure, though, that they would agree that our universe and all life therein was created by an Intelligent Designer, but Professor Behe himself recognizes--I've personally heard him speak--that his Intelligent Design concepts do not preclude belief in evolution as the means by which the Intelligent Designer chose to create life as we know it.
 

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Good question Peter  :) What was the Intelligent Design belief of those inspired by the Holy Spirit and in communion with God our Creator and His One Chuch on earth? Maybe Intelligent Design as understood by readings of the church fathers presented in Father Seraphim Rose's 700+ page book on Creation would be a wonderful starting point  8)

As for "pseudoscience", if I may stick to this reality as the principle "scientific" basis and declare all others as philosophical, metaphysical or "pseudo sciences", maybe we'll all be on holy ground  :angel:  :) :

"...empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not. "

 

PeterTheAleut

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ChristianLove said:
As for "pseudoscience", if I may stick to this reality as the principle "scientific" basis and declare all others as philosophical, metaphysical or "pseudo sciences", maybe we'll all be on holy ground  :angel:  :) :
But then arises the question of what counts as science, and who is qualified to determine this.  Do those who do not actively participate in the sciences as these have been traditionally defined--no, science never was a purely spiritual/religious pursuit, even though many of the pioneers of what we know as modern science were indeed guided by a traditional Christian world view--have the authority to define science to be something that most don't recognize as science?  Do non-scientists have any legitimate authority to declare the scientific method anti-truth per se?  What if scientific observations prove elements of our Christian cosmology and world view wrong, such as Copernicus did to the Roman Catholic insistence on an earth-centered model of the universe?  Do we then discredit the empirical evidence as anti-Christian and stubbornly insist on following our "divinely revealed" view of things?  Such stubbornness, IMHO, only discredits our witness as that of the backward fundamentalists many already think we are.  I'm not suggesting we worship science, as many of today's scientists do; all I ask is that we see science as a means of seeing how Christ, the Divine Logos, has revealed His Father to us via His creation.  Orthodox Christians need not be opposed to the man-made sciences.

"...empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not."
I think the above statement (from Fr. Seraphim Rose?) overly simplistic in its implication that the witness of the Holy Fathers and the findings of science are necessarily opposed to each other.  In fact, I would venture to say that the Holy Fathers were not united in their understanding of Genesis and that whoever uttered this statement may have tried to indicate the existence of a patristic consensus that is just imagined and artificial.
 

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ChristianLove said:
My first thought about a source is whether the science presented lines up with our fathers, but maybe I'm wrong and we should accept others as higher authority in understanding our universe even if their findings come across as empirically flawed?
Rather than reading the the Fathers in the most literal way possible, look at their methodology.  They had no qualms in resorting to neo-platonic thought and were not in any way anti-intellectuals.  Had modern evolutionary biology existed in their time with the scientific evidence that has today, I don't see what they wouldn't have Christianized it like they did with much other religious and secular philosophy of their day.


I do not know the political views of these scientists. Good to know about Poland's political concerns, but I do know that if we stop listening to a scientist because he is an evangelical or a politician even with strong antiIsrael arguments, then we would have major problems with all our sources, since we would have to logically discount all agnostics and atheists as sources as well, since they obviously do not promote a healthy Orthodox world view. Seems to me that none of these scientists are holy saints but the holy saints that I have read thus far all agree with Intelligent Design and the creationists' viewpoints.
When someone uses their same methodology to also come up with a belief in the Loch Ness monster and other absurdities, I think it is fair to question his reliability as a scientist.  If only the very fringe of a profession professes a belief and they also profess some very strange beliefs in other issues - might it be worth questioning their conclusions?  And this whole atheism card is getting old.  The poster here, Heohrij is a biologist and an Orthodox Christian.

Or should we discount all church fathers who almost unanimously agree with the teachings of intelligent design, because they did not have access to some of the latest leaps from microevolutionary theories into macroevolution and simply say they were ignorant of God's Creation and they should not be trusted as source of areas where "modern science" now claims a higher ground than them.
"Intelligent design" is a modern idea and a reaction to evolutionary biology.  To speak of anyone in the patristic era holding to it is anachronistic to say the least.
 

minasoliman

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Charles Darwin- Charles Darwin, left his faith in Christ and the Holy Scriptures as taught by his school in favor of an atheistic antichristian mindset and began exploring nature with the eyes of one author's geological understanding. Finally he gave us "Origin of Species" based on very limited data.
Weird...not that I'm defending Darwin's atheism, but I think his atheism places the blame on the Christians who forced him into atheism, not the scientific findings he made, which he made at the time as a Christian.  In fact, he grew up a very religious man, with a very religious family.  In fact, he was still a believer in God at the time of writing the "Origin of Species."  As his views became more popular (and infamous in Christian circles) and as he received the wrath of Bibliolatry "Christians" at the time, he lost his faith, not able to believe in a God that contradicts scientific research (and some other theological issues, like the overstressing the juridical God that bothered him as well).

