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

AlexanderOfBergamo

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Nebelpfade said:
GammaRay said:
There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
True how?

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
What a painfully anthropocentric view of the cosmos.
If it were really that anthropocentric, I would have placed aliens among animals, and thus not worthy of life eternal. Was God judeo-centric for choosing Abraham's descendance to bless all humankind? Similarly, He might have chosen to incarnate on Earth and bless all the world(s). I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do the same with aliens, if they ever existed, I mean we should spread the Gospel to them too. And maybe, they could have received some kind of temporary instruction and salvation as the Jews had. Sincerely, that's not just sci-fi... that's pure imagination, so consider this as a "sci-fi theological experiment", so let's get back to the OT!
 

deusveritasest

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
To deusveritasest:
It was the seventh anathema against Origen:

"If anyone shall say that Christ, of whom it is said that he appeared in the form of God, and that he was united before all time with God the Word, and humbled himself in these last days even to humanity, had (according to their expression) pity upon the divers falls which had appeared in the spirits united in the same unity (of which he himself is part), and that to 319restore them he passed through divers classes, had different bodies and different names, became all to all, an Angel among Angels, a Power among Powers, has clothed himself in the different classes of reasonable beings with a form corresponding to that class, and finally has taken flesh and blood like ours and is become man for men; [if anyone says all this] and does not profess that God the Word humbled himself and became man:  let him be anathema."
Thus, should you find out that aliens actually exist, would you lose your faith entirely?
I think that, if aliens actually exist, they should be the next to be preached the Gospel. Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
Huh? Where are you getting these ideas? The anathema simply indicates that it is heretical to believe that the Logos became anything other than a human. It has nothing to do other beings (sentient or not) outside of Earth exist or not. I would have no problem if they did. And yes, if they appear to be noetic, I think the Gospel should be preached to them.
 

deusveritasest

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ignatius said:
88Devin12 said:
ignatius said:
88Devin12 said:
I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but you are being very critical, look at the Nicene Creed, that is what we MUST believe. Almost anything else is pretty much up to debate since it won't affect our salvation...
So are you saying that individuals who don't believe in the Nicene Creed are damned? What do you mean by 'it won't affect our salvation...'
I don't think I said that at all... But if you don't believe the Nicene Creed, you cannot be a Christian and certainly cannot be Orthodox. It is up to God who is saved and who is damned.
So you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?
 

deusveritasest

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Nebelpfade said:
GammaRay said:
There's not a single contradiction with the current scientific consensus and Genesis, so you can even take it to be true (but NOT literal).
True how?
What are you asking? How it is true that modern science is not in conflict with Genesis?

Nebelpfade said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Indeed, there's no reason why we should exclude the possibility they might have had prophets themselves, preparing aliens to meet us, the true children of God!

In Christ,    Alex
What a painfully anthropocentric view of the cosmos.
It has more to do with where Christ and the Church came than with humanity itself.
 

ignatius

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deusveritasest said:
ignatius said:
you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?
You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  :)
 

deusveritasest

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ignatius said:
deusveritasest said:
ignatius said:
you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?
You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  :)
*facepalm*

The church I went to this past Sunday was azymite, thanks.
 

Friul

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deusveritasest said:
What are you asking? How it is true that modern science is not in conflict with Genesis?
I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?

It has more to do with where Christ and the Church came than with humanity itself.
What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".
 

deusveritasest

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Nebelpfade said:
I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?
Did he say he was referring to a non-allegorical interpretation? All I saw was a reference to it being non-literal.

Nebelpfade said:
What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".
Like I showed, the 7th Anathema against Origen from Constantinople II condemns the idea that the Word became anything other than human.
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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deusveritasest said:
Nebelpfade said:
I was wondering what this 'true', non-allegorical and non-literal understanding was (which also happens to not conflict with modern science)?
Did he say he was referring to a non-allegorical interpretation? All I saw was a reference to it being non-literal.

Nebelpfade said:
What if 'the Word became alien' when life on Earth hadn't even left the primordial soup and we are simply unaware?  Why wouldn't they be the "true children of God"?  Humanity as placed itself on a pedestal for quite some time now, and it is always evident in the various creation myths that have sprung up over human history.  As Dr. Sagan said "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark".
Like I showed, the 7th Anathema against Origen from Constantinople II condemns the idea that the Word became anything other than human.
I never denied the unique event of Incarnation taking place on Earth alone, so I'm with you on this point, deusveritasest.
You have asked whence I get my idea that, if aliens do exist, we should preach the Gospel to them. The answer is: because of the cosmic nature of Christ's sacrifice. If other sentient human-like beings exist out there, I can't think of humankind as the ONLY 'stupid' race preferring sin over obedience (there might be exceptions to this principle, of course... but the idea that humanity alone has fallen from grace in the entire universe sounds strange). On the contrary, I think that a noetic being has a great possibility to fall from grace. Human reason has proved to be one of the main enemies of theosis, after all we live "in the age of reason" and in one of the most atheistic worlds possible. Which doesn't mean that all reason is evil: reason is good when it is God-centered and assisted by grace. Actually, the only other example of sentient beings (i.e. angels) has also proved to be as weak as we are - except in that case only a part of that form of spiritual life has fallen from grace! I find it necessary to repeat that this is pure speculation, so it is no use to condemn each other's views. Up to now, we don't even have a proof of sentient life outside of the Solar System, so I don't see any reason why there should be some consent of the Church Fathers on the subject.
What I know for sure, is that modern theologians and saints, both in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, are far more open on the subject in our days. One case for all is (for what RCism is concerned) the words expressed privately by st. Pio of Pietralcina, who believed that non-sinning aliens live on other planets and Niccolò Cusano who confessed that "there's no star, from which we're authorized to exclude the existence of other beings, even different then us".

