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Moved from the SBC thread - Orthodoxy and evolution and stuff

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  • Moved from the SBC thread - Orthodoxy and evolution and stuff

    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

    The "Seven Deadly Words of the Church" come to mind ---- "We've Never Done It That Way Before".

    It would require a change to the constitution, and since we only meet 3 days a year, once a year, that's really a long shot.
    Pfft. Y'all ain't got nothin' on Orthodoxy.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
    sigpic
    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  • #2
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Pfft. Y'all ain't got nothin' on Orthodoxy.
    Laughing --- somehow, I don't even want to ask!
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

      Laughing --- somehow, I don't even want to ask!
      One of the variants of the Joke goes like this: "How many Eastern Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?"
      answer: "What is this "Change" of which you speak of?"
      "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

      "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        Pfft. Y'all ain't got nothin' on Orthodoxy.
        Where tradition is carved in stone, cast in steel and rabidly protected.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          Where tradition is carved in stone, cast in steel and rabidly protected.
          Not merely that; the last Pan-Orthodox Council was in 1923, and the one before that was in 1351, IIRC. There was an attempt to convene one in 2016, but a number of jurisdictions chose to stay away.

          ...and even if the council agrees on something, the laity have to buy in on the agreement.
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            Pfft. Y'all ain't got nothin' on Orthodoxy.
            I don't know much about that branch, butt I do recall serious concerns about anything "novel."
            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

            Beige Federalist.

            Nationalist Christian.

            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

            Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

            Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

            Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

            Justice for Matthew Perna!

            Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

              I don't know much about that branch, butt I do recall serious concerns about anything "novel."
              Like evolution?
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                Like evolution?
                FWIU, the Eastern Orthodox Church holds no official position regarding evolution, so you have many who accept it and many who don't.

                Some even come up with novel approaches, while Sergei Khudiev, for instance, has a perspective very similar to that expressed by Augustine, but different a different approach

                Personally I find it inconsistent to refer to the Holy Fathers, rejecting the theory of evolution, but for all that to accept the Holy Fathers, who, like all educated people of their time accepted Ptolemaic conceptions, and geocentrism. In fact, if we take the Holy Fathers as instructors in the natural sciences, then honesty and consistency demands us to accept the whole of patristic cosmology and biology—without exception. But if we accept that the Holy Spirit inspired the Fathers (as also the biblical authors) on the path of salvation, but not in the rotation of planets or the formation of species, then we won’t mistakes apples for oranges, and scientific theories for heresies.



                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                  FWIU, the Eastern Orthodox Church holds no official position regarding evolution, so you have many who accept it and many who don't.

                  Some even come up with novel approaches, while Sergei Khudiev, for instance, has a perspective very similar to that expressed by Augustine, but different a different approach

                  Personally I find it inconsistent to refer to the Holy Fathers, rejecting the theory of evolution, but for all that to accept the Holy Fathers, who, like all educated people of their time accepted Ptolemaic conceptions, and geocentrism. In fact, if we take the Holy Fathers as instructors in the natural sciences, then honesty and consistency demands us to accept the whole of patristic cosmology and biology—without exception. But if we accept that the Holy Spirit inspired the Fathers (as also the biblical authors) on the path of salvation, but not in the rotation of planets or the formation of species, then we won’t mistakes apples for oranges, and scientific theories for heresies.

                  Actually the oft quoted by St. Augustine concerning science is misleading. In reality he endorsed the Biblical Creation account. The current doctrines and beliefs of Christianity, and the views of the Apostles is based on at least a roughly literal understanding of the Creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall and the flood.
                  Last edited by shunyadragon; 11-19-2022, 01:53 PM.
                  Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                  Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                  But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                  go with the flow the river knows . . .

                  Frank

                  I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                    Actually the oft quoted by St. Augustine concerning science is misleading. In reality he endorsed the Biblical Creation account. The current doctrines and beliefs of Christianity, and the views of the Apostles is based on at least a roughly literal understanding of the Creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall and the flood.
                    To cut to the chase, and answer most foreseeable questions, I'm simply going to repost something I wrote nearly seven years ago in another forum when a poster asked me "Didn't Augustine believe that Creation took place about 6000 years before his time? Do you agree with him?" and about Augustine's approach in general:

                    An interesting question. Let's take a look at what he did say about the age of the earth, how long the creation took and a few other things, shall we?:

                    In his De Civitate Dei ("City of God"), Augustine seems to say that he thinks that the world is only a few thousand years old. He writes:

                    Unbelievers are also deceived by false documents which ascribe to history many thousand years, although we can calculate from Sacred Scripture that not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man.


