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Similarity between man and animals after the fall


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#21 Yuri Zharikov

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 07:02 AM

That's not the impression given by Genesis 2, in which God forms the body of man, then breathes into man's nostrils to make man a living soul. The implication is that after God has formed the body of Adam, something is still missing, which means the creation of man was accomplished not merely by fiat by also through the assembly of the components of man's being (the sum total of which make up his nature).


Your impression is not correct. St. John of Damscus in the Exact Exposition of Orthodox Faith (book 2) states: Further, body and soul were formed at one and the same time, not first the one and then the other, as Origen so senselessly supposes, which is in agreement with Sts. Gregory (Theologian), Bl. Jerome, Bl. Augustin, and if I am not mistaken St. Gregory of Nyssa (could not find the piece immediately)

Whether the soul itself possesses senses is arguable. Our primary interface with the world is through the senses of the physical body. I would argue that the soul itself does not possess the elements of sensory perception. Instead, I would say that the soul has its own means of perception that we tend to translate into the elements of sense to which we are most accustomed.


When you hear a dirty word or a profanity, see an immodest image or experience something of this nature, does your body recoil and feel defiled or soul? Even when you fall into sin physically does you soul feel grieved and dirty or body?


Consider, can God been seen, heard, tasted, touched, or smelt by the senses of the body? Certainly not, for God is not in any way comparable to anything that those physical senses were designed to detect. Yet the apostles "saw" the uncreated energies of God on Mt. Tabor...but did they really see this with their eyes, or did they, being human, translate their spiritual contact with the energies of God into the physical sensation of seeing light?


This is the question of experience of God and is not relevant to the questions above. It would require a separate thread, I think. If you are genuinely interested in the topic, I would address you to the Triads of St. Gregory Palamas; he covers all this in the greatest detail providing a synthesis of all the Fathers before him.

Good night,
Yura

Edited by Yuri Zharikov, 29 February 2008 - 07:17 AM.


#22 Victor Mihailoff

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 08:41 AM

Dear M. Partyka,

The Fathers did not see the fall in such an extreme sense as you have described. If so this would have amounted to a loss of nature, which most emphatically is what they insisted that man still retained after the Fall.

After the Fall man is still man with all of his faculties- rationality, free will, etc. The difference however is that after the Fall these faculties are impaired or distorted, not that they are no longer there. Otherwise Christ's Incarnation is to no avail since we are no longer in His image.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


Dear Father Raphael:

Please forgive me for questioning a word you used. Do you not mean that we are no longer in the likeness of Christ? I seem to recall that a number of writings from the Holy fathers, some of which should be in the Philokahlia, tell of our already being in the image of Christ but that we must strive to acquire His likeness as well.

May we continue to follow the Lord, our way to salvation. Victor

#23 Victor Mihailoff

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:05 AM

First, where do you get that "animal whole is in the image of the world", and are you implying that this is somehow a bad thing? Remember, God created animals "very good" along with the world as a whole, so we shouldn't read any negative connotations into man's similarities with animals, biological and/or otherwise.

Second, "holistic" and "indivisible" are two different things. It is correct to say that human nature is both physical and spiritual, correct? Yet it is obvious that the body can be separated from the spirit. And some of the Fathers believed that our bodies were made up of the four elements -- earth, air, fire, and water -- according to the science of their day. Do you honestly think that these Fathers would have tried to make a distinction between "human fire" and "animal fire", or "human water" and "animal water"? It seems like that's the level of distinction you're trying to make.



Yes, and not only our bodies but all matter. For weren't the terms air, water, earth and fire used before the science of latter days came up with gas, liquid, solid and energy? So aren't we talking about the elements of all matter, since at the nuclear, atomic and subatomic levels of matter energy is needed to keep it all together? E=MC2 is you know who's belief in the relationship of matter with energy. But I'm getting off subject I guess. Sorry.

Glory be to the Creator of all!