I hope we don't distort "atheist" "scientists" as evil men with an agenda to destroy religion, like Darwin.  Darwin was a fluke as I showed.  Dawkins and Hitchins are nothing but atheists with a good literary and philosophical sense, not scientific, which is why they're strong on ideology.  Why don't we listen to the voices of people like Dr. Ken Miller and Dr. Francis Collins, who are devout Christians, the former being a biologist the latter being a leading geneticist, both understanding and accepting the importance of the fact of evolution in their research.

I bet you that none of you here who are posting "anti-evolution" crap are actually biological scientists in your fields.  If you want people here to take you seriously, get a biology degree and then come back with your research.  Until then, here's a very long youtube video that I hope you listen to:

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

God bless.
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Mina,

Thank you very much for that link. His graciousness toward those of opposing viewpoints while still making a cogent argument for science, and only science, in science textbooks is just what the scientific community needs. He invites everyone to look at the facts while never stooping to insults or derision. A gentleman and a scholar. I second your invitation for everyone who has posted on this thread to listen to his lecture.
 

Pravoslavbob

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Νεκτάριος said:
So put up or shut up - there is either a source from a universally recognized Orthodox authority (i.e a pan-Orthodox synod, an anathema issued by a synod of bishops etc) condemning evolutionary biology or there isn't. 
Right.  And there isn't one.
 

Pravoslavbob

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minasoliman said:
I bet you that none of you here who are posting "anti-evolution" crap are actually biological scientists in your fields.  If you want people here to take you seriously, get a biology degree and then come back with your research. 
Hear hear!
 

Demetrios G.

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Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.

 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Demetrios,

Why do you worship a God who does not hold you to the ground? If He doesn't keep you from floating off into space then why worship Him? He hasn't done anything for you. If He is powerless to keep your feet on the floor, then wouldn't He be powerless to save you?
 

Demetrios G.

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
Demetrios,

Why do you worship a God who does not hold you to the ground? If He doesn't keep you from floating off into space then why worship Him? He hasn't done anything for you. If He is powerless to keep your feet on the floor, then wouldn't He be powerless to save you?
Your Idea of salvation is foreign to me. Could you clarify it?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.
I fail to see how a belief about the method and time frame involved in creation that doesn't accord with yours somehow automatically means one is not a Christian.  Is your God so small that he can only create in the way you have decided he can?  Is your God so small that he has been created in your image and subject to the limits of your imagination?
 

Demetrios G.

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Veniamin said:
I fail to see how a belief about the method and time frame involved in creation that doesn't accord with yours somehow automatically means one is not a Christian.  Is your God so small that he can only create in the way you have decided he can?  Is your God so small that he has been created in your image and subject to the limits of your imagination?
I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?
Would you care to make an accusation outright instead of stooping to innuendo?  If you are hesitant to publicly accuse us all of having heretical beliefs, it doesn't say much for the substance of the accusation, does it?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.
I see more awe and majesty in a God who creates this world with a single spark and the laws of science over the course of billions of years than some second rate deity that creates an arbitrary and ultimately chaotic universe. 

Demetrios G. said:
I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?
How does gravity fit into our theology?  It's not mentioned in the Bible, fathers or any of the councils.
 

Demetrios G.

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Veniamin said:
Would you care to make an accusation outright instead of stooping to innuendo?  If you are hesitant to publicly accuse us all of having heretical beliefs, it doesn't say much for the substance of the accusation, does it?
No one has accused you of anything. First you stated that you are not created and you believe in the theory of evolution. Now you posted that you are created but it varies from how the church views it. I don't get it. Are you confused?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.
My belief that evolution is true has nothing to do with my belief that God causes all to occur.  Nothing is by chance, even though it sometimes appears that way to us.  I believe that God is the reason why I exist.  I believe God created me.  I believe that He will resurrect me too.  I believe that Adam and Eve may well have been real people.  I see no contradiction between this and my ascent to the the evidence pointing to evolution being an accurate scientific finding.  And no, I do not believe in (what I think is) the silly and pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological "intelligent design" theory.  

 

Demetrios G.

