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Noah's flood: why?


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#1 Kseniya M.

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:25 PM

Dear Denizens of Monachos,

I have been thinking about the Genesis narrative about Noah's flood, and it occurred to me to wonder -- Why? Oh I know the stated reason: "for I am grieved I made them" (Genesis 6:7, OSB). But as Orthodox Christians we are taught that God loves all human beings, sinners too. So my puzzlement is, why would God destroy the human race that He loves? To prevent them from committing worse atrocities (and thus incurring less eternal fire)? To save Noah's decendents from their depredations? Something else?

I hope this was the best place to put this question. If not, I would beg a moderator to please move it to a more appropriate forum.

-Kseniya

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:36 PM

My first thought would be a huge earthly baptism. Emersed in water and the death of sin and resurrected into new life. But perhaps a bit too simplistic an answer.

#3 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:44 AM

Dear Denizens of Monachos,

I have been thinking about the Genesis narrative about Noah's flood, and it occurred to me to wonder -- Why? Oh I know the stated reason: "for I am grieved I made them" (Genesis 6:7, OSB). But as Orthodox Christians we are taught that God loves all human beings, sinners too. So my puzzlement is, why would God destroy the human race that He loves? To prevent them from committing worse atrocities (and thus incurring less eternal fire)? To save Noah's decendents from their depredations? Something else?

I hope this was the best place to put this question. If not, I would beg a moderator to please move it to a more appropriate forum.

-Kseniya


Dearest Kseniya, it is interesting that you pose the point that Orthodox Christians are taught that God loves all human beings, sinners too.

We are also taught a number of other points about God that are interesting and if you can permit me to take on the Spirit of our Church fathers, I believe that they would approach the "understanding" of God in the Old Testament:

God is above all laws ... to even discuss this would be an apology in itself since this should be obvious to the Orthodox Christian.

God is above all "laws" since HE created these same laws. All the biological laws - HE created them; who created the ethical laws - He did; HE handed them over to us over the course of time ....

So, God is the measure of comparison and not the laws themselves.

God forgive us. We must never take these ethical or biological laws and use them to measure God against them and to judge God by them ... the measure is only God because He gave them.

This is a very very important point to understand. The moment anyone understands that God is the measure of comparison and not the laws themselves then none of these questions/doubts about God's love would come up.

We hear many people judge God which is a huge injustice towards Him.

Do we have the impression - do we have the right - to say or think that we can see more clearly than God the wrong in murder?

So, what is really happening? We are judging God by HIS laws and on that basis in itself we are judging God.

I felt it was necessary to say that .. since, in the Old Testament we do have events that shock us by the ethical standards of today ... but we forget to remind ourselves - we would not think this way if it was not for God putting those ethical boundaries for us in the first instance ... so, how can we judge God for "killing" all the people in Noah's time, or all the people of Sodom or all the first born children of Egypt?

Anyone might ask, well I didnt judge God I just wanted to understand why He would do that? The answer is simple putting aside judgement of God so not looking at the event with a critical ethical perspective of today - any action God takes is for the purposes of human salvation.

Yes, this is shocking .. how can murder equate to salvation .. and yet it does!

To know if the flood was local or global is actually quite important ... a local flood only proves how loving God is ... why? Since, rather than whisper to Noah - ppsss, Noah .. i am flooding this area ..rush off to Egypt will you and save yourself because you have favour in my eyes (a much easier alternative anyone would agree) - He said to Noah - build an ark and preach repentance! Noah was building an ARK for One HUNDRED years ...

This is God's "makrothimia" ... he gave everyone in that area one hundred years to repent ... he didnt say to Noah I want to destroy people .. he said I will send a great flood ... and He gave everyone the opportunity to save themselves.

If these events had never happened in the exact way they had happened then we would never have heard the wonderful Sermon of Saint John Chrysostom who explained the symbolism of the entire event to the church of today - the ark of salvation for anyone who wishes to be saved. Noah, like the Church, "makrothimi" and teaches repentance and salvation .. but the people of the generations mock and laugh at the church ... and there is only one door to the ark - the door of baptism! and who closes that door? GOD HIMSELF from the OUTSIDE!!

Anyone who remains outside the Church can not be saved - God hiimself seals that by closing the door of the ark HIMSELF! It is not closed from the inside by Noah and his sons.

