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Would Adam have lived forever if he had not fallen?


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#21 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

Dear Mr A.C.Lumsden,

I think the problem is that there is a big difference between Roman Catholic and the Orthodox view of things, for one many Orthodox would not say there is such a thing as billions of years of history only about six thousand.

In Roman Catholicism there is a focus only on the theological points, and often Protestantism miss them in asserting only the literal points, Orthodoxy maintains both.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#22 A.C. Lumsden

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:08 PM

Indeed Olga. I had hoped that Jesse Dominick would have seen this.... :)

#23 A.C. Lumsden

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:03 PM

Dear Daniel R.,

I rather think not. The difficulty with your saying that one can hold both views, viz. that the world is only about 6,000yrs old AND the figurative language and value of Genesis simulteneously, is that the tangible evidence of the Dinosaurs and carbon-dating rather makes the 6000yrs theory quite rediculous. Now, from my four years of Patristic Theology studies, I know that the Orthodox Church is definitely not rediculous, rather, I think Her to be quite the depository of Truth. I do not think this an issue of Orthodox versus Roman Catholic, as you seem to suggest.

Therefore, maybe there is an Orthodox Scholar out there in the community who can address this issue adequately? Thanks.

In Domino Iesv Christe,
ACL

#24 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 09:36 PM

Dear Mr A.C. Lumsden,

Sorry but it is not figurative some things can have two meanings both the one that we see and another deeper meaning.

The tangible evidence of the Dinosaurs and carbon-dating rather makes the 6000yrs theory quite ridiculous.

Why ridiculous science is not infallible, many species e.g Dodo no longer exist does not mean it has to have been millions of years ago, carbon-dating is not quite what you think it is. As evolution (a rather more groundless theory then we are lead to believe) requires death in order to evolve it is hard to reconcile that with the fact Adam would not have died, nor was he descended from anyone and that death came into the world through his not obeying God.

We are required to have Faith in God not science. If you choose to believe in a "figurative" sense that is up to you quite a few inside the Church do,but I think most do not.

Therefore, maybe there is an Orthodox Scholar out there in the community who can address this issue adequately? Thanks.

Orthodoxy is not (unlike Roman Catholicism) about scholars it is about knowing God, that is how all the saints lived.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#25 Anna Stickles

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 11:31 PM

The cross was a real physical thing, why not the tree? We know that paradise really was a physical place since Adam and Eve had at that time physical bodies. And to deny that there was one couple from which all of man descended, would mean that we would have to completely change to a different understanding from what the Fathers teach about the anthropology of man and the economy of God's salvation. We cannot compromise either on the reality of paradise as a physical place or the reality of Adam and Eve as the first man and woman from which the rest of humanity has come.

Of course though, after the fall, the whole physical creation was changed, it became not like it was, and entered into a changed mode of existence. Paradise no longer existed as it was, and became physically inaccessible because what was left of it existed on another plane of existence so to speak.

This does not deny that Genesis is a theological story, but it is a theological story with a grounding in a real physical reality, just as the rest of the Bible is.

#26 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 12:23 PM

here are some quotes from Scripture, Patristics, hymnography, and the canons that show that Adam and Eve were indeed the first people, and were created in a manner distinct from all later people http://oldbelieving....sequent-people/

#27 A.C. Lumsden

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:07 PM

Dear Anna, two things:
1. That there was a first man and a first woman is not in dispute. What is being discussed is the Theological Story (Stories) of the Creation, for there are two in Genesis.
2. The Gospels and the New Testament are books of historical veracity. This means that the Cross was a reality of Roman torture. That is to say, we are talking here of two different kinds of literature, Genesis an ancient book containing an early account of creation couched in the beauty of two Theological Stories; The Gospels, an historical account of the Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection of Our Lord. Therefore it is illogical to make a comparison of literal interpretation between the two, e.g. if there was an actual Cross there must have been and actual Eden. The two books were written for different purposes, in different times (a few thousdand years apart!) and by different peoples.

In Domino Iesv Christe
ACLumsden

#28 Anna Stickles

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:00 PM

Consider these quotes by C.S. Lewis "Myth became Fact"


"Now what Dyson and Tolkien showed me ... was this: that if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn't mind it at all: again, that if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again, that the idea of the dying and reviving god (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus) similarly moved me provided I met it anywhere except in the Gospels. The reason was that in the Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even though I could not say in cold prose "what it meant". Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that *it really happened*: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the other are men's myths: i.e., the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call "real things". Therefore, it is *true*, not in the sense of being a description of God (that no finite mind would take in) but in the sense of being the way in which God chooses to appear to our faculties.


Now as myth transcends thought, Incarnation transcends myth. The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history. It happens--at a particular date, in a particular place, followed by definable historical consequences. We pass from a Balder or an Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified (it is all in order) under Pontius Pilate. By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle.

To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myths. The one is hardly more necessary than the other is.

~C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, "Myth Became Fact" (1944)


The fact that the Genesis account is a theological story, like other theological stories of the time, does not preclude it from also being a fact, any more then being a fact precludes the death and resurrection of Christ from being a myth. There are differences between the Old and New covenants but God's working with mankind in this way has not changed. And while I have not read a large number of the Fathers, the ones I have read teach that the Genesis story has a basis in sensible reality, that it indeed did really happen. However they also clearly honor the fact that it is a myth in the fullest sense of that word as something which communicates reality not simply abstract truth. (see the first quote by C.S. Lewis in this article)

And in the face of those who want to make Genesis nothing more then a myth, they have defended, as Lewis has mentioned in regards the Gospel, the necessity of both intellectual assent to the historicity as well as its reception as myth.

Edited by Anna Stickles, 23 August 2011 - 05:36 PM.


#29 Anna Stickles

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:29 PM

Here is another quote from C.S. Lewis on the subject in Surprised by Joy

I was by now too experienced in literary criticism to regard the Gospels as myths. They had not the mythical taste. And yet the very matter which they set down in their artless, historical fashion — those narrow, unattractive jews, too blind to the mystical wealth of the Pagan world around them — was precisely the matter of great myths. If ever a myth had become a fact, had been incarnated, it would be just like this. And nothing else in all literature was just like this. Myths were like it in one way. Histories were like it in another, but nothing was simply alike. And no person was like the Person it depicted; as real, as recognizable, through all that depth of time... yet also so luminous, lit by a light from beyond the world, a god. But if a god — we are no longer polytheists — then not a god, but God. Here and here only in all time the myth must have become fact; the Word, flesh; God, Man. This is not "a religion," nor "a philosophy." It is the summing up and actuality of them all.


You can see here that literary style is not the limiting factor. The fact that the Gospels were written in an "artless historical fashion" does not keep them from being myth. and neither does the fact that the Genesis accounts were written in the "beauty of two theological stories" keep it from being fact.

From beginning to end the thing that makes the Bible unique among religious literature is precisely this union of Reality expressing itself in history.

#30 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:10 PM

Mr. A. C. Lumsden, the Fathers accepted Genesis as historical. I certainly don't know Scripture better than the Saints.




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