Orthodoxy & Evolution

I

What I’ll write, as always, will likely prove unpopular.

But to say what I think, when I have thought much about an issue, especially if the issue itself is consistently brought up before me, is an imperative I have strongly felt all of my life.

Of late, more articles and opinion pieces than I’ve ever before noticed on the matter of the theory of evolution have circulated in the most ostensible of Orthodox English-language digital media.

They share that they are decisively negative toward that theory. Most even speak in an almost apocalyptic tone of the dangers involved for an Orthodox Christian should they be so blind or thoughtless as to actually assent to it’s probable truth on the best evidence we have for now.

Holy Orthodoxy and the theory of evolution are inherently and irremediably irreconcilable.

So goes their account.

The cardinally important question to be asked of everything —is it true?

I don’t believe so.

Not only that, but I strongly feel that there are more dangers in insisting on an anti-evolutionary opinion as essential to an Orthodox Christian than there are vice versa.

II

First the problem has to be framed in its basically Anglo-American context. I have never before had this with Russian Orthodox people from Russia.

Most Russians have no difficulty in reconciling their biology classes with their Orthodoxy. I even have the good luck to be friends with several biologists and people who, while not biologists by career, have completed a university-level degree in biology. They seem not to be able to see the contradiction that so troubles Western creationists.

In fact, after the Origin of the Species the most important work in the building of the modern theory of evolution is a book entitled Genetics and the Origin of the Species. It integrated Darwin’s account of origins with the then emergent field of genetics. It was written by Theodosius Dobzhansky —a glowingly brilliant mind and faithful son of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Only recently with the translation of certain books by Seraphim Rose and the publication and distribution of others by Fr. Danil Sisoyev has it been becoming a live issue in our Church. A potentially bottomless well of divisiveness for the future—it isn’t what one ought to remember them for.

We must note as well with no little sadness that outright translations of Protestant creationist works into Russian are beginning to be felt as important contributions to the problem. It is tragic to see books with explicit heretical underpinnings becoming a standard reference for Orthodox believers. Textbooks of sorts with which to unsettle other believers and question their Orthodoxy.

Alexei Osipov, professor of the premiere Theological Academy of Moscow, put it perfectly when he said that for Holy Orthodoxy both evolution and creationism are permissible in principle. Which, if either, is true or most probable is a question of a strictly scientific order and not one of theological dogma.

III

Creation Icon III

Evolution, as a theory of biological origins, taken apart from any consideration as to whether or not there is a God—is indeed a hard sell. Irreligious proponents of the theory concede it’s so.

John Barrow and Frank Tipler, as an example, once gave a list of 10 prerequisites for the eventual evolution of life on a planet comparable to the earth in size, material make-up and spatial positioning relative to a star similar to our sun.

According to Barrow and Tipler themselves, the star that would serve the purpose of our sun in the scenario should have died before even one of the ten prerequisites obtained. All 10 obtained in our case.

Evolution is not the bludgeon with which to beat about the head those with religious convictions. I grant that, from Huxley to Dawkins, there have been people who try to use it as such. But I insist that that was not Darwin’s aim nor is it why biologists universally support it ever since.

And it is as emphatically as I may make it certainly not an elegant materialist alternative to religion. An accidental interplay of particles producing life, is a deeply unsatisfying place to put the full-stop. Barrow and Tipler’s answer is not that it is logical or convincing. It is that it is so whether we like it or not. It happened.

It is the physical evidence that makes biologists of all kinds of religious convictions and private philosophical opinions accept that something like Darwin’s theory of origins seems to be the way life came about on earth. A Protestant pastor with a preferred translation of the Jewish (not Orthodox) canon of the Old Testament—is not in a position to know better than them.

IV

And why should there be a hostile reaction to the theory on our part as believers?

Fine. It’s hard to accept, if not absurd, on materialist suppositions. But if we believe in God and the spiritual world—why should it be difficult to believe that all 10 conditions were fulfilled? Make it 100. More. God can.

But does it not take away God’s chance to create? If it’s a process and not just God making everything direct and immediately?

Following after the example of our Lord and God and Saviour Christ Himself, I’ll answer a question with a question.

Did God create you? I suspect yes is your answer reader. How? Abracadabra and there you are? I trust your aversion for biology hasn’t taken you so far as there.

Yes God made you. But it was a 9 months process that began with spermatozoa and chromosomes and an egg cell and saw you develop from a foetus to a full-bodied baby; ready to open eyes never before seen by the world onto a world you had never before seen yourself. Is that not an evolution of sorts? And if that is how God makes men now, why should we be so afraid of that He may have made life like that originally?

Why can’t life have come about over time purposely? Perhaps even actively aided in its accomplishment by the holy angels (who holy fathers say are always acting behind the veil of nature; the hare we don’t see in the bush that makes the leaves move).

V

Creation Icon

Now things come to a head here.

The primary problem for Protestants lies in their soteriology (the theological study of the nature of salvation)—a soteriology the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ does not accept. This soteriology colours their—but not our—entire theology and so finally their way of seeing the world.