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

If God was grieved with people then, what does He think now?

#5 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:43 AM

Dear Ksenia,

Thank you for a good question. This is a marvellous area at which to look, and the Fathers have a great deal to say on it - so I am certain we can have an interesting discussion of the patristic heritage on the matter. I'm delighted you've asked this.

My hand is a bit sore this week, and so typing out long posts is rather out of my availability: but perhaps some of our good 'material hunters' here in the Community might begin by seeking out a few passages from the Fathers on the significance of the flood, which could set things in context for us. This will by far be the best way to proceed - rather than just with our own commentary.

INXC, Deacon Matthew

#6 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:26 PM

Dear Ksenia,

Yes, interesting question....Ephrem the Syrian, John Chrysostom, Salvian the Presbyter, Augustine and others all wrote on the significance of the flood. My impression is that there is an emphasis on the unrepentant nature of the wickedness of people at this time; the sinful descendants of the daughters of Cain and sons of Seth are in direct contrast to the outstanding virtue of one single person, Noah. Plentiful warning is given by Noah preaching repentance for 100 years, and leaving the door of the ark open for a week, and even after the flood has begun, there are 40 days of flooding to change one's mind, it isn't immediate destruction. God is specifically shown to be sorrowful in having to undo the work of His hands and to start again with Noah and his family. Whatever the historical facts of the flood actually were, the whole story of the ark and the flood prefigures Christ and the Church as ark of salvation.

I hope this is helpful, it's a question that baffles me too!

In Christ
Byron

#7 Michael Stickles

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:54 PM

My first thought would be a huge earthly baptism. Emersed in water and the death of sin and resurrected into new life. But perhaps a bit too simplistic an answer.


Well, at least one of the fathers made pretty much the same statement. St. Jerome wrote in his Letter to Paul of Concordia:

Afterwards sin gradually grew more and more virulent, till the ungodliness of the giants brought in its train the shipwreck of the whole world. Then when the world had been cleansed by the baptism—if I may so call it—of the deluge, human life was contracted to a short span. Yet even this we have almost altogether wasted, so continually do our iniquities fight against the divine purposes.


And in his Letter to Oceanus he wrote:

When the world falls into sin nothing but a flood of waters can cleanse it again. But as soon as the foul bird of wickedness is driven away, the dove of the Holy Spirit comes to Noah as it came afterwards to Christ in the Jordan, and, carrying in its beak a branch betokening restoration and light, brings tidings of peace to the whole world.


In Christ,
Michael

#8 Evan

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:57 PM

This question has baffled me as well. I would very much like to find salient quotes from the fathers on God's "repenting that (He) had made (man)." It sure seems from the text like God only spares man because of Noah, but of course, we know that God cannot change His mind in such ways-- the Incarnation could not have not happened (sorry about the double negative).

It is worth pointing out, I think, that those who died before the Incarnation did eventually have the Gospel preached to them in Hades. So, it's not like they were shortchanged in some way-- they had the same opportunity to repent and respond to God's call as we do. At least, that's my understanding.

#9 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:28 PM

It is worth pointing out, I think, that those who died before the Incarnation did eventually have the Gospel preached to them in Hades. So, it's not like they were shortchanged in some way-- they had the same opportunity to repent and respond to God's call as we do. At least, that's my understanding.


I think that this is very much in line with the Holy Apostle Paul's thoughts in chapter 11 of his Epistle to the Hebrews, particularly Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained witness through faith, did not receive the promise, God having foreseen some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us, which I assume means that they will be made perfect WITH us (or with you all at least, I make no presumptions for my own part).

Herman the imperfect Pooh

#10 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:45 AM

Dear Evan, all,

the Incarnation could not have not happened (sorry about the double negative).

I'm just checking - is this Church dogma? Surely God can do what He wants, and does so, from within His all-good nature. This might imply that the Incarnation was inevitable, since God is love, but is it wrong to imagine that if God wanted to save the world by any other way, He could have done so?

In Christ
Byron

#11 Kseniya M.

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:36 PM

I think that this is very much in line with the Holy Apostle Paul's thoughts in chapter 11 of his Epistle to the Hebrews, particularly Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained witness through faith, did not receive the promise, God having foreseen some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us, which I assume means that they will be made perfect WITH us (or with you all at least, I make no presumptions for my own part).