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Pravoslavbob said:
My belief that evolution is true has nothing to do with my belief that God causes all to occur.  Nothing is by chance, even though it sometimes appears that way to us.   I believe that God is the reason why I exist.  I believe God created me.  I believe that He will resurrect me too.  I believe that Adam and Eve may well have been real people.  I see no contradiction between this and my ascent to the the evidence pointing to evolution being an accurate scientific finding.  And no, I do not believe in (what I think is) the silly and pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological "intelligent design" theory. 
Please tell me you don't believe that Christ needs to evolve to resurrect? Why would man need to evolve to live as man. You see how silly you are sounding? BTW thanks for at least giving it a try.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
No one has accused you of anything. First you stated that you are not created and you believe in the theory of evolution. Now you posted that you are created but it varies from how the church views it. I don't get it. Are you confused?
No, and I actually have enough of a spine to say what I think instead of leaving it to sly implication.

Whether God created man in a handful of 24 hour periods and caused him to begin existence fully formed or God slowly created man over a billion years by building one thing and building that into another does absolutely nothing to affect the work that Christ accomplished on the cross.  Whether God created us instantaneously or slowly does nothing to change the fact that God entered his own creation to redeem it from death, and ultimately, I don't particularly care which method it was, because my faith in God won't change based solely on how he created us.  I'm sorry that your god is so fragile that he must either do everything as you have determined or not exist at all.
 
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God bless !

1. Like I have written, not every part of Orthodox Doctrine is proclaimed as Dogma, but this mean not that we do not have to believe such Doctrines. Dogmas are often proclaimed AFTER they were denied as Doctrine ! We would have thousends of Dogmas.

2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema. And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?

3.There is a consensus patrum about the Nature of Adam, we have a clear teaching about the first created man. He was immortal with a different Nature - now our Nature is corrupted - we were thrown out from paradise - which still exists...... When you say we do not have an exact teaching of the Nature of Adam it will also have an effect how you understand the second Adam - Christ. So it is important to know the Nature of Adam, it belongs to our understanding of Salvation.

4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.

5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.

In CHRIST

And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible ! And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial" and for you pews and stasidions are also the same????
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Your Idea of salvation is foreign to me. Could you clarify it?
That post was not my idea of salvation, it's yours. I merely substituted the theory of gravity for the theory of evolution. My point was that if you believe that any belief that the theory of evolution is a plausible explanation for our existence automatically denies God any role in the world, then you must also believe that any belief that the theory of gravity is what is holding us to this earth automatically denies God any role in the world as well.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that God works through the natural laws of the universe? Is that any less a miracle than anything else He does?

Νεκτάριος said:
I see more awe and majesty in a God who creates this world with a single spark and the laws of science over the course of billions of years than some second rate deity that creates an arbitrary and ultimately chaotic universe. 

How does gravity fit into our theology?  It's not mentioned in the Bible, fathers or any of the councils.
Amen! Scientific theories, or the culmination of observation of God's world and reasonings about it, are healthy and good for our salvation. The more we know about the world, the more of God we can see in everyday things.

Science is not compatible with religion, but this does not mean the two are opposed. Suppose an auto mechanic enjoys metaphysical poetry. Would quoting John Donne help him change a tire? Of course not. The two are unrelated. It's not that alliteration is opposed to combustion; it's that they have nothing to do with each other. In the same way, science is not a philosophy or a moral code. Science is not religious, but it is also not anti-religious. It is areligious. Science is concerned with the physical world, what we can observe and empirically know. Religion is concerned with the supernatural world, which we cannot observe and cannot know but by faith. The two are fundamentally different, in the way that Holy Sonnet X and a spark plug are fundamentally different. The questions of science cannot be answered by religion, and the questions of religion cannot be answered by science. Both are necessary to complete the human experience.
 

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Christodoulos said:
1. Like I have written, not every part of Orthodox Doctrine is proclaimed as Dogma, but this mean not that we do not have to believe such Doctrines. Dogmas are often proclaimed AFTER they were denied as Doctrine ! We would have thousends of Dogmas.
I'll take that as a "no" to whether you can find any authoritative Orthodox source than condemns evolution.

2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema. And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?
On the first point there is ample liturgical support for Orthodox belief regarding the Virgin Mary.  As for smoking and video games - I don't think either is a problem if they are done in moderation.  The same principle as alcohol. 

4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.
You say that they are contradictory.  Yet a large number of faithful, priests and I would even guess bishops accept the validity of evolution. 

5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.
Since modern science did not really exist in the patristic era it is impossible to say that they would have rejected evolution as contrary to the Christian faith.  Based on Justin Martyr who held the Greek philosophers in the same esteem as the Old Testament prophets and the heavy influence of neo-platonic thought on the patristic era in Christianity, I would find it entirely out of place for the fathers to reject something based on empirical evidence and take a reactionary and anti-intellectual stand. 


And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible !
And I am not sure that you even understand the basics of Orthodox ecclesiology and have instead appointed yourself to be an infallible pope.  The only difference in your methodology than that of the sola scriptura touting fundamentalist is you use a larger textural copora from whence to draw your proof-texts.  In the Orthodox Church the bishops in their entirety are the source of our teaching authority, not Christodoulos from oc.net and his copy and paste jobs from various geocities sites.