#24 Victor Mihailoff

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:37 AM

Again with the "garments of skin" thing? As I've shown elsewhere, the Fathers had no problem with our being animals before the fall. The difference between the animals and mankind is not that "they were always animals, and we only became animals after the fall," but that from the beginning, the animals were irrational while the human animal alone was rational. That is, the Fathers considered animals to be at the mercy of their senses and instincts, wheras humans have rationality that (in the beginning) ruled over both. What we lost in the fall was the inherent dominance of our rationality over our senses and instincts (which we share with the animals).



Yes and interesting to note: Before the fall young Adam and Eve were of greater intelligence than any genius who came into the world since the fall. Adam was able to name all of the animals that existed then, and that number of animals included many more than exist today due to extinction, including those land animals that were too large to be carried aboard Noah's Arc. The names Adam gave them were not merely audible words, but they encompassed the whole nature and character of each animal. The names required a great intellect to come up with them.

Also, Adam was lord over all of them and only after the fall did man loose most of his God given lordship over the physical world. This lordship is demonstrated in some of the lives of saints. St Seraphim and his companion bear for one example. There was a saint who had a male lion serve him like a cattle dog or sheep dog. It took the saint's donkey by the reins to drink water every day. The saint befriended the lion when it had a thorn stuck deep in its paw and the saint fearlessly removed it. This could have been where the fairy tale of a mouse befriending a lion the same way came about. In any case, some saints have demonstrated that they have to some degree returned to a similarity of the unfallen state. Man still has dominion over animals but not anything like he did before the fall.
Glory to the Lord! Victor

#25 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 05:08 PM

Dear Father Raphael:

Please forgive me for questioning a word you used. Do you not mean that we are no longer in the likeness of Christ? I seem to recall that a number of writings from the Holy fathers, some of which should be in the Philokahlia, tell of our already being in the image of Christ but that we must strive to acquire His likeness as well.

May we continue to follow the Lord, our way to salvation. Victor


The likeness is always retained. It represents an innate capacity of man to grow in the image of Christ & towards deification.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#26 Father David Moser

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:05 PM

The likeness is always retained. It represents an innate capacity of man to grow in the image of Christ & towards deification.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


To steal a word from the modern psychologists - We have the likeness of God in us (as a potential), but we must struggle to "actualize" it (make it real) in our lives.

Fr David Moser

#27 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:11 PM

Dear all,

It may also be helpful to note that the 'image of God' in most early patristic sources is directly related, not to the fabric of man as either body, soul or both, but to humanity's creation into a life of participation in the Father, just as the Son (whom the fathers are fairly universal in declaring is the one after whose image man is created) is himself the true Image of the Father. So man being 'after the image' is far less about the technical / natural composition of the being (in which he is much like many other creatures), and far more about the participatorial life of union in the Trinity.

INXC, Fr Dcn Matthew

#28 Victor Mihailoff

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:08 AM

Dear all,

It may also be helpful to note that the 'image of God' in most early patristic sources is directly related, not to the fabric of man as either body, soul or both, but to humanity's creation into a life of participation in the Father, just as the Son (whom the fathers are fairly universal in declaring is the one after whose image man is created) is himself the true Image of the Father. So man being 'after the image' is far less about the technical / natural composition of the being (in which he is much like many other creatures), and far more about the participatorial life of union in the Trinity.

INXC, Fr Dcn Matthew


Precisely! Also, man has free will as does his Creator. As far as free will goes, God could have chosen to be evil instead of good. People say that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But I never agreed with that because only God has absolute power and He is absolutely incorrupt and good. God has free will to choose good or evil but due to His nature and endowments He would never choose evil.

Want for what one does not have encourages desire for evil activity. God lacks nothing and does not need to transgress anything to acquire anything. Satan lacked supremecy and this encouraged jealousy and envy which then led to evil activity. When satan saw Adam in a position above all other creation, he cecame yet again, jealous and from that moment on he chose to do evil against mankind.