Herman the imperfect Pooh


Pres. Jeannie Constantinou covered the flood in her most recent podcast of Search the Scriptures. One of her takes on it, if I'm putting this together correctly, is that the people of Noah's time had pretty much lost their humanity. Every time they are referred to, it is as "flesh," not as men, because they had become so decadent. Noah, on the other hand, was 500 years old before even begetting children -- 500 years of continence in a culture that was -- well, a lot like ours today. It boggles the mind; he must have been a man of extraordinary virtue.

That aside, I hope Michael Stickles finds us some more material, and I'm praying that Fr Dcn Matthew's hand gets better soon so that he can also provide us with some more patristic wisdom.

-Kseniya

#12 Evan

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:00 PM

Dear Evan, all,

I'm just checking - is this Church dogma? Surely God can do what He wants, and does so, from within His all-good nature. This might imply that the Incarnation was inevitable, since God is love, but is it wrong to imagine that if God wanted to save the world by any other way, He could have done so?

In Christ
Byron


I'd actually like to be clear about this as well, if it's possible. It is my understanding that the death and resurrection of the Son were always part of the divine plan, in the sense that while God was in no sense "obligated" to save the world in such a way, He willed that it be done as such, even before time.

#13 Michael Stickles

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:03 AM

Some more patristic commentary on the flood:

St. Ambrose of Milan in On The Mysteries, chapter 3, lines 10-11:

All flesh was corrupt by its iniquities. My Spirit, says God, shall not remain among men, because they are flesh. Whereby God shows that the grace of the Spirit is turned away by carnal impurity and the pollution of grave sin. Upon which, God, willing to restore what was lacking, sent the flood and bade just Noah go up into the ark. And he, after having, as the flood was passing off, sent forth first a raven which did not return, sent forth a dove which is said to have returned with an olive twig. You see the water, you see the wood [of the ark], you see the dove, and do you hesitate as to the mystery?

The water, then, is that in which the flesh is dipped, that all carnal sin may be washed away. All wickedness is there buried. The wood is that on which the Lord Jesus was fastened when He suffered for us. The dove is that in the form of which the Holy Spirit descended, as you have read in the New Testament, Who inspires in you peace of soul and tranquillity of mind. The raven is the figure of sin, which goes forth and does not return, if, in you, too, inwardly and outwardly righteousness be preserved.


St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Second Catechetical Lecture:

For consider what happened in the days of Noe. The giants sinned, and much wickedness was then spread over the earth, and because of this the flood was to come upon them: and in the five hundredth year God utters His threatening; but in the six hundredth He brought the flood upon the earth. Do you see the breadth of God's loving-kindness extending to a hundred years? Could He not have done immediately what He did then after the hundred years? But He extended (the time) on purpose, granting a respite for repentance. Do you see God's goodness? And if the men of that time had repented, they would not have missed the loving-kindness of God.


St. John Chrysostom, in his 12th Homily on Acts, treats the flood (as well as other acts of God) as a lesser foreshadowing of greater judgement later:

Many like things are done now as were done before the Flood, yet no flood has been sent: because there is a hell threatened, and vengeance. Many sin as the people did in Sodom, yet no rain of fire has been poured down; because a river of fire is prepared. Many go the lengths of Pharaoh; yet they have not fared like Pharaoh, they have not been drowned in a Red Sea: for the sea that awaits them, is the sea of the bottomless pit, where the punishment is not accompanied with insensibility, where there is no suffocation to end all, but in ever lengthened torture, in burning, in strangling, they are consumed there. Many have offended like the Israelites, but no serpents have devoured them: there awaits them the worm that never dies.


St. John of Damascus, in Book IV Chapter 9 of his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, parallels the flood to baptism in several specifics (I'm not pasting that here since the section is pretty long, and much of it isn't relevant to this thread).

St. Clement of Rome, Recognitions, Book 1 Chapter 29:

... in the eighth generation, righteous men, who had lived the life of angels, being allured by the beauty of women, fell into promiscuous and illicit connections with these; and thenceforth acting in all things without discretion, and disorderly, they changed the state of human affairs and the divinely prescribed order of life, so that either by persuasion or force they compelled all men to sin against God their Creator. ... But against these the righteous providence of God brought a flood upon the world, that the earth might be purified from their pollution, and every place might be turned into a sea by the destruction of the wicked.