And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory
Old calendarists and their little pietistic cults and gurus are so few in number that they are statistically insignificant.  But as you judge so shall you too be judged.  I find it curious that you have such animosity towards those whom you condemn as ecumenists, when your archbishop does the exact same thing in a slightly different form.  Glicherie died a schismatic.

and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory
Yeah, that was my experience. 

and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial"
Nice try.  You and your reading of the fathers is superficial - not the great and holy fathers themselves.  It is sad that these extraordinary thinks, writers, preachers, monastics and shepherds  that were some of the most respected members of their society have been reduced to reactionary drivel by your ilk. 

and for you pews and stasidions are also the same????
Well... since they serve the same purpose, look relatively similar to one another, I'd have to go out on a limb and -gasp- say they are well.... the same thing. 
 

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Christodoulos said:
God bless !

1. Like I have written, ...
So you're the authority on this matter?

2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema.
I'm glad you think yourself qualified to judge who is and who is not Orthodox.  Though I do see more than enough evidence from our hymnographical tradition and our sacred lore to convince me of the Ever-Virginity of the Theotokos, I certainly don't see myself qualified to judge anyone as not Orthodox for not believing the evidence as I do.

And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?)
According to what I see here, you seem to think yourself an authority on what is Orthodox and what is not.

3.There is a consensus patrum about the Nature of Adam, we have a clear teaching about the first created man.
Prove it.  Without citations from the Fathers who make up this consensus patrum, your words mean nothing.  Citing only those Fathers who agree with you and ignoring those who don't also doesn't prove a patristic consensus.

4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.

5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.
Again, I say to you: PROVE IT.  You don't get to cite yourself as an eminent authority here.

And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible ! And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial" and for you pews and stasidions are also the same????
OBJECTION:  This quote has nothing to do with the subject of creationism vs. evolution.  If you want to carry on this private spat you have with Νεκτάριος, I recommend you take it into the Private Message system and stop polluting these public threads with your off-topic rants against individual OCnet members.
 

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Veniamin said:
No, and I actually have enough of a spine to say what I think instead of leaving it to sly implication.

Whether God created man in a handful of 24 hour periods and caused him to begin existence fully formed or God slowly created man over a billion years by building one thing and building that into another does absolutely nothing to affect the work that Christ accomplished on the cross.  Whether God created us instantaneously or slowly does nothing to change the fact that God entered his own creation to redeem it from death, and ultimately, I don't particularly care which method it was, because my faith in God won't change based solely on how he created us.  I'm sorry that your god is so fragile that he must either do everything as you have determined or not exist at all.
Actually, When we say that man was formed over a billion years, we are implying that man doesn't have a fallen state and his defect is built into him from the beginning. If this was so than theosis would be unattainable.
Lets not limit god to create in a specific way. Lets not put limitations on his power. The point is that God can create out side of material existence. His power isn't limited to preexisting material.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Actually, When we say that man was formed over a billion years, we are implying that man doesn't have a fallen state and his defect is built into him from the beginning. If this was so than theosis would be unattainable.
Non sequitur.  The conclusion you draw does not follow from the statements made.  Try again.
 

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Ziggernaut said:
I hesitate to jump into this ever-so-interesting discussion because I have failed, due to time constraints and health issues, to follow it from the beginning.  So, I beg forgiveness and forebearance in advance as what I have to say and ask may already have been discussed and answered.

First of all I want to admit/acknowledge to all for whom this is important that I slept very soundly throughout much of my paltry education (oh, and how so very refreshing it was, too! ;)), most especially those subjects that had anything to do with that dreaded word "science".  So, please feel free to discount my profound ignorance (and in all seriousness, my ignorance is profound), and move on to the next post.

Now, having said all of that, my understanding of "evolution", at least as generally discussed by many people as poorly educated as myself, is that it has something to do with one (or more) species changing over a relatively long period of time into another species.  My question is this--is there conclusive, irrefutable, concrete, demonstrable evidence that this has happened?  Another question, if I may--have scientists ever been able to replicate that process of one species changing into another species?  If the answer to either of those questions is yes, could you please provide references, links, etc. that an educationally impoverished struggling sinner such as myself would be able to understand?
In spite of my somewhat sarcastic remarks above, I ask this in all seriousness and sincerity.  You see, I am beginning to finally awaken from my long slumber and truely wish to learn as much as my old, decaying remaining 1/2 brain cell is capable of absorbing.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.  Please pray for me, a miserable sinner.

In Christ,
Jeff
Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

My, my, folks are getting a little hot under the collar on this thread!  Nothing like a "heated" discussion  ;).

I'm quoting myself above, not to cite myself as an authority as I am really not much of an "authority" on anything, but to bring my questions (in bold) back to the attention of the rest of the participants here.  I apologize again if they have been answered elsewhere.  If that is the case perhaps someone could direct me to that answer.  If not, I wonder if someone here can answer those questions.  I'm thinking that they (the answers) may go some way towards clarifying some of the contentious issues being discussed here.  Or, maybe not!

Many thanks, and God bless,
Jeff
 

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I haven't waded through all of this, because it's not a subject I get real worked up about nor is biology or the life sciences my forté so I don't feel I can speak with much confidence about them.  The feeling I get however is some combination of what Darwin and Mendel both observed explains a lot of what we see in the natural world, and that there's a good deal of evidence to suggest the natural world and life existed for millions and millions of years before humans as we know them appeared.  The latter point is not necessarily connected to the former, but I think both speak to the same issue, and it is can Genesis be literal as read on the page and can the many genealogies in the Bible be literally true.  The answer to me for both is a fairly obvious no and no.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Please tell me you don't believe that Christ needs to evolve to resurrect? Why would man need to evolve to live as man. You see how silly you are sounding? BTW thanks for at least giving it a try.
What on earth are you talking about?   ???  I don't think you've understood anything I've written.  Of course I don't believe any such nonsense about Christ "needing to evolve to resurrect"!   ::)  Humanity doesn't "need" or "not need" to evolve "to live as man". 

(BTW, evolutionary theory does not say that every living thing must keep evolving.  The idea is that life evolves until it reaches a state that works well for it in its surrounding ecological matrix.)

But this seems to me to be really quite a pointless discussion. I feel very much like I'm banging my head against a brick wall here, as it seems to me you don't understand where I am coming from at all.  Perhaps you feel the same way.  So if you don't mind, I would prefer to just call it quits at this point.
 
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God bless

So you're the authority on this matter?
Do you want to play again?

I have no authority but the Fathers and the Teaching of the Church have authority- even when you deny it and try to make all things relative and uncertain. Are you against the teaching of the church ? We have many parts of Doctrine and not procclaimed as Dogma -AGAIN- but you have to believe it. Otherwise you are in danger of losing orthdoxy. Do you want to be against the Teaching of the Church - the true Church ?

I'm glad you think yourself qualified to judge who is and who is not Orthodox.  Though I do see more than enough evidence from our hymnographical tradition and our sacred lore to convince me of the Ever-Virginity of the Theotokos, I certainly don't see myself qualified to judge anyone as not Orthodox for not believing the evidence as I do.According to what I see here, you seem to think yourself an authority on what is Orthodox and what is not.
When you are not qualified to know what is orthodox and what is not- that's not my problem. It is clear that the Orthodox Church believes in the Ever-virginity and everyone who denies this belief is blasphemous and far away of Orthodox Doctrine- that is a fact- even when you try to make all Doctrines not proclaimed as Dogma relative and uncertain. But perhaps when more and more "orthodox" deny such Doctrines, the Orthodox Church will have to proclaim many Dogmas in the future- otherwise it will become protestant ( many members are already more protestant minded than orthodox ) ........And there is a difference in judging people because of their sins and speaking about their belief, it is the duty of every orthodox christian to stand up when any part of Orthodox Doctrine is in danger- it is also your duty ! It would be a sin to be silent.

Prove it.  Without citations from the Fathers who make up this consensus patrum, your words mean nothing.  Citing only those Fathers who agree with you and ignoring those who don't also doesn't prove a patristic consensus. Again, I say to you: PROVE IT.  You don't get to cite yourself as an eminent authority here.
I know your "Method" very well, first you say I should prove it ( I could there is no problem) and when I post quotes you say that I am bombarding you and only use quotes fitting my "opinion". It is not my opinion it is the opinion of the church. I always try to follow the Church and not my own - it would be dangerous to follow my opinion.

But why do you not prove that there is no CONSENSUS ? Prove it !

We have many writings of the Fathers and the Teaching of the  Church, we have the hymnography and the iconography.....

the larger and smaller commentary of St. John Chrysostom on the Genesis and on the creation of the world
St. Ephraim the syrian's commentary on Genesis
Hexameron and On the origin of early man of St. Basil the great
Hexameron, about the Paradise, about Cain and Abel of St. Ambrose of Milan
St. Gregory of Nyssa; On the making of man and his great Catechism
Catechetical lectures of St. Cyrill of Jerusalem
St. Athanasios the great
St. Symeon the New Theologian; The sin of Adam
St. Gregory the Theologian
St. Macarios the great
St. Abba Dorotheos
St. Isaac the syrian
St. Gregory of Sinia ( he "saw" and experienced Paradise like other Saints - St. Euphrosynos the Cook, St. Andrew...)
St. Gregory Palamas
Blessed Augustine wrote also a commentary on Genesis and also in the City of God speaks about some questions ( read with caution)
St. John of Kronstadt
Metropolit Philaret of Moscow
St. John of Damascus; on the orthodox faith ( contains many chapters on questions about the six days..)
and many many others......
St. Nectarios of Aegina
many Elders......