But even if God could lack something, the entire essence of God is GOOD. God is the Creator. Evil is destructive. If God was destructive instead of creative, what would He destroy? If no one is creating, there is nothing to destroy.

Animals, on the other hand are for the most part governed by instincts and environment. They will kill for food, they will mate when instinct sets their biological clock into motion but man can mate at any time without the need for being "in heat" or in the season.

Man can over eat and be choosy about foods and he can also fast to be closer to His Creator. Man can kill for the acquisition of many objects of passion. Man can choose what is contrary to his physical yearnings as when he abstains from what his body desires by fulfilling what his soul requires for salvation.

God is one, consisting of three devine persons. He is our Creator. The Church is one, consisting of millions or billions of persons. We are God's creatures.
On Christ's path. victor

#29 M. Partyka

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 05:27 PM

When you hear a dirty word or a profanity, see an immodest image or experience something of this nature, does your body recoil and feel defiled or soul? Even when you fall into sin physically does you soul feel grieved and dirty or body?

I don't know...sometimes it's a mix; sometimes the grief of my soul translates into physical sensations.

This is the question of experience of God and is not relevant to the questions above.

I would think this is perfectly relevant, because it pertains to how the soul "senses" anything. Does it do so in a physical way, or does it sense in a way all its own?

Edited by M. Partyka, 03 March 2008 - 07:01 PM.


#30 Ray Kaliss

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 02:36 AM

"
Here's how it is laid out philosophically:

Divine Nous
Psyche -- Noetic
Psyche -- Passions
Animal Nature
Vegetative Nature
Inorganic Nature
Apeiron -- Depth

As for the person, the Fathers follow St. Paul's schema, which in turn is Platonic -- that man is a composite of somatic body and spiritual body, comprising intellect, passion and will. There is no such thing as human apart from participation in the Divine Nous. I am not talking about belief in God here, nor are the Fathers. Participation in Divine Nous may just as easily, in fact more often, be characterized by rebellion. Bodily existence does not define the human.


Dear Owen ...

I have been noticing your posts. I am impressed. You have really done your homework.

I am not familar with Apeiron .. am I correct to assume it represents that from which the elements are formed ... and so in your list I assume it represents the basic elements ... ? (earth. fire, water, air)

The schema I believe you are looking for is this ..

Person: {INTELLECT / will / memory}
Psyche: {intellect, WILL, memory}
Soma: {intellect, will, MEMORY}

Where it is bold it indicates this function is predominate in that nature.

This is the schema which is used to structure the narrations of Genesis where adam personifies intellect (or as we say today Person), the woman personifies psychological mind, and the off-spring personify the persistence of habits of body nature. (refer to Agustine, Moses Maimonides, Philo, and Origen)

I hope this helps.

-ray

#31 Owen Jones

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 01:30 PM

The apeiron was never defined precisely, and it has generally (e.g. by Aristotle and Augustine) been understood as a sort of primal chaos. It embraced the opposites of hot and cold, wet and dry, and directed the movement of things, by which there grew up all of the host of shapes and differences which are found in the world.[1][2]

The point is that there is a difference between foundation and formation. The Apeiron does not from intellect. But intellect, or nous, has a foundation. Formation comes from above. Foundation comes from below.

This is the problem with evolutionary theory: it claims that mind can be adequately explained by the combining of foundational "elements," and requires no formational principals.

#32 Ray Kaliss

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:50 AM

This is the problem with evolutionary theory: it claims that mind can be adequately explained by the combining of foundational "elements," and requires no formational principals.


I am no expert on Darwin .. but I tend to agree with you. This reminds me of a ditty of Socrates ... (paraphrased) where Socrates argues that the artistic genius of a master musician is not the product of the quality of his instrument. The instrument does not play the musician - the musician plays the instrument.

Certainly there is 'something' to .. evolution. We witness things evolve. Generate. Unfold. Change in a non-chaotic way.

But I am not sure exactly what Darwin's own claims were. I have never read him myself .. and I do note that it is often the case that those who follow often corrupt (through misunderstanding) what the master had left behind. So there could be a difference between how Darwin saw things and how Darwinism sees Darwin.

But might I submit that many a Christian falls into troubles trying to reconcile Darwinism with the account in Genesis - for two main reasons.

1) A misunderstanding of what Providence is and how it works.

2) Assuming the narrations of Genesis to be a type of literal history - and it is not. It is a cosmogony (Tertillian, Augustine, Irenaeus and other fathers).

"There is then no doubt, that if the angels are included in the works of God during these six days, they are that light which is called day; and their unity is stressed by the fact that the day is called not 'the first day'; but one day; Nor are the second and third, and so on really days. They are all the same one day repeated to complete the number six or sevenfold, namely, the six-fold knowledge of the works of God and the seventh knowledge of His rest"

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XI, Chapter 9

- - - - -

The mistake with understanding the workings of Providence is to assume that it works like a clock. The universe is created (wound up and set into motion) to tick-tocks its way to its inevitable result - and God only intercedes on rare occasions. This assume God to be a master clock maker. Providence therefore .. in our lives .. seems to be these rare moments when God decides to interrupt the gears (laws of nature) to perform a miracle or two.

Without a doubt .. the above is what seems to be our human experience. The witness of scriptures (economy) often comes from this view. But it is a faulty understanding of how Providence works. We can call it a Newtonian view of the world and God in as much as the Roman Catholic church essentially adopted this view in the Middle Ages. I do note that RC mystical theology maintains the tradition and classical view of Providence as expressed by the Doctors. Driving a split between current governmental theology and its own mystical theology which still agrees with Eastern mystical theology.

As regards the narrations of Genesis (a particular study of mine) ... they are a cosmogony in ennead form .. and must be read as a cosmogony, not a history, not fables. It is the national epic of the nation of Israel ... and a form of philosophy with its own language (images) arranged into what is essentially - a mystery play for the mind. One must know the style of literature to read it well and attempt to find echoes of Judeo-Christian beliefs in it. It is what the Greeks called a 'procession of creation' and as such it is a generative unfolding of a single principle (a triad) six times. In other words the narrations are cyclical (repeating a logos) as well as progressive (refer to my quote of Augustine above). The stories are arranged in the pattern (schema) that I gave you in my last post.

All this is to say that anyone looking to reconcile a big-bang like start of the universe .. with the narrations of Genesis .. is barking up the wrong tree. But of course not all of the early fathers were barking up the right tree either.

I tend to stick to those who were formed by the school of Alexandria.


I have to run to work now :) I do hope this week is better than last week :(

Peace to your church
-ray

Now I am at lunch and have a few minutes more to yak.

As far as the title of this thread which is something like 'did death come to animals after the fall'?

This question is off base. It supposes that the narrations of Genesis are literal history. Certainly some fathers thought so (literal) and others did not think so (spiritual or allegorical). The old Alexandria vrs Antioch thing.

I side with the fathers out of Alexandria .. however .. not allegorical .. but rather a typical cosmogony done in the literary style of a cosmogony. This 'language' of images is how philosophy and theology was done at the time. Plato stood at the cross roads from cosmogony (begind him) to the terms of philosophy we have to day (after him).

My point being that (with all due respect to the group of fathers who would disagree) the idea that physical death entered the world due to the fall ... the actual text says nothing about that at all. The mistranslation has to do with the Hebrew word translated as 'die'. There are two words for death in the Hebrew - the serpent mentions two forms of death - one is a spiritual death and other is physical death (like a carcass). Translations do not make note of the difference and have no way to impart the word play of the Hebrew.

(paraphrased) "Did god say to you that if you eat the fruit - you would die? Dying (spiritual death) you will not die (physical death) but shall become like gods."

Become like gods - creating our own self-providence.

The forbidden fruit is eaten and spiritual death immediately ensues.

Note that Jesus uses death in the same way. Lazarus is not dead (spiritual death) he is sleeping. Physical death is not a punishment nor a result of the 'fall' ... that Genesis tells us about. Genesis is not a history nor a pre-history - it is a mystery play - a cosmogony. A deep look inside ourselves and at the foundations of our own being - right here and right now.

And those scribes who are walking around trying to trip Jesus up - are like white washed graves .. that is .. spiritual dead already.

The narrations of Genesis are like acts in a play. Each act opens with the stage already set and the props already in place for the action. For example - in order to be thrown out of the garden (exiled from God's All-Providence) the scene opens in a garden (a protected place where it is God who plants and grows and man just has to pull out the weeds). Defining a garden automatically defines that 'earth' outside of the garden that is not a protected garden.

While this particular narration (act in the play) is often called a second creation story - it is not. It is a more detailed look at what takes place in the first narration (the seven days). It is (as it were) like a telescope view where the magnification has been raised to take a closer look.

Certainly one must admit that in reading the narrations - they are much like the prophetic dreams and ecstatic displays that the prophets experienced. They do not resemble the historical records of say the book of Kings. And so genesis is prophetic literature ... not historical record of any kind (although the later portions of Genesis do make use of some historical data).

And so the question "did animal receive death as a result of the fall" is a question that has no answer because what is being perceived as the 'fall' is taken from Genesis which is a cosmogony (a look inside to the core of our human nature).

These are my thoughts on the subject.

Peace be to your holy church.
-ray

Edited by Ray Kaliss, 12 May 2008 - 05:12 PM.


#33 Ray Kaliss

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 09:50 PM

Dear Owen...

It has been a long time since I looked at the lines of Genesis that I wrote about. So I looked it up .. my memory was almost correct. The difference below is between one Hebrew word which means a {spiritual death}, and another Hebrew word which means a dead carcass {cease to exist}.

Serpent: "Did God say to you that you that you shall not eat from every tree in the garden?"
Woman: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden but of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden .. God had said ... you shall not eat of it nor touch it least you die." {spiritual death}

Serpant: "Not dying {cease to exist} you shall die {spiritual death} ... for God knows that in the day of your eating of it .. your eyes shall be opened ... and you shall become like gods."

So the serpent is saying to the woman ... that the dying that God is talking about is a {spiritual death} and not a {ceasing to exist}.

Do you see the word play? (well .. it is more obvious in the Hebrew where the spelling between the two are nearly the same). Of course - the word play is on the word "die". And the part about "you shall be as gods" means to act like God acts (creating providence).

Notice that the tree is in the midst of the garden. We assume this to be the middle of the garden .. but that is not what it says .. it is in the midst of the garden ... like food coloring diffused in a glass of water. The tree is also the tree of life .. which does not mean it gives life .. it means it represents .. life. Living - growing - branching out. It is all the knowledge we gain by way of all the experiences that we have in life .. rolled up into a ball. It is life .. coming at ya. In other words it is how life seems to be to us and the laws it seems to follow .. and we take that ... and manipulate it ... in order to bring about our own goals (self-providence).

The origin of sin in us ... is ... self-providence. It is the source of all sin.

Do you see?

And back that up with Our Lord insisting that death (physical death) is not a punishment for sin .. this he did when he was asked "For whose sin?" did the pilgrims die for .. when they were on their way to Temple and the tower fell on them killing them. The scribes were insisting that it was a punishment for sin (their own or their parents) - but Jesus said there was no connection. Spiritual death (separation from God and his Providence) is the result of sin - not physical death.

The death that 'entered the world' caused by sin - is spiritual death.
Absence of vital spiritual life.

-ray

-ray

#34 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:59 AM

Dear all,

This is a pastoral question really, but as it seems relevant to this thread, I've been wondering: my seven year-old came home from school, and said "Dad, our science teacher said that man is an animal". My response was that man is an animal, but with a difference, since man has a rational soul, too. But I'm wondering, what should Orthodox Christians say when we are told we are animals? Does the term zoon theoumenon imply that the Fathers identified man with the animal kingdom at some level?

In Christ
Byron

#35 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:18 AM

Say, 'Yes, we are.... but that doesn't mean what your teacher thinks it means.'

#36 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 01:57 PM

Dear all,

This is a pastoral question really, but as it seems relevant to this thread, I've been wondering: my seven year-old came home from school, and said "Dad, our science teacher said that man is an animal". My response was that man is an animal, but with a difference, since man has a rational soul, too.


Actually I don't see this as a pastoral question at all but rather a theological/dogmatic question about the nature of man. This is a good opening to teach your child about how we were created by God, how man sinned and fell and the effects of the fall. Even at 7 years, a child can begin to grasp the idea of passions and how they are unnatural to our created state and how we struggle against them. The passions are seated in the soul and the animals live under the control of their passions - but because we were created above the animals, we have the capacity to overrule our passions and to live above them. The soul of the animal is mortal, it is tied to the earth thus when the body dies the soul dies as well. The soul of man is immortal and when the body dies the soul does not die but lives on until the resurrection when it will be reunited with the resurrected body. All of this and more your 7 year old will just eat up and it will form the base and foundation for all the answers to all those difficult questions of adolescence -everything from the meaning of life to sex to religious belief. Now is the time to instruct your child - fill his mind with Orthodox ideas which at this point he will accept from you without question (but not without questions) and which will shape the way that he thinks for the future.

Fr David Moser

#37 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:24 AM

Dear Fr David and Rev. Dcn Matthew,

Thank you both for your responses, which I feel complement each other. It is hard enough keeping hold of some sort of religious mindset for myself sometimes, leave alone offer it to my children; but my wife and I nonetheless hope to be able to convey to our girls some of the specialness of the destiny of man as understood within our Orthodox Church. The impressions they get from school are very powerful, and often I find that they accept the words of their teachers as the unshakeable truth - I have to struggle to refine certain points. However, Fr David's reminder that the way our children think today will influence the way they view things in the near and distant future, I find both timely and pressing.

One difficulty I experience, is that I find the 'positive' (do I mean cataphatic?) imagery of our faith harder to communicate than the 'negative'. I would, for example, more readily be able to tell my daughters that we have a choice about what to do regarding our impulses and desires, whereas our family cat (for example) patently doesn't, at least not in the same way as we do. However, when it comes to telling them that we were created by God in heaven, that we have an immortal soul and we will be resurrected on the Last Day, in contrast to animals who simply return to the earth of which they are made - with imagery such as this, I feel less confidence. I don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to know that this is because of the weakness of my own faith in the narrative of scripture. If I'm not saying something I entirely believe, I feel uncomfortably fraudulent, so I keep quiet with this imagery - believing that we are just a branch of the ape family is so much more plausible, especially given much of the behaviour we witness around us each day! Nevertheless, somehow the cataphatic imagery needs to be communicated, I feel, not just in Sunday School or from books. I wonder, can anyone help me - on the human, pastoral level that is - find ways to believe in it more?

In Christ
Byron

#38 Father David Moser

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 02:27 PM

However, when it comes to telling them that we were created by God in heaven, that we have an immortal soul and we will be resurrected on the Last Day, in contrast to animals who simply return to the earth of which they are made - with imagery such as this, I feel less confidence. I don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to know that this is because of the weakness of my own faith in the narrative of scripture. ... somehow the cataphatic imagery needs to be communicated, I feel, not just in Sunday School or from books. I wonder, can anyone help me - on the human, pastoral level that is - find ways to believe in it more?


The way to "believe in it more" is to plant such knowledge ever more firmly in your heart. One of the ways that you do this is by your own spiritual reading - you should be continually feeding your soul on such reading so that it will grow stronger in the knowledge of the truth. When you read, read not only academically (gleaning information) but read personally as well (how does this affect the way I live). Look for the application of the spiritual life in your daily life. You refer to the ease in accepting certain scientifically based arguments but remember that those arguments, indeed the whole scientific method is based on observation and experience (experimentation). When we read the lives and writings of the saints we are reading of their observation of the spiritual life and the results of their experimentation (experience) in that realm. They are observing and experimenting the world with the added dimension that secular science too often misses or outright ignores. This is the science of the soul, the science of prayer, the science of the spiritual life.

One way to communicate this to your children is through catechetical books - but those books are not just what you hand them and say "read this" - rather you need to sit down with them and read to them/with them in these books. Get some books for them that are maybe a year or two ahead of their age level - lives of the saints, basic instruction in the law of God, etc and then read to them from those books. In this way you communicate the cataphic truths in those books to them in a personal manner (and the added bonus is that you also read and learn from those books). Whenever there is a question or a point of interest, noted either by yourself or by the children, stop and talk about it for a few moments before continuing to read. This may be the best way to approach teaching the faith to them.

Fr David Moser

#39 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:03 AM

Dear Fr David,

Thank you for your suggestions. Sometimes I forget that 'science' does not have to equal materialism or evolutionism. Here is an excerpt from a review of a book by Whitall Perry, called The Widening Breach - Evolutionism in the Mirror of Cosmology:

Billions of years ago, primal ‘cosmic dust’ arrived at a tropismatic molecular organization of the amino acid constituents of protein, providing us the biochemical components of protoplasm. Then either through sophisticated filter-passing viruses or some other mechanism, this inanimate matter went through the mysterious transformation and became animate. Through evolutionary process and after passing through several stages, this matter became bacteria--the immediate ancestor of protozoa. Thus life started.
This is how evolutionists start the long story of creation. Different evolutionary theories differ in details, in the routes and paths that this inanimate object takes but they are all based on the same general principle that this matter enjoys an unlimited autonomy in space and time. Thus for the evolutionists, the inanimate matter as ‘object’ exists without the pole ‘subject’[…] [Perry writes:] "This capacity for gravitating towards the irrational seen as rational is the result of man’s loss of contact with his inward center, combined with his innate sense of centrality notwithstanding. This, plus centuries of conditioning by bad philosophical systems, culminating in the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95), a construction which holds that the observable world is real without any transcendent origin, a world independent of the mind of man, since matter by their perspective is logically and temporally prior to mind, itself being judged as nothing but an outgrowth of this matter." (P.87)


Although there is perhaps some confusion in the above quotation which may suggest the author is opposing 'mind' to 'matter' as ultimate realities, what I like about it is the fact that evolution, too, comes through as being just another narrative, a story, a modern myth. It's amazing how "common-sense" views of reality change radically across time and culture, yet they seem so normal and self-evident to us when we are surrounded by them and submerged in them. Of course, Christianity is more than a myth we choose to subscribe to - we trust that it is the ultimate reality as revealed in Christ and explored by the Fathers, as you suggest. But the ubiquitous assumption that ordinary sense experience is the measure of all things, makes religious faith hard to maintain as an

added dimension that secular science too often misses or outright ignores


In Christ
Byron

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:56 PM

Dear all,

It may also be helpful to note that the 'image of God' in most early patristic sources is directly related, not to the fabric of man as either body, soul or both, but to humanity's creation into a life of participation in the Father, just as the Son (whom the fathers are fairly universal in declaring is the one after whose image man is created) is himself the true Image of the Father. So man being 'after the image' is far less about the technical / natural composition of the being (in which he is much like many other creatures), and far more about the participatorial life of union in the Trinity.

INXC, Fr Dcn Matthew


This is one of the best answer........but I also must said that image of God after fall restore in baptism.




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