And Book 8 Chapter 50:

Wherefore, in short, at the first, when all the earth had been stained with sins, God brought a flood upon the world, which you say happened under Deucalion; and at that time He saved a certain righteous man, with his sons, in an ark, and with him the race of all plants and animals. And yet even those who sprang from them, after a time, again did deeds like to those of their predecessors; for those things that had befallen them were forgotten, so that their descendants did not even believe that the flood had taken place. Wherefore God also decreed that there should not be another flood in the present world, else there should have been one in every generation, according to the account of their sins by reason of their unbelief; but He rather granted that certain angels who delight in evil should bear sway over the several nations— and to them was given power over individual men, yet only on this condition, if any one first had made himself subject to them by sinning— until He should come who delights in good, and by Him the number of the righteous should be completed, and by the increase of the number of pious men all over the world impiety should be in some measure repressed, and it should be known to all that all that is good is done by God.


In Christ,
Michael

#14 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:53 AM

Dear Michael,

Thank you many times over for providing some patristic commentary on the question; I'm very grateful. I look forward to members' comments on these patristic visions of the matter.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#15 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:57 AM

The post I made at the start of the thread are not my own words. They are a very poor translation of a renowned and highly recognised theologian of our times, Arch. Athanasius.

Now, if it is patristics you are after he always quotes (1) Apostle Paul, (2) Saint Chrysostom and what is interesting he refers to Saint James the Brother of Christ a lot for the Noah and Abraham commentairs on Genesis.

The irony with this question is that I am currently listening to his tapes on Genesis and the question came up the day I had just finished the Flood ...

Hence why I trust what he said about the flood ... he is (was) a very learned man extremally proficient in Scriptural Study, Patristic Study, History, Archaeology, Science and Language (proficient in Greek, latin, Hebrew and some other languages).

To reiterate, he said that the ark represents the Church, the (single) door is baptism and the fact that God closes the door himself from the outside ... that the church is blessed and protected by God ... there is a New Testament example that reflects the same thing:

Peter and the apostles where in the boat at night ... and saw Christ from afar walking on the water .... Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to him on the waters ... etc etc

The waters (as mentioned in the Sermon by Father Tom Soroka a few weeks ago on that Gospel) represent the WORLD and the issues of the world that toss us around ... if we dont keep our eyes firmly focused on Christ and look down at the waters of the world .. we drown! In that same story, they returned back to the boat and Christ got into the boat with the apostles .. again the boat represents ONE church and that Christ was IN THAT boat ...

#16 Kseniya M.

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:57 PM

Dear all,

So, it seems to me that the answer to my original question is basically that the people were given a chance to repent and did not. It still puzzles me a bit -- I mean, God loves us, whether we sin or not. So if I'm reading this right, a) God gave Noah's contemporaries a chance to repent, and b) having seen that they did not repent, He sent the Flood to destroy them.

I've heard it said that sometimes young people die when they are pure, and it's later revealed to a holy person that God took them because if they had lived, they would have sinned and been lost. That's a confusing issue, but what I'm asking here is, could there be some of this going on with the Flood? God gave the people of Noah's time a chance to repent, and when they didn't, He destroyed them before they could become even worse sinners?

Vasiliki, it's not specifically patristic sources I'm after, just good solid Orthodox theologians. I merely seized on Fr Dcn Matthew's terminology without thinking. Please forgive me if I offended you.

-Kseniya

#17 Michael Stickles

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:27 PM

To reiterate, he said that the ark represents the Church, the (single) door is baptism and the fact that God closes the door himself from the outside ... that the church is blessed and protected by God ... there is a New Testament example that reflects the same thing:

Peter and the apostles where in the boat at night ... and saw Christ from afar walking on the water .... Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to him on the waters ... etc etc

The waters (as mentioned in the Sermon by Father Tom Soroka a few weeks ago on that Gospel) represent the WORLD and the issues of the world that toss us around ... if we dont keep our eyes firmly focused on Christ and look down at the waters of the world .. we drown! In that same story, they returned back to the boat and Christ got into the boat with the apostles .. again the boat represents ONE church and that Christ was IN THAT boat ...


Haven't seen that particular interpretation of the door of the ark, but then the fathers offer many different allegorical views of the ark and the flood (not contradictory at all, but complementary). And many of them aren't online, so I'm not surprised my Googling didn't find it.