And now prove that there is no "consensus" ! But please read the Fathers in proper way- the Fathers are not contradicting one another, they only write often from different points but have the same teaching. Or do you think that the Gospels are also a contradiction ? The genealogies of Christ- do you think they are contradicting ?

When you deny that the Church has an exact teaching of creation and the first created man, you can not understand the second Adam and the Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation.

The Orthodox Church has her own " Theory and Philosophy of Creation " - so she can not accept a foreign theory of atheists and and non orthodox or even occultist. When you accept the foreign you have to set aside the orthodox.

And the Evolution theory is only a theory or philosophy and not a fact or science- I am not against true science !
We should not be against modern science, we should be against any alteration of Orrthodoxy and true science is never against orthodoxy - in the contrary ! I would say secular science is fallible but not Orthodox Doctrine- it is the Truth for eternity. We know that the science often made mistakes- that's normal.

The Evolution theory is very complex and we would have to talk about many different aspects.

It would be more interesting to start a new thread on; Genesis, creation and the orthodox interpretation of the Fathers. For example the Orthodox Doctrine differs extremly from the RCC Doctrine of the first created man, you will see when you study for example the summa of Thomas from Aquin that he did not believe that Adam was created immortal, only that he had a supernatural grace and so on....

In CHRIST
 

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Christodoulos said:
Do you want to play again?
No, I'm not here to play.

I have no authority but the Fathers and the Teaching of the Church have authority- even when you deny it and try to make all things relative and uncertain.

Are you against the teaching of the church ? We have many parts of Doctrine and not procclaimed as Dogma -AGAIN- but you have to believe it. Otherwise you are in danger of losing orthdoxy. Do you want to be against the Teaching of the Church - the true Church ?
Straw man!  I have told you many times that I am not the anti-Traditionalist you represent me to be, for I don't oppose the Sacred Tradition of our Church, the Tradition that I vowed at my chrismation to uphold.  The only thing I oppose is your fundamentalist misrepresentation of our Tradition.

When you are not qualified to know what is orthodox and what is not- that's not my problem. It is clear that the Orthodox Church believes in the Ever-virginity and everyone who denies this belief is blasphemous and far away of Orthodox Doctrine- that is a fact- even when you try to make all Doctrines not proclaimed as Dogma relative and uncertain. But perhaps when more and more "orthodox" deny such Doctrines, the Orthodox Church will have to proclaim many Dogmas in the future- otherwise it will become protestant ( many members are already more protestant minded than orthodox )........And there is a difference in judging people because of their sins and speaking about their belief, it is the duty of every orthodox christian to stand up when any part of Orthodox Doctrine is in danger- it is also your duty ! It would be a sin to be silent.
Interesting statements to make, considering that this post I'm dissecting is a reply to a post in which I stated unequivocally my personal belief in Mary's Ever-Virginity.  In addition, I never said I was unqualified to judge WHAT is Orthodox; like you, I question the Orthodoxy of any teaching that opposes belief in Mary's Ever-Virginity and will argue this traditional belief with anyone who questions it.  What I said I am unqualified to judge is WHO within the Church is Orthodox in belief and WHO is not, for I do not presume to know the hearts of men.

I know your "Method" very well, first you say I should prove it ( I could there is no problem) and when I post quotes you say that I am bombarding you and only use quotes fitting my "opinion".
That's why I gave you guidelines for how to prove your case.  Consensus is an extremely difficult thing to prove, since you need to establish that the Fathers were unanimous in their doctrine on a particular matter such as the origins of human life.  If someone could show you and us that several of the Holy Fathers taught otherwise, that the Fathers disagreed with each other, then your assertion of patristic consensus is refuted.

It is not my opinion it is the opinion of the church. I always try to follow the Church and not my own - it would be dangerous to follow my opinion.
Yes, and the consensus of the Church is also that you should pay much more attention to repenting of your own sins than on the sins of others.  "Take the log out of your own eye before you presume to take the speck out of your brother's eye," to paraphrase the words of our Lord.  Have not the Holy Fathers and great ascetics also taught us that cultivating the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives (see Galatians 5:22 for St. Paul's description of this fruit) is more important than preaching correct dogma?  Did not Jesus say that at the last day we would be judged for what we did or did not do for "the least of these, My brethren"?  (Read Matthew 25:31-46).  Did not Jesus say that the greatest commandment from the Law is that we love God and love our neighbor?  Dogma and doctrine are indeed important, but where is the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your oft-combative and defensive approach to preaching your dogmas here, even if they be the Church's doctrines?  Can they not stand on their own merit without you battling others to defend your own personal authority to teach them here?