In mainstream Protestantism creation does nothing but get in the way of God. From the fall of the angels to that of Adam, we are forever spoiling God’s kasha.

The God of Protestantism intervenes directly to amend this. First by torturing His incarnate Son and then by arbitrarily saving people “by grace” (which for them means basically “for free” owing to Jerome’s choice of a Latin word; it isn’t an energy of God or a gift). And once you’re saved you’re always saved. So put that, if you will Sir/Madame, in your pipe and smoke it!

For Protestants, this is how God’s relations with creation work. It’s all direct, all initiative is with Him. As the central text of another religion vehemently opposed to the theory of evolution puts it: He says be. And it is.

Holy Orthodoxy is an altogether different religion than that.

VI

The Lord God loves variety.

That He created an entire class of creature whose name means an intermediary between Him and other created beings—angel: ambassador or messenger—is almost alone enough to prove it.

He could have warned Lot directly somehow. But He sent angels to bring him and his family out of Pentapolis.

He could have guided Tobit inwardly and cast out the demon from Sara and healed his father’s blindness by Himself. But He sent the archangel St. Raphael to do all this.

He could have given the news to the Virgin that she was to be the Most Holy Mother of God by rearranging the stars into the Annunciation—He sent St. Gabriel.

He can and does guide and guard all creation—but He does so by means of His holy angels, whose number fixed the boundaries of the earth, who protect whole nations, peoples, cities and every individual human being personally.

The Lord God the Church knows doesn’t just do things first person directly all the time. He loves to delegate power and responsibility.

The same is so even of man. To quote St. Macarius Metropolitan of Moscow (as cited by Father Pomozhansky in his introduction to Orthodox dogmatic theology): “As the image of God, the son and inheritor of the Heavenly Father, man has been placed as a kind of intermediary between the Creator and the earthly creation. . .so that by concentrating the aims of all existing visible creatures in himself, he might through himself unite all things with God, and thus keep the whole chain of earthly creatures in a harmonious bond and order.”

Our soteriology goes against the Protestant idea of a God Who imposes Himself directly on creation to accomplish His aims and ends with us.

We have to work out (κατεργάζομαι) our own salvation, as the holy apostle Paul taught. And as Christ Himself warned, he who puts his hand to the plough but looks back is not worthy. It is they who persevere to the end that shall be saved. Synergy and podvig are the watch-words.

The Only-begotten Son of God came down from heaven and for us and our salvation became man. He gives Grace—Благодать—the Divine energy without which we cannot do what we must—save our sinful souls. But it is us who have to ask, accept and struggle to hold it and increase it.

And salvation is not a once and for all affair. It is not even attained completely in this life-time. The refashioning of ourselves into the Image of the God-man out of the broken image of Adam is not finished in this world. It too is an evolution of sorts, culminating in the Resurrection.

But to return to creation, in the text of the first chapters of the holy book of Genesis itself we don’t see God stating “Be” and it is. The Lord God, rather, makes and calls into action the created world and it responds in cooperation; becomes fruitful, brings forth in abundance, increases and multiplies.

It is always a dialogue with God. Even the choice to make man at all took place within the Tri-hypostatic Godhead as a cooperative creative decision.

“Let Us make man.” Not “Be” and man was.

VII

In addition to the dangers of taking heretics for authorities to judge other Orthodox Christians by and rejecting a scientific theory for reasons predicated purely upon a heretical soteriology, there is the troubling consequence that it presents people, particularly young boys and girls, with a false dichotomy. One that often ends with them leaving behind religion as antiquated precisely for the fact that it is alleged to be implacably opposed to basic biology.

Those who have been taught that it is either God or evolution having come into contact with the physical evidence at secondary school or university or by some other means even later in life, will tend to leave behind religion rather than biology. Sermonizing and all hours at Sunday school stand no chance when the consensus of the scientific world are arrayed against them. And in a certain sense this is as it should be. But they should never have been forced to pick a horn of this dilemma to impale themselves on to begin with.

VIII

Creation Mosaic

What is a right, an Orthodox approach to physical science?

The holy fathers generally when they write of things we today would suppose fall within its range, are wrong. They believed in animals that don’t exist, related inaccurate geographical information and more. More often than not, because that is what their contemporaries, who were not Christians, believed.

And we ought not to be ashamed of their errors. It is a demonstration of the standard of their education and the quality of their personal culture. Our fathers in the Faith were men who knew the live issues of their time and were familiar with current ideas.

A principle upon which a sound Orthodox approach to the physical sciences might proceed, is the governing conviction that God knows how the world works. If we discover a physical phenomenon or process, it isn’t a surprise to God.

If then a text from Sacred Scripture seems to me to contradict what we have found in the physical world, I should not then conclude “Well so much the worse for the world because the Bible says.”

It is neither nature nor God that is wrong here. The fault lies in my reading of the text, not the text itself. And certainly not in the deliverances of the physical senses regards a public and repeatable or recurring phenomenon.