For the ark as the Church, St. Augustine, in his Tracate 6 on the Gospel of John, pgh 19, says:

We find this in Scripture. The ark was made of incorruptible wood. The incorruptible timbers are the saints, the faithful that belong to Christ. For as in the temple the living stones of which it is built are said to be faithful men, so likewise the incorruptible timbers are they who persevere in the faith. In that same ark, then, the timbers were incorruptible. Now the ark is the Church, it is there the dove baptizes; for the ark was borne on the water, the incorruptible timbers were baptized within.


He had an interesting view of the ark's door in The City of God, Book 15, Chapter 26:

... inasmuch as God commanded him, I say, to make an ark, in which he might be rescued from the destruction of the flood, along with his family, i.e., his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law, and along with the animals who, in obedience to God's command, came to him into the ark: this is certainly a figure of the city of God sojourning in this world; that is to say, of the church, which is rescued by the wood on which hung the Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. ... And its having a door made in the side of it certainly signified the wound which was made when the side of the Crucified was pierced with the spear; for by this those who come to Him enter; for thence flowed the sacraments by which those who believe are initiated. And the fact that it was ordered to be made of squared timbers, signifies the immoveable steadiness of the life of the saints; for however you turn a cube, it still stands. And the other peculiarities of the ark's construction are signs of features of the church.


Kseniya - I wonder if what happened at the flood parallels somewhat what God said to Abraham concerning his descendants, regarding why they would have to wait before entering the promised land (emphasis added):

"Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." - Gen 15:13b-16


So, the Amorites could not be destroyed until their sin had reached its full measure. Perhaps, at the time of the flood, the sin of the peoples of earth (apart from Noah and his family) had reached its "full measure"?

In Christ,
Michael

#18 Michael Stickles

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:40 PM

One more take on the flood, by the church historian Eusebius, as part of an explanation of why the Gospel was not preached and Christ did not come earlier (Church History, Book 1, Chapter 2, written c. 325 AD):

17. But why the Gospel was not preached in ancient times to all men and to all nations, as it is now, will appear from the following considerations. The life of the ancients was not of such a kind as to permit them to receive the all-wise and all-virtuous teaching of Christ.

18. For immediately in the beginning, after his original life of blessedness, the first man despised the command of God, and fell into this mortal and perishable state, and exchanged his former divinely inspired luxury for this curse-laden earth. His descendants having filled our earth, showed themselves much worse, with the exception of one here and there, and entered upon a certain brutal and insupportable mode of life.

19. They thought neither of city nor state, neither of arts nor sciences. They were ignorant even of the name of laws and of justice, of virtue and of philosophy. As nomads, they passed their lives in deserts, like wild and fierce beasts, destroying, by an excess of voluntary wickedness, the natural reason of man, and the seeds of thought and of culture implanted in the human soul. They gave themselves wholly over to all kinds of profanity, now seducing one another, now slaying one another, now eating human flesh, and now daring to wage war with the Gods and to undertake those battles of the giants celebrated by all; now planning to fortify earth against heaven, and in the madness of ungoverned pride to prepare an attack upon the very God of all.

20. On account of these things, when they conducted themselves thus, the all-seeing God sent down upon them floods and conflagrations as upon a wild forest spread over the whole earth. He cut them down with continuous famines and plagues, with wars, and with thunderbolts from heaven, as if to check some terrible and obstinate disease of souls with more severe punishments.

21. Then, when the excess of wickedness had overwhelmed nearly all the race, like a deep fit of drunkenness, beclouding and darkening the minds of men, the first-born and first-created wisdom of God, the pre-existent Word himself, induced by his exceeding love for man, appeared to his servants, now in the form of angels, and again to one and another of those ancients who enjoyed the favor of God, in his own person as the saving power of God, not otherwise, however, than in the shape of man, because it was impossible to appear in any other way.

22. And as by them the seeds of piety were sown among a multitude of men and the whole nation, descended from the Hebrews, devoted themselves persistently to the worship of God, he imparted to them through the prophet Moses, as to multitudes still corrupted by their ancient practices, images and symbols of a certain mystic Sabbath and of circumcision, and elements of other spiritual principles, but he did not grant them a complete knowledge of the mysteries themselves.

