It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
katanikhoros said:I never once implied that Adam may or may have not existed. I just told you that reading the Genesis creation account as allegory does not negate Adam's existence. Of course Adam existed if humanity was to start anywhere than it was by him.
I never once implied that Adam may or may have not existed. I just told you that reading the Genesis creation account as allegory does not negate Adam's existence. Of course Adam existed if humanity was to start anywhere than it was by him.
CoptiCOPA said:My dear brothersI am sorry have not had the chance to read all the postings but just a few pages so I have an idea of what is being said. I feel uneasy about the theological view that is does not matter- my personal belief is that it definitely matters.It is humbling enough for God to become man in the Incarnation, but to think that this man was not created as man but evolved from animal species I personally cannot accept, besides the numerous open questions it leaves behindsuch as what was the sin that they committed. So with all due respect dear Mina, we have to agreeto disagree on the theology. On the science of mutations, Dawkins was asked a simple question about a building block- he should be able to roll off many examples. It will take me time to read through the list to investigate and I will get back to you on the mutations.Regarding the video, I know personally a Hebrew scholar and I will send it to him to see what he thinks of theidea that it is poetic- I happen to know he does not believe in evolution but I will ask him to explain why.Regarding the number of scientists who question evolution, please have a look at this site which invites scientificscholars to add their names if they doubt in the theory of evolution:http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/there are many biologists.Regarding the articles on mutations you have included I will study them and get back to you. Remember that macro-evolution is a theory not a fact. Please read the original book by Darwin 'On the Origin of Species' which is full of doubts about his ideas, and a whole chapter on the imperfections of thegeological record (Chapter 9). Even Darwin had huge doubts about this theory which remains a theory to this day.God bless.
The bird cannot fly high in the sky without wings, and your human nature cannot allow you to ascend unless you are united fully and truly with the divine nature.The human nature is sinful, impure, profane, and falls short of everything, but if it unites with God, it will be sanctified and can be raised above its ego. It can be holy and not submissive to the malicious targets.
My beloved in the Lord
Thank you for waiting for me. Aftertwo weeks holiday we came back to no hot water and a broken PC, but thank Godeverything is back to normal now. I have had a chance to read through thisthread from the beginning and have much to say to you. As I said, by God’sgrace, I will answer the points raised since I joined the discussion, so at theend of this post I have listed them, so that if you would like to amendanything, please just let me know.
Before that I would like to clarify whathas been said about Saint Athanasius the Apostolic’s ‘On the Incarnation of theWord’ earlier on in this thread. I had a copy which I took with me on holiday.When you read from the beginning you will learn three things that SaintAthanasius was very clear about. He
1. Expressly refuted the man-made versions of creation stories of his day, starting with the Eipicurean theory which is in essence the theory of evolution, followed by the Platonic and Gnostic notions. He refutes all three theories.
2. Upholds the Scripture version of the creation as the only divine truth
3. Confirms that death entered the world as a consequence of the Fall
The passage that has been quoted earlier on in this thread is from chapter one "Creation and the Fall" section 3. But what does Saint Athanasius say in section 2? He says:
1. St Athanasius Refutes the Evolutionary Theory of His Time
“In regard to the making of the universe and the creation of allthings there have been various opinions, and each person has propounded thetheory that suited his own taste. For instance, some say that all things areself originated and, so to speak, haphazard. The Epicureans are among these;they deny that there is any Mind behind the universe at all. This view iscontrary to all the facts of experience, their own existence included. For ifall things had come into being in this automatic fashion, instead of being theoutcome of Mind, though they existed, they would all be uniform and withoutdistinction. In the universe everything would be sun or moon or whatever it was,and in the human body the whole would be hand or eye or foot. But in point offact the sun and the moon and the earth are all different things, and evenwithin the human body there are different members, such as foot and hand andhead. This distinctness of things argues not a spontaneous generation but aprevenient Cause; and from that Cause we can apprehend God, the Designer andMaker of all.
Others take the view expressed by Plato...
Then, again, there is the theory of the Gnostics..."
Immediately after refuting each one of these three philosophies of the originof life, he goes on to say at the beginning of part 3:
“Such are the notions which men putforward. But the impiety of their foolish talk is plainly declared by thedivine teaching of the Christian faith. From it we know that, because there isMind behind the universe, it did not originate itself…”
2. St Athanasius Upholds the Scriptural Account
He calls it the “divine teaching of the Christian faith”; it is not man’s teaching, butGod’s, it is divine and therefore above every foolish notion of man. In theparagraph below and elsewhere he refers to the literal account.
3. St Athanasius Confirms that Death was a Consequence of the Fall
The continuation of part three has already been quoted earlier on May 22:
“For God is good—or rather, of all goodness He is Fountainhead,and it is impossible for one who is good to be mean or grudging about anything.Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing throughHis own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ and of all these His earthly creatures Hereserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them,therefore, upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked—namely theimpress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very WordHimself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable andexpressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree they mightcontinue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise.But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that Hehad given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a lawand a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition.If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their originalinnocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain orcare, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and becamevile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and liveno longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and incorruption. This is what Holy Scripture tells us, proclaiming the commandof God, "Of every tree that is in the garden thou shalt surely eat, but ofthe tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but inthe day that ye do eat, ye shall surely die." (Gen. 2.16) ‘Yeshall surely die’-not just die only, but remain in the state of death and ofcorruption"
The claim has been made that this account says that man would "revert back to the natural law of death". However, Saint Athanasius did
not say that man would "revert back" but he said that man would "come under the natural law of death", which means that they had
not been under it before.
SaintAthanasius also maintains that death came after the Fall in the same chapter 1:
“For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), andhad willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, havingturned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had comeinevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in whichGod had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, anddeath had them completely under its dominion”.
“as also Wisdom says "God created man for incorruption and asan image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death entered into theworld." (Wisdom 2. 23) When this happened, men began to die,and corruption ran riot among them and held sway over them to an even more thannatural degree, because it was the penalty of which God had forewarned them fortransgressing the commandment”.
We note that Saint Athanasius quotes Wisdom, "by envy of the devil death entered into the world", as does Saint Basil in his Divine Liturgy. Therefore, both these saints uphold the teaching that death entered the world as a consequence of sin.
Allegorical or Metaphorical?
Regarding theChurch Fathers interpretation of Scripture, we must discern whether theircontemplations were allegorical or metaphorical. In the metaphorical way ofcontemplation the literality of the account is not being denied at all. On thecontrary, it is upheld, but in order to extract spiritual lessons from it,literal things may be taken to symbolize other things. For example when we saythat the censer is the Virgin, we are not denying that the censor is a realcensor. I remember listening to a sermon of His Holiness Pope Shenouda inArabic, I think it was about anger, in which he mentioned that the Fathersoften used the ‘metaphorical way’ of interpreting the Bible (saying‘metaphorical’ in English).
Saint Basil the Great Rejects Allegorisation
In Saint Basil’s Hexaemeron (homily on the six days ofcreation), Part 9, he says the following: