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A eucharistic refutation of creationism and evolution


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#21 RichardWorthington

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:02 PM

(Continued from previous)

Creation of the sun, moon, and stars (the naturalistic one - showing some angel 'mooning'! - on my screen was initially on the left rather than above. In the text which follows I assume the naturalistic pictures are on the left and the icons are on the right):

Posted Image Posted Image


pictures from http://en.wikipedia...._Chapel_ceiling
icons of creation linked by permission from
"Monastery Greetings is a catalog and website (www.monasterygreetings.com) offering products from Abbeys, Monasteries, Convents and Hermitages."


(to be continued …)

Edited by RichardWorthington, 15 July 2008 - 11:13 PM.
Note on orientation of pictures, title


#22 RichardWorthington

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:08 PM

(Continued from previous)

Creation of man (left) and animals (right; on some screens they may show as above and below):

Posted Image Posted Image


pictures from http://en.wikipedia...._Chapel_ceiling
icons of creation linked by permission from
"Monastery Greetings is a catalog and website (www.monasterygreetings.com) offering products from Abbeys, Monasteries, Convents and Hermitages."


The impression of the Genesis account has traditionally been that of following the ‘naturalistic’ pictures on the left-hand side. Indeed, St Cyril of Jerusalem believed that the sun actually moved in the waters above the firmament. However, there was always a belief that there was something mystical going on, as St Jerome implied that the firmament was seen in visions (see references in this post; Jerome is also quoted in previous posts in this thread).

So given that the naturalistic interpretation has always been the dominant one, it is easy to see how Evolutionists reject Genesis. However, Creationists read Genesis in the same naturalistic manner, and so reject Evolution. Whether Evolution or Creationism are ‘scientific’ and ‘testable’ is quite irrelevant here: regarding these, believe as you see fit. Why can both Evolution and Creationism be left behind? Because Genesis should be read in accordance with the world view of the traditional drawing methods of the Eastern Churches, that of iconography.

If Genesis is read as if it should be painted like an icon, is it so strange that we should consider Noah’s ark to be a ‘solar barge’ above the firmament piloted by the Son of God? Or that the rainbow Noah saw is the radiance of the divine Glory, as Ezekiel and the Apocalypse describe? Genesis may have been ‘story-fied’ for the spiritual level of its initial readership (who also needed to hear "Thou shalt not murder"), but the reality it is describing goes to the depths of what it is to be human. The ‘big question’ is not ‘why do we exist?’, ‘what is the meaning of life?’, or ‘how did we get here?’, but how do we enter into the ‘icon world’? And this is exactly where the Orthodox view of watchfulness, leading to purity of heart, leading to the Deifying Vision come in.


Does this help make the Genesis account more trustworthy? And indeed, not only generally trustworthy, but inscribed in the very depths of our souls? What if we could enter into the ‘icon world’ and then look back at the earth!

As John said to James as they were coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration:

It’s life Jim, but not as they know it. For the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.

Dr Spock and 1 John 1:2


Richard
PS. MS Word grammar check helpfully recommends replacing ‘more trustworthy’ with the word ‘trustworthier’, which however the spell checker does not recognise!

Edited by RichardWorthington, 15 July 2008 - 11:23 PM.
title + typos


#23 M. Partyka

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:57 PM

Richard,

I understand and appreciate how hard you're trying here, but my personal problem is really quite simple. I'm a comic book reader, and at least once a week, I open up a comic book, and I enter another world. When I close the comic book, though, it's time for me to get back to the real world. If Genesis 1 through 11 isn't literally true -- no 6-stage creation in the order described, no creation of man straight from the dust, no Adam and Eve being the first parents of all humanity, no undying state prior to human mortality, no global flood, no confusion of languages at Babel, etc., etc. -- then for me, reading Genesis is inevitably going to be like reading a comic book. When I close the book, it's time to get back to the real world.

Back before I understood evolution and was content to remain ignorant, I would tell people, "Unbelievers keep telling Christians to get their noses out of the Bible and into the real world, but for Christians, the world in the Bible is the real world -- the very same world in which you and I live." And you would have a very hard time convincing me that that isn't how the Fathers felt, too, because I've read a great many of their works, and I have a good sense of what they believed about Genesis, and it's much like I would have said before: The Bible says we're all descended from Adam and Eve, and that's what the Fathers (and many Christians today) believe; the Bible says a flood covered the whole world and drowned all the land animals except for a scant few from each species who were safely sequestered on a large boat, and that's what the Fathers (and many Christians today) believe. The problem is, neither thing happened -- at least, it didn't happened the way it's recorded in the Bible.