23. But when their law became celebrated, and, like a sweet odor, was diffused among all men, as a result of their influence the dispositions of the majority of the heathen were softened by the lawgivers and philosophers who arose on every side, and their wild and savage brutality was changed into mildness, so that they enjoyed deep peace, friendship, and social intercourse. Then, finally, at the time of the origin of the Roman Empire, there appeared again to all men and nations throughout the world, who had been, as it were, previously assisted, and were now fitted to receive the knowledge of the Father, that same teacher of virtue, the minister of the Father in all good things, the divine and heavenly Word of God, in a human body not at all differing in substance from our own. He did and suffered the things which had been prophesied. For it had been foretold that one who was at the same time man and God should come and dwell in the world, should perform wonderful works, and should show himself a teacher to all nations of the piety of the Father. The marvelous nature of his birth, and his new teaching, and his wonderful works had also been foretold; so likewise the manner of his death, his resurrection from the dead, and, finally, his divine ascension into heaven.


Eusebius seems to be treating the flood, as well as many other things, as God's "treatments" to hold back the spread of the disease of sin across the earth. The "patient" then would seem to be not men as individuals, but mankind as a whole (and even creation itself).

In Christ,
Michael

#19 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:36 PM

Dear Michael, thank you so much for posting the patristic writings .. these are great and are going to help me with my review tonight ... so I will study them carefully.

Unfortunately, I struggle to express myself so forgive me. Elder Athanasius will be canonised by the Patriarchate in coming years because of his amazing theological insight ... he is not just an interpretor but a creator of insight into the Scriptures - hence, why I get excited often and love to post according to the things I have heard him say.

He explains in detail the door based on the Greek text of the Noah story ... I dont think its hard to understand the point he makes in that to enter into the ark (the church) there is only ONE door .. not two or three. This single door is baptism.

In the story of Noah, they were quite capable of closing the door themselves from the inside but they didnt. It was God himself that closes the door to the ark - from the outside! Elder Athanasius draws some amazing theological reasons for this but the main is that everyone is constantly being called into the ark. The door to THIS ark (the Church) is still open ...it hasnt closed.

Revelation tells us that the time WILL come that this door will close and those left outside will find a similar fate to those who mocked and teased Noah ... they refused to hear the call to repentance and salvation in the ark.

Something else this elder said is that we should not judge God ... when we say ... how can a "loving" God kill people ... we are judging him using Christological and ethical laws that HE created anyway ... it is considered an "apology" to even have to compare God to His own laws ...

I dont think I have an answer Why He chose a flood and not fire or a volcano but when you look at it in that term .. and u compare the choices he had on how he could destroy the generations of that time ... the flood/waters and the ark have such strong eschatological importance ..it leaves ur mind spinning!!!

#20 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:04 AM

a) God gave Noah's contemporaries a chance to repent, and b) having seen that they did not repent, He sent the Flood to destroy them.


My dear Kseniya, its a shame I cant edit my previous post since I wanted to add to it.

As I was driving earlier, this comment was stirring in my prayers .... it has been ever since you posted it ... (b) "He sent the Flood to destroy them."

God put the following thought into my heart ... the flood was not sent to destroy "them (people)" but "them (sin)". Michael Stickle brought up a patristic commentary stating that amorities had reached their full measure.

This is the thought that came into my head that helped me to understand ... think of noise and pretend for a moment that noise equates to sin. If noise is soft it is still noise and perhaps not liked but "tolerable". However, the louder that the noise gets the more annoying that it gets ... louder and louder and louder and louder it gets ... think of the person who is trying to cope with this noise ... you get this mental image of a person holding their hands over there ears and closing their eyes tight trying to shut this noise out ...

(Apology) I dont try to compare God to a person who can not cope but its an antrhopic image to use to relate perhaps to God ... the sin had reached its "peak" - we know its a fact that sin is an apostasy from God so if it is at its peak it is most unbearable to God ... so the flood HAD to occur to "wash away the imprint of the noise on the earth"". This is the HOWEVER .. because God LOVES his creation ... and people ...he gave them 100 hundred years to repent and save them before he had to "cleanse"the earth from the sins of these same people.

They chose not to listen ..

God did not KILL people ... God cleansed the earth from the pollutions of the people ..they happened to not put themselves into a safe environment while He was doind his housework.




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