                    And chapter 10 is even entitled "Of the Falseness of the History Which Allots Many Thousand Years to the World’s Past."

                    So, at first glance, Augustine did appear to believe that the earth was young.

                    Now, OTOH, that is not all there is to YEC dogma and he didn't think the creation took place over six consecutive 24 hour long days. This means that many modern YECs would have kicked him out of their group and most likely doubted that he was a Christian.

                    Augustine believed that the original creation happened in an instant of time. This can be seen in his De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim ("The Literal Meaning of Genesis"):

                    Thus, in all the days of creation there is one day, and it is not to be taken in the sense of our day, which we reckon by the course of the sun; but it must have another meaning, applicable to the three days mentioned before the creation of the heavenly bodies.


                    And expanded upon in the aforementioned "City of God":

                    But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!


                    Even AnswersinGenesis (AiG) admits that Augustine thought that everything was created simultaneously and not over the course of six literal 24 hour long days. And another supporter of the literal six day creation, Martin Luther, even remarked in his lectures on Genesis in 1535 that:

                    Hilary and Augustine, almost the two greatest lights of the church, hold that the world was created instantaneously and all at the same time, not successively in the course of six days.


                    Moreover, and very importantly, in "City of God" while Augustine does indeed say that "not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man" he also quite clearly states that:

                    I own that I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created, yet I have no doubt that no created thing is co-eternal with the Creator.


                    So this definitely leaves room for an old earth but a young human race. And of course nobody is claiming that that the earth is eternal.

                    One other thing to consider is that Augustine in his Confessiones ("Confessions") castigates Manichæus (the founder of Manichaeism) and some of his followers (particularly one of their bishops Faustus of Mileve) for "impudently dar[ing] to teach" on things he knew nothing about and their utter ignorance of scientific matters saying

                    For their books are full of lengthy fables concerning the heaven and stars, the sun and moon, and I had ceased to think him able to decide in a satisfactory manner what I ardently desired—whether, on comparing these things with the calculations I had read elsewhere, the explanations contained in the works of Manichæus were preferable, or at any rate equally sound? But when I proposed that these subjects should be deliberated upon and reasoned out, he very modestly did not dare to endure the burden. For he was aware that he had no knowledge of these things, and was not ashamed to confess it.


                    It was for these reasons that Augustine ended up abandoning Manichaeism and embracing Christianity.

                    This all suggests that if Augustine was exposed to the scientific evidence in support of things like evolution it is extremely likely that he wouldn't have rejected it (abandoning his young earth views and embracing either Old Earth Creationism or Theistic Evolutionism/Evolutionary Creationism). And although this, I admit, is conjecture on my part, it is supported by what he has said including what he wrote in what I already quoted in the post that you're responding to (which I'll re-post here)

                    "Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.

                    Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

                    The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

                    If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

                    Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although "they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."


                    This sentiment is expressed elsewhere in different ways by Augustine. Again in "The Literal Meaning of Genesis":

                    With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation.



                    In Contra Felicem Manichaeum ("Reply to Faustus the Manichaean"):

                    In the Gospel we do not read that the Lord said: I send you the Holy Spirit so that He might teach you all about the course of the sun and the moon. The Lord wanted to make Christians, not astronomers. You learn at school all the useful things you need to know about nature. It is true that Christ said that the Holy Spirit will come to lead us into all truth, but He is not speaking there about the course of the sun and the moon. If you think that knowledge about these things belongs to the truth that Christ promised through the Holy Spirit, then I ask you: how many stars are there? I say that such things do not belong to Christian teaching...whereas you affirm that this teaching includes knowledge about how the world was made and what takes place in the world.



                    In his De doctrina christiana ("On Christian Doctrine"):

                    At the outset, you must be very careful lest you take figurative expression literally. What the apostle says pertains to this problem: "for the letter killeth, but the spirit quikeneth." That is, when that which is said figuratively is taken as though it were literal, it is understood carnally [carnalia]. Nor can anything more appropriately be called the death of the soul than that condition in which the thing which distinguishes us from beasts, which is understanding, is subjected to the flesh in the passing of the letter [hoc est, intelligentia carni subjicitur sequndo litteram]


                    Now obviously Augustine never explicitly used the word "evolution" in the biological sense but for those who have an actual functioning brain, what Augustine did say, such as in his De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim ("The Literal Meaning of Genesis"), was that the first two chapters of Genesis are written to suit the understanding of the people at that time and that God created the world with the capacity to develop, a view that is harmonious with biological evolution.

                    Augustine did not see God's creative action as being limited to the primeval act of origination but rather held that God is still working within the world, directing its continuing development and unfolding its potential (John 5:17). This means that there are actually two "moments" in the Creation -- a initial act of origination as well as a continuing process of providential guidance. IOW, creation is not just some completed past event. Instead, as Augustine explains, God is working even now sustaining and directing the unfolding of the "generations that he laid up in creation when it was first established."

                    Like several other of the early Church Fathers, Augustine notes how the creation account speaks of the earth and the waters "bringing forth" living creatures and concluded that this pointed to God's endowing the natural order with a capacity to generate living things. Further, Augustine argues that Genesis 1:12 implies that the earth received the power or capacity to produce things by itself: "Scripture has stated that the earth brought forth the crops and the trees causally, in the sense that it received the power of bringing them forth."

                    Further in De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim Augustine speaks of "seeds" being created from which forms appeared subsequent to the period of creation ("primordial seeds, whence all flesh and all vegetation are brought forth") and continues later in the same work with his seed analogy:

                    "In the seed, then, there was invisibly present all that all that would develop in time to a tree. And in this same way we must picture the world, when God made all things together, as having had all things together, as having had all things together which were made in it and with it when day was made. This includes not only heaven with sun, moon, and stars ... but it includes also the beings which water and earth produced in potency and in their causes before they came forth in the course of time."


                    This process of development, Augustine stated, is governed by fundamental laws, which reflect the will of their Creator: "God has established fixed laws governing the production of kinds and qualities of beings, and bringing them out of concealment into full view."

                    Now I need to point out that while Augustine thought that animals gradually assumed their present form, and were originally in the ground as a "potential" form of animal that did not exist -- he didn't think that entirely new genus could develop as a whole.

                    So while Augustine's view was not exactly the same as Charles Darwin’s, it was nevertheless still a form of theistic
                    evolution.



                    As a final comment, no, I do not agree with everything that Augustine ever wrote (some of his notions were rather odd especially to modern readers) but he is often a great source for sound advice for Christians.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      To cut to the chase, and answer most foreseeable questions, I'm simply going to repost something I wrote nearly seven years ago in another forum when a poster asked me "Didn't Augustine believe that Creation took place about 6000 years before his time? Do you agree with him?" and about Augustine's approach in general:

                      Nice long winded post that yes I agree with the references with qualifications, but nonetheless St Augustine believed in a Biblical time scale for Creation, and he is oft selectively misquoted concerning his view of science and scriptures.. Of course there is no reference to 'evolution; at the time. The closest thing at this period in history would the poetry of Lucretius.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                        Nice long winded post that yes I agree with the references with qualifications, but nonetheless St Augustine believed in a Biblical time scale for Creation, and he is oft selectively misquoted concerning his view of science and scriptures.. Of course there is no reference to 'evolution; at the time. The closest thing at this period in history would the poetry of Lucretius.
                        Define what you mean by "Biblical time scale for Creation" given that he obviously leaves room for an old earth?

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          Define what you mean by "Biblical time scale for Creation" given that he obviously leaves room for an old earth?
                          'Leaves room?' How vague! He specifically stated he believed in a Biblical young earth and Biblical Creation.

                          There was no scientific evidence for evolution at the time of St. Augustine, and he never acknowledged this. The 'philosophy' of Lucretius is the closest to any concept of evolution.
                          Last edited by shunyadragon; 11-20-2022, 10:41 AM.
                          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                          go with the flow the river knows . . .

                          Frank

                          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                            'Leaves room?' How vague! He specifically stated he believed in a Biblical young earth and Biblical Creation.

                            There was no scientific evidence for evolution at the time of St. Augustine, and he never acknowledged this. The 'philosophy' of Lucretius is the closest to any concept of evolution.
                            Again, what do you mean by "Biblical time scale for Creation" particularly given the following

                            Moreover, and very importantly, in "City of God" while Augustine does indeed say that "not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man" he also quite clearly states that:

                            I own that I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created, yet I have no doubt that no created thing is co-eternal with the Creator.


                            So this definitely leaves room for an old earth but a young human race. And of course nobody is claiming that that the earth is eternal.


                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                              Again, what do you mean by "Biblical time scale for Creation" particularly given the following

                              Moreover, and very importantly, in "City of God" while Augustine does indeed say that "not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man" he also quite clearly states that:

                              I own that I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created, yet I have no doubt that no created thing is co-eternal with the Creator.


                              So this definitely leaves room for an old earth but a young human race. And of course nobody is claiming that that the earth is eternal.
                              No, 'Leaves room' id too vague. St. Augustine made specific statements he supported a Biblical young earth. His statement concerning science did not refer to Biblical beliefs in Creation.
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment

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