If there was a first couple, they were more ape than human, or else they were representatives of humanity and not the sole progenitors of humanity. If there was a fall, it must have happened way before man ever hit the scene, because ever since there has been life, there has been death. If there was a flood, it wasn't global, and it sure didn't wipe out humanity save for a mere eight people. Eight members of a species -- and certainly not two, in the animals' cases -- wouldn't have enough genetic diversity among them to keep extinction from eventually occurring.

Like it or not, what we're looking at in Genesis 1 through 11 is a collection of folklore. These stories probably started out polytheistic and were later rewritten into the monotheistic based stories we have today. Or perhaps not -- perhaps these stories developed the other way around. The bottom line is the same: these stories, as written, are not accurate representations of actual events. They may contain truth, but they are not themselves true. And that fact is a very difficult one for me to grasp without feeling horribly resentful toward everyone who's been telling me for a long, long time now that the Bible can be believed and trusted 100%, because it can't, and I think deep down we all know it. So we try to push back and say, "The Church, not the Bible, is infallible," but any honest assessment of what the Church has taught everywhere and in all times is going to including the infallibility of Scripture and the impossibility that God should tell us to believe in anything that is, in fact, untrue. So where does that leave us? I, frankly, have invested a considerable amount of effort into trying to bridge this gap that's opened up underneath me, but every day I'm feeling less and less motivated to bother trying. I just want to be able to grab onto something true with a capital "T" like I once believed I was doing, but all I've got now is a shattered illusion that I've been trying to reassemble for so very, very long, and I'm getting a bit tired of cutting myself as I try to pick up all the shards....

#24 RichardWorthington

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 10:44 PM

Mr Partyka!

Did you know that your previous post is post number 66666?

Perhaps this thread is becoming apocalyptical?

Richard ;)

#25 M. Partyka

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 10:50 PM

Mr Partyka!

Did you know that your previous post is post number 66666?

Perhaps this thread is becoming apocalyptical?

Richard ;)

You know, that's the second time that's happened to me. The first was years ago, before I ever became a Christian, when I went to lunch with a bunch of atheists after a "service" of the North Texas Church of Freethought. I ordered a burger and a coke at Fuddrucker's, and after I'd added all the extra trimmings, my bill came to $6.66. I wanted to ask if that was the "atheist church discount", but I figured I better not....

#26 Alex Michael Rusanen

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 11:47 AM

Archbishop Lazar speaks sof creation and modern science, on youtube

amusing ;)

#27 M. Partyka

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 03:00 PM

Archbishop Lazar speaks sof creation and modern science, on youtube

I've actually got Archbishop Lazar's book The Evidence of Things Not Seen which covers this topic, but I don't recall whether I ever finished reading it. I don't think I did.

Archbishop Lazar is firmly convinced that Genesis chapters 1 through 11 cannot be taken as literal history or as a series of scientific statements about how the universe was created, and much of what he says does help to harmonize Genesis with science. However, there are certain key questions he has so far failed to address in his video lectures, and his comments which seem to divorce faith from facts have an irrational ring to them.

The two biggest holes I see in his thinking are (1) his claim that the author(s) of Genesis 1 through 11 never intended these chapters to be taken literally and (2) his maintaining the reality of the personal identities of Adam and Eve even while alleghorizing creation and the fall.

#28 Demetrios

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 01:43 AM


The two biggest holes I see in his thinking are (1) his claim that the author(s) of Genesis 1 through 11 never intended these chapters to be taken literally and (2) his maintaining the reality of the personal identities of Adam and Eve even while alleghorizing creation and the fall.


The hole isn't in what the fathers say, rather it is in how we understand them. When we view the world in a strict biological sense. We loose touch with our individuality. We lump the individual together with the whole. This is wrong because we are a communion of personas and not natures. A prime example of this is when we distinguish identical twins. They both have identical DNA in there nature. Yet they differ in their persona. They are different persons. No one can argue there. I hope that now you can see how Adam and Eve can be individuals yet share in nature. Because nature never has a persona of it's own.

