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Theistic Evolution ~ is it compatible with orthodox teaching & doctrine? .

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by ProScribe, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    St. Symeon the New Theologian, [FONT=&quot]\Quoted in Kontoglou, Pege Zoes, “Fount of Life,” 1951, p. 82[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]He who thinks that because he has been disciplined in secular wisdom he knows everything will never succeed in beholding the mysteries of God, until he first wills to humble himself and become a “fool,” divesting himself both of his pride and of the knowledge which he has acquired. For he who does this, and follows with unhesitating faith those who are wise in things divine, and is guided by them, comes together with them to the city of the living God. And led and illumined by the Holy Spirit he sees and is taught those things which no other man can behold and learn. And then he becomes one taught by God [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
     
  2. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    Sorry, Sphinx, I view Aquinas more as being a high heretic than as being "the angelic doctor."
     
  3. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    I don't know - I have never heard any complains of Thomas being a prideful or vain man, or unspiritual, or lacking faith. So this quote seems somehow inappropriate to me.
     
  4. JohntheTheologian

    JohntheTheologian Newbie

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    I feel I ought to leap to Brother Thomas's defence! He had a mystical experience towards the end of his life, leading him to acknowledge that all he had written was 'as straw', i.e. could never adequately describe the God of faith and mystery. I think he saw his Theology as a fruitful discourse which enabled a deepening of faith, but which could never fully contain the transcendent mystery of God. That is, he recognised, as a good Christian theologian should, that faced with the experience of the Most High, that our ultimate goal is not to understand God, but to know Him.

    With this in mind, I think we can forgive him his metaphysical nitpicking.

    (Indeed, his metaphysical nitpicking comes in very handy when discussing evolution, which I will finish discussing this afternoon!)
     
  5. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    His metaphysical nitpicking runs contrary to the Orthodox tendency to leave things to mystery that are not required for salvation.
     
  6. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    oh sorry, that quote wasnt in reference to Aquinas at all, that was just for the discussion on evolution
     
  7. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    oops, sorry!
     
  8. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    no prob bob!
     
  9. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

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    Alright, below is your question and my answer to it:

    To spell it out:

    1.) We "are informed by their insights and attitudes". If they "served everything on a plate" and "spelled out literally, word by word", this would be entirely moot.

    2.) "Every single conclusion is not held to dogmatically" would not be true if they "served everything on a plate" and "spelled out literally, word by word".

    3.) If they "served everything on a plate" and "spelled out literally, word by word", then my statement that "consensus does not mean 100% agreement" would be clearly false.

    4.) Finally, if they "served everything on a plate" and "spelled out literally, word by word", then understanding and following what they say would be mechanical than organic.

    I hope that makes it more clear for you.

    I do feel the need to mention though, that nothing I (or anyone here) has said should lead one to logically conclude that we are suggesting something so silly as verbal plenary inspiration.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  10. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    daaaang there Proto, i think some chillaxin' is in order!
     
  11. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

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    Thanks Jack! You are right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    the 6 days of Creation were also outside of a living memory until Moses wrote it down

    yeah, but it seems that these creatures were only around for the sole purpose of being bred out by humans. nothing catastrophic took them away, but their ultimate extinction is actually a part of God's plan for redemption. I cannot believe in a God that would will the ultimate destruction of anything He creates.

    no, people are not animals according to our teaching. humans are the only beings that exist in the spiritual world and the physical world at the same time, and we are the only creatures that can partake of God's Divine Nature. we are creatures to be sure, but never have been animals.
     
  13. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    ArmyMatt,

    how would you define an animal?
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    a creature created by God that exists only in the material world and cannot partake of God's Divine Nature.
     
  15. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    Well, that would preclude people for sure.

    But a more usual definition would be a living thing that has voluntary movement.
     
  16. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    and that's fine, if that is the angle you are coming from/how you see the world. but, by that definition, angels are animals because they are living things that have voluntary movement
     
  17. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    No, because they don't have bodies. I guess I should have put that in my definition - biology types don't generally worry about anything without a body. I can just see trying to put that into the mix in a lab.:doh:
     
  18. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    and that's fine for biology types, until you come on to a theology forum where stuff that is bodliess and supernatural is discussed, like our origins.
     
  19. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    i still dont understand how the differentiation between man and animal means that animals are not meant to be incorrupt ...

    St. Symeon the New Theologian is one of the most exalted mystics of the Orthodox Church. He says:

    [FONT=&quot]Ethical Discourses 1.1[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]God did not, as some people think, just give Paradise to our ancestors at the beginning, nor did He make only Paradise incorruptible. No! Instead, He did much more. Before Paradise He made the whole earth, the one which we inhabit, and everything in it. Nor that alone, but He also in five days brought the heavens and all they contain into being. On the sixth day He made Adam and established him as lord and king of all the visible creation. Neither Eve nor Paradise were yet created, but the whole world had been brought into being by God as one thing, as a kind of paradise, at once incorruptible yet material and perceptible. It was this world, as we said, which was given to Adam and to his descendants for their enjoyment. Does this seem strange to you? It should not. Pay attention to our argument, and it will show you clearly how this is so from the holy Scripture. It is written there: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void.” Next, the remaining creative works of God are given in exact detail, and then, after “there was evening and morning the fifth day, “ Scripture adds: “Then God said, “Let us make man after our image, in our likeness . . . male and female He created them [1:26-27]. Male and female, it says, not as though Eve had already come into being, but instead as she was still in Adam’s side, co-existing with him.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]1.1[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So, if even transgressing his commandment and being condemned to live and to die we men have grown to so great a multitude, imagine how many we might have been if there were no death: everyone who has been born from the creation of the world until now still alive, and what sort of life and way of living we might have had if we had been preserved incorruptible and immortal in an uncorrupted world, going through life without sin or sorrow, free of cares and troubles.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Ethical Discourses[/FONT][FONT=&quot] 1.2 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Adam was created with an incorruptible body, though one which was material and on the whole not yet spiritual, and was established by God the Creator as the immortal king of an incorrupt world, and I mean by the latter everything under heaven and not just Paradise … [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Ethical Discourses 1.5 [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]You see then that not unreasonably do we say that all the creation was also incorrupt from the beginning, and was furnished by God after the order of Paradise, but was cursed with corruption and led into bondage when it was subjected to the futility of men (cf. Rom. 8:20-21). St. Symeon the New Theologian, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]On the Mystical Life vol. 1, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]pg. 35[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It was not fitting that men’s bodies should be restored and made incorruptible before the renewal of all creation. Instead, just as the created world was first brought into existence as inccorupt, and then later, man, so again it is creation which must be first transformed from corruption into incorruption.[/FONT]


    for Orthodoxy the fall of man has much broader effects than it does in western traditions - it is in fact the fall of the entire cosmos. everything we see around us today is the result of this cosmic fall from Paradise, not of an endless chain of progression.
     
  20. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

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    Which only increases the chance of offspring being affected by deleterious effects... At least with the closest of relatives.

    Given the model I've suggested as a possibility, the proto-ancestors would have held the genetic capacity for all of the diversity we see today... Similarly to how the Wolf holds all of the genetic diversity that led to Chihuahuas and English Mastiffs. Referencing back to my earlier post... Like began mating with like, thereby dividing the characteristics over time.

    I don't recall Scripture or any Father mentioning Cain "wandering in the mountians" or of him "finding" his wife there. Perhaps I have missed something?

    Isn't that's kind of what we've been discussing? You seem to be assuming your conclusion here. I would suggest that absolutely they would have known they were siblings, however and whenever they met.

    You and Michael threw out questions, and we offered possibilities. No one is suggesting "creation science" as a way of actually approaching the text or the faith... We were only answering your questions with possible explanations, of how the Father's exposting of Genesis 1-3 could be understood and believed in a modern context. I don't think any of us are attempting to suggest that any one of our harmonizations are hard-and fast fact. Absolutely, when it comes to the faith, leaving the details up to God is the best course. But when the consensus of the Holy Fathers is being questioned, the faithful will explore and discuss the issues.
     
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