I hope the matter is clearer now.

In Christ,  Alex
 

GammaRay

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In my humble opinion, the central messages of Genesis are the following.
a) God has created everything,
b) Evil was not in God's initial plan.
c) It is Man's fault that we are born mortals and capable of sinning.
d) God's will is to make Man live eternally with Him in the "7th Day" (this actually represents His Rest).

That's all. Death existed outside God's Rest (7th Day) in all the world, except for some garden (Eden) in Mesopotamia. I don't know who said this first, but it was once mentioned in a topic around (credit goes to the poster, I guess?) and it seems really logical to me.
Also, wasn't it St. Athanasius who suggested that death was natural before the 6th Day?

If anyone sees any contradiction between the current scientific consensus and Genesis, (s)he should better talk about it rather than just say "There are so many contradicitons!!11one".
 

ignatius

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deusveritasest said:
ignatius said:
deusveritasest said:
ignatius said:
you don't see the Church as the Ark of Salvation... for all mankind?
Where are you coming up with these crazy questions?
You know us crazy Azymites... we come up with the craziest questions...  :)
*facepalm*

The church I went to this past Sunday was azymite, thanks.
Ouch! Egg on my face!  :p
 

Friul

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GammaRay said:
That's all. Death existed outside God's Rest (7th Day) in all the world, except for some garden (Eden) in Mesopotamia.
So, you believe that there was a literal Eden where death did not occur sometime during the history of the Earth?  And outside of that, death has been a natural occurrence?
 

88Devin12

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Death is in no way a natural occurance... I think all Orthodox would even agree to that.
 

88Devin12

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But is that the mainstream Orthodox view? A lot of what you've stated in the last conversations I've had with you haven't reflected mainstream views in Orthodoxy. Just because you "know some people" doesn't mean it's officially a mainstream view.
 

Friul

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88Devin12 said:
But is that the mainstream Orthodox view? A lot of what you've stated in the last conversations I've had with you haven't reflected mainstream views in Orthodoxy.
What exactly is the mainstream view?  Except for very specific issues, I've never met two Orthodox people who agree on anything.  :p  It was that variety of circles and thoughts that I found attractive about Orthodoxy.  It isn't monolithic.
 

Rastaman

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Actually it is probably a fairly common view amongst the laity. As surprising as it may be, the vast majority of people in the pews don't set around debating the finer points of various theological issues.
 

Friul

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Ukiemeister said:
As surprising as it may be, the vast majority of people in the pews don't set around debating the finer points of various theological issues.
I remember the first time I heard about the essence/energies distinction, the majority of my Orthodox friends had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  Just look at Roman Catholics who think the Immaculate Conception refers to the the conception of Christ.
 

Riddikulus

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This might be a case of theology and natural science speaking at cross-purposes, though. While death is a natural process observed at the present time, death isn't perfectly natural in the sense of man's potentional and purpose.

“Death is not part of God’s primary purpose for His creation. He created us, not in order that we should die, but in order that we should live. What is more, He created us as an undivided unity. In the Jewish and Christian view, the human person is to be seen in thoroughly holistic terms: we are each of us, not a soul temporarily imprisioned in a body and longing to escape, but an integrated totality that embraces soul and body together… As the separation of body and soul, death is therefore a violent affront against the wholeness of our human nature. Death may be something that awaits us all, but it at the same time profoundly abnormal. It is monstrous and tragic. Confronted by the death of those close to us and by our own death, despite all our realism we are justified in feeling also a sense of desolation, of horror and even indignation…Jesus Himself wept beside the grave of His friend, Lazarus (Jn11:35) and in Gethsemane He was filled with anguish at the prospect of His own death (Mt26:38). St Paul regards death as an “enemy to be destroyed:” (1Cor 15:26). The fact that we are all going to die is a reflection of the fact that we are all living in a fallen world – in a world that is distorted and out of joint; crazy, ecrase.
The Inner Kingdom, Bishop Kallistos (Ware).
 
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