Edited by Demetrios, 04 August 2008 - 01:43 AM.
spelling


#29 M. Partyka

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 06:06 AM

The hole isn't in what the fathers say, rather it is in how we understand them. When we view the world in a strict biological sense. We loose touch with our individuality. We lump the individual together with the whole. This is wrong because we are a communion of personas and not natures. A prime example of this is when we distinguish identical twins. They both have identical DNA in there nature. Yet they differ in their persona. They are different persons. No one can argue there. I hope that now you can see how Adam and Eve can be individuals yet share in nature. Because nature never has a persona of it's own.

I think you're missing my point. The biblical model is that humans all share the same "nature" because that nature was individually created from nothing at a certain point in time and was established or manifested in the creation of the specific person Adam. Eve shared in the human nature which was fully resident in Adam because she was formed from "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone." We share in the same human nature because we are Adam and Eve's descendents.

The evolutionary model, with which Archbishop Lazar says he has no problem, says that human nature was not individually created from nothing but is derived from the common living nature that all living creatures share. In other words, we share in the same nature as squids and horses because we're all part of the same family tree that incudes all life forms on earth. This is not to say that there cannot be nothing in human nature that goes beyond the nature of squids and horses, but I would think it has to mean that human nature is at least inclusive of whatever "squiddy nature" and "horsey nature" contain and is not ontologically disconnected from any nature of animals or even plants. Furthermore, the evolutionary model says that 2 or even 8 humans aren't enough to progenitor the whole human species, and the "original" human population, whoever and however many they were, didn't pop into existence from nowhere but rather existed on a continuum of being that stretches all the way back to the first single-celled organisms, and perhaps beyond (whatever that may be).

In a sense, to say that "man is a microcosm" could be truer and mean much more than the Fathers ever intended it to mean. We tend to limit our thinking to saying, "Man is spiritual and material, and thus is a miniature representation of the whole world." But the microcosm which is man may actually consist of a connectedness that extends throughout all creation, to all biological life forms, perhaps even to all "inanimate" matter, because it is from the raw stuff of nonlife that life is theorized to have arisen, and it is from the multiply-branched stream of life from which humanity is theorized to have arisen. (Where this leaves the angels, one can only wonder. Are they truly "other"? Certainly we could not have evolved from them, nor they from us, or else we've got a much bigger problem to deal with than just biological evolution....)

#30 Demetrios

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 03:27 PM

I think you're missing my point. The biblical model is that humans all share the same "nature" because that nature was individually created from nothing at a certain point in time and was established or manifested in the creation of the specific person Adam. Eve shared in the human nature which was fully resident in Adam because she was formed from "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone." We share in the same human nature because we are Adam and Eve's descendents.

The evolutionary model, with which Archbishop Lazar says he has no problem, says that human nature was not individually created from nothing but is derived from the common living nature that all living creatures share. In other words, we share in the same nature as squids and horses because we're all part of the same family tree that incudes all life forms on earth. This is not to say that there cannot be nothing in human nature that goes beyond the nature of squids and horses, but I would think it has to mean that human nature is at least inclusive of whatever "squiddy nature" and "horsey nature" contain and is not ontologically disconnected from any nature of animals or even plants. Furthermore, the evolutionary model says that 2 or even 8 humans aren't enough to progenitor the whole human species, and the "original" human population, whoever and however many they were, didn't pop into existence from nowhere but rather existed on a continuum of being that stretches all the way back to the first single-celled organisms, and perhaps beyond (whatever that may be).

In a sense, to say that "man is a microcosm" could be truer and mean much more than the Fathers ever intended it to mean. We tend to limit our thinking to saying, "Man is spiritual and material, and thus is a miniature representation of the whole world." But the microcosm which is man may actually consist of a connectedness that extends throughout all creation, to all biological life forms, perhaps even to all "inanimate" matter, because it is from the raw stuff of nonlife that life is theorized to have arisen, and it is from the multiply-branched stream of life from which humanity is theorized to have arisen. (Where this leaves the angels, one can only wonder. Are they truly "other"? Certainly we could not have evolved from them, nor they from us, or else we've got a much bigger problem to deal with than just biological evolution....)


I think I can agree with your logic here. Nature is certainly linked throughout all of creation. Perhaps my comments weren't clear because they were dealing with the person of Adam. There are two parts to the whole. Nature and spirit. Only when looking at both can Genesis make any sense. Instead of concentrating on Adams nature. We must look at his persona. A persona is something given through a relationship. Adam could never be a person through nature alone. A persona is past on. In Adams case God gave it to him. That is how the Orthodoxy can view Adam as the first person and yet his nature be derived from other species.




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