But why do you not prove that there is no CONSENSUS ? Prove it !
Easy to do--just show me one or two Fathers who taught differently from the supposed unanimous consensus.  Besides, I'm not the one making outlandish assertions here; YOU ARE.  This puts the onus on you to prove your position; I don't have to prove anything to anyone here, and I'm not going to.

We have many writings of the Fathers and the Teaching of the  Church, we have the hymnography and the iconography.....

the larger and smaller commentary of St. John Chrysostom on the Genesis and on the creation of the world
St. Ephraim the syrian's commentary on Genesis
Hexameron and On the origin of early man of St. Basil the great
Hexameron, about the Paradise, about Cain and Abel of St. Ambrose of Milan
St. Gregory of Nyssa; On the making of man and his great Catechism
Catechetical lectures of St. Cyrill of Jerusalem
St. Athanasios the great
St. Symeon the New Theologian; The sin of Adam
St. Gregory the Theologian
St. Macarios the great
St. Abba Dorotheos
St. Isaac the syrian
St. Gregory of Sinia ( he "saw" and experienced Paradise like other Saints - St. Euphrosynos the Cook, St. Andrew...)
St. Gregory Palamas
Blessed Augustine wrote also a commentary on Genesis and also in the City of God speaks about some questions ( read with caution)
St. John of Kronstadt
Metropolit Philaret of Moscow
St. John of Damascus; on the orthodox faith ( contains many chapters on questions about the six days..)
and many many others......
St. Nectarios of Aegina
many Elders......

And now prove that there is no "consensus" !
Again, a selected list of Fathers and Holy Elders does not prove unanimity among ALL the Holy Fathers.  Heck, I'd be willing to wager that there isn't even a consensus as to who are Holy Fathers and who are not.

But please read the Fathers in proper way-the Fathers are not contradicting one another, they only write often from different points but have the same teaching. Or do you think that the Gospels are also a contradiction ? The genealogies of Christ- do you think they are contradicting ?
So the only proper way to read the Fathers is to read into their works an artificial consensus that doesn't exist?  This reeks to me of circular reasoning.  Believing already that the Holy Fathers never contradict each other, you then read their writings to prove that they never contradict each other.

When you deny that the Church has an exact teaching of creation and the first created man, you can not understand the second Adam and the Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation.

The Orthodox Church has her own " Theory and Philosophy of Creation " - so she can not accept a foreign theory of atheists and and non orthodox or even occultist. When you accept the foreign you have to set aside the orthodox.

And the Evolution theory is only a theory or philosophy and not a fact or science- I am not against true science !
Contrary to your ignorance of what science really is, theory (that is, plausible explanations of observable natural phenomena) is the very goal of science.  Science really doesn't strive to proclaim anything as factual or to prove anything irrefutably.  Science works with what we understand to be facts and strives to construct explanations based on these facts.  Defining science in this way, evolutionary theory is currently seen as the most plausible explanation for the origins of life that we can observe in the fossil record, but maybe scientists will discover some radically new facts that will force them to abandon or seriously modify their current evolutionary theories.

We should not be against modern science, we should be against any alteration of Orrthodoxy and true science is never against orthodoxy - in the contrary ! I would say secular science is fallible but not Orthodox Doctrine- it is the Truth for eternity. We know that the science often made mistakes- that's normal.
And, though God has revealed His truth for all eternity through Jesus Christ and the Holy Church, His Body, our understanding of this Truth is always incomplete and often in need of correction.

The Evolution theory is very complex and we would have to talk about many different aspects.

It would be more interesting to start a new thread on; Genesis, creation and the orthodox interpretation of the Fathers. For example the Orthodox Doctrine differs extremly from the RCC Doctrine of the first created man, you will see when you study for example the summa of Thomas from Aquin that he did not believe that Adam was created immortal, only that he had a supernatural grace and so on....

In CHRIST
 

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It seems that many are infected by the bacterium of arrogant humanism.  God works always works through science, however that science is often to the humanists, metaphysical.  Which ontologist could cure cancer by applying chicken fat? Or remove brain tumors by porridge soup?  Yet it happens.  The danger of studying science is not science itself but the arrogance of those who study it.
 

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observer said:
It seems that many are infected by the bacterium of arrogant humanism.  God works always works through science, however that science is often to the humanists, metaphysical.  Which ontologist could cure cancer by applying chicken fat? Or remove brain tumors by porridge soup?  Yet it happens.  The danger of studying science is not science itself but the arrogance of those who study it.
With this statement I agree totally, though many scientists do still maintain a very humble approach to their work.

For clarity's sake, I do need to recommend a more correct word for cancer specialist.  The word you really want to use is oncologist.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
That's why I gave you guidelines for how to prove your case.  Consensus is an extremely difficult thing to prove, since you need to establish that the Fathers were unanimous in their doctrine on a particular matter such as the origins of human life.  If someone could show you and us that several of the Holy Fathers taught otherwise, that the Fathers disagreed with each other, then your assertion of patristic consensus is refuted.
 
Easy to do--just show me one or two Fathers who taught differently from the supposed unanimous consensus.  Besides, I'm not the one making outlandish assertions here; YOU ARE.  This puts the onus on you to prove your position; I don't have to prove anything to anyone here, and I'm not going to.
Again, a selected list of Fathers and Holy Elders does not prove unanimity among ALL the Holy Fathers.  Heck, I'd be willing to wager that there isn't even a consensus as to who are Holy Fathers and who are not.
So the only proper way to read the Fathers is to read into their works an artificial consensus that doesn't exist?  This reeks to me of circular reasoning.  Believing already that the Holy Fathers never contradict each other, you then read their writings to prove that they never contradict each other.
Contrary to your ignorance of what science really is, theory (that is, plausible explanations of observable natural phenomena) is the very goal of science.  Science really doesn't strive to proclaim anything as factual or to prove anything irrefutably.  Science works with what we understand to be facts and strives to construct explanations based on these facts.  Defining science in this way, evolutionary theory is currently seen as the most plausible explanation for the origins of life that we can observe in the fossil record, but maybe scientists will discover some radically new facts that will force them to abandon or seriously modify their current evolutionary theories.
And, though God has revealed His truth for all eternity through Jesus Christ and the Holy Church, His Body, our understanding of this Truth is always incomplete and often in need of correction.
Not to choose sides or anything, but only to offer a little clarification....

CONSENSUS
From dictionary.com: con·sen·sus      /kənˈsɛnsəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-sen-suhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -sus·es. 1. majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month. 
2. general agreement or concord; harmony. 


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[Origin: 1850–55; < L, equiv. to consent(īre) to be in agreement, harmony (con- con- + sentīre to feel; cf. sense) + -tus suffix of v. action]


It's easy to confuse consensus with unanimity.  They are, however, not the same. 

Maybe I'm nit-picking here, but unless you remove the nits, you won't get rid of the lice  ;D.

In Christ,
Jeff
 

PeterTheAleut

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Ziggernaut said:
Now, having said all of that, my understanding of "evolution", at least as generally discussed by many people as poorly educated as myself, is that it has something to do with one (or more) species changing over a relatively long period of time into another species.  My question is this--is there conclusive, irrefutable, concrete, demonstrable evidence that this has happened?
To provide an answer I hope will be somewhat helpful, I don't know that any of the evidence we see in the fossil record can ever rise to the level of irrefutable evidence of such evolution as you describe above.  The biggest problem is that we're trying to read and interpret fossil deposits spanning several millions of years.  Without a single living intelligent soul in nature who has been around long enough to observe such changes in life forms within his own lifetime, we can never have any incontrovertible certainty that even our own interpretation of the data is correct.
 

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Ziggernaut said:
Not to choose sides or anything, but only to offer a little clarification....

CONSENSUS
From dictionary.com: con·sen·sus      /kənˈsɛnsəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-sen-suhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -sus·es. 1. majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month. 
2. general agreement or concord; harmony. 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Origin: 1850–55; < L, equiv. to consent(īre) to be in agreement, harmony (con- con- + sentīre to feel; cf. sense) + -tus suffix of v. action]


It's easy to confuse consensus with unanimity.  They are, however, not the same. 

Maybe I'm nit-picking here, but unless you remove the nits, you won't get rid of the lice  ;D.

In Christ,
Jeff
But then, I'm not necessarily speaking of strict unanimity.  Even based on the dictionary definition of consensus you just provided, if one can establish that the Fathers often disagreed with each other, that there is indeed a lack of harmony between the Fathers on certain issues, then we have established indeed that no consensus exists between the Fathers on these issues.

In addition, when we talk about building a dogmatic theology on the supposed "consensus of the Holy Fathers", as though this represents authoritatively the mind of the Holy Spirit within the Church, then unanimity (or at least near-unanimity) needs to be the standard for establishing this consensus, since the Holy Spirit cannot contradict Himself.  If a teaching is indeed that of the Holy Spirit, then He will proclaim this through ALL those indwelt by Him; disagreement between truly Spirit-filled teachers is a good indicator that the teaching is NOT from the Holy Spirit, but is rather the product of human opinion.
 
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