And if one is looking for scientifically accurate statements about the physical world in the first place—I should confidently say that at all events they are plainly reading it wrong.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk describes Scripture as God’s love-letter to humanity. One would have to be pre-eminently crass and insensitive to begin sifting a love-letter’s phrases for scientific accuracy.

The Gospels are spiritual. They are to be read spiritually. We ought to read them prayerfully and try to carry it into our lives. They’re for the deepening of one’s spiritual life, softening of one’s heart and cleansing of one’s soul.

Fire for repentance, incitement to prayer, stepping-stone to our highest hopes; inexhaustible treasury of faith, hope and love. Source of direction and consolation, not scientific information. They tell us about the unseen that sees us.

If we read the Bible that way, I think there would be less needless divisions stemming from questions in fields of science that so few of us are really competent to seriously discuss anyway.

And that would be the least benefit.

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11 thoughts on “Orthodoxy & Evolution

  1. As well, for further reading—though I hesitated referencing it in the essay itself on account of the controversy kindled in recent years by the author—on Bishop Alexander’s site there is an excellent little piece by Andrey Kuraev (dun dun DUUUN!).

    He makes most of the same points but cites many more authorities than I could have claimed to have read. I think one can find a few pieces by Bishop Alexander (Mileant) himself too going hard on the Protestant-imported creationist accounts pretending to be patristic.

    http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm

  2. You might try reading Genesis, Creation, and Earl Man by Fr. Seraphim Rose, if you have not already. I hope that you have not mentioned it without reading it. He sets forth a closely reasoned an incredibly well documented account of the Patristic Orthodox Christian Model of Creation and how this worldview is mutually exclusive with the evolutionism. There are some worthy saints who have opposed it in modern times, many of their teachings being closely documented in the above book. You might fight my workbook for students of Biblical (Koine) Greek interesting; the first chapter of the book of Genesis is presented there. biblicalgreekworkbook.wordpress.com The word for “let there be_____” in Greek, γενηθήτω, means to come into being, happen or be: γίνομαι (γίγνομαι in Attic Greek): to become, happen, come into being, be born
    γενεθήτω (Greek uses the third person imperative more often than Latin does, translate it like the jussive subjunctive in Latin, “let _____ “)
    form: 3rd person, singular, aorist, active (deponent verb, and thus passive in form but active in meaning), imperative
    syntax: verb of direct speech in a subordinate clause
    γίνομαι (γίγνομαι in Attic Greek): to become, happen, come into being, be born

    ἐγένετο
    form: 3rd person, singular, aorist, active (deponent), indicative
    syntax: main verb)

    The Orthodox Church’s Greek text of the LXX is, of course, the accepted text of Holy Scriptures for Orthodox Christians.

    I think that it is better that this issue be debated openly rather than hushed up: if evolution is some invincible truth then its adherents should welcome discussion. Latin words often have several different meanings: the Blessed Jerome’s use of the word gratia might likely also encompass the idea of “favor” and “thanks” (“Gratias tibi!” means “Thank you!” in Latin).

    The Gospels are also historical.

    Thank you for bringing this issue up openly and manfully. There are Russian scientists, who believe in a young Earth; you might find them in Fr. Seraphim’s book. Dismissal is easier than controversy: please consider engaging the traditionalists more closely.

    Christ is risen! Christos Anesti! Christos Voskresee!
    -Matthew

  3. Matthew’s comment on the book (supposedly) written by Fr. Seraphim of Platina fails (or is uninformed) to mention that this book, while it DOES have some statements by the late American monk, is largely the work of the redactor, who came from a fundamentalist 7/24 ICR (institute for Creation Research) ‘convert,’ and it is largely that ‘lens’ through which this book (good as it is, it is seriously flawed in this respect) argues its points.

    Now, having said that, I disagree with the author of this post. Presuming an AWFUL lot (the supposed ‘simpliciter’ of the Protestant soteriology, for starters!) he then dismisses an entire continent’s millennium-old attempts at reconciling science (so-called) with theology (so-called, in that it is filioquist Thomism, primarily). But that does NO ONE any good. The quotes about the ‘Orthodox’ pov, all come from a roughly 19th-century forward look, which is myopic in the extreme. One of the things I came to Orthodoxy for was the ‘democracy of the dead’ as Chesterton calls it (and it is the ONLY democracy that can exist this side of the Parousia, simply because those folks are all dead, and can no longer muck up the political process!).

    Quoting the Patristic Fathers should be an Orthodox writer’s first line of defense, in ANY INSTANCE.

    But (and here’s my point) to do that would be to make ‘incarnate’ the data of the Fathers, that is FUNDAMENTALLY AT ODDS WITH THE MODERN ANTI-SCIENTIFIC WORLDVIEW, present since at least Darwin, but in full, fetid flower, since JEW EINSTEIN!

    And that is made visible in the icon you included, about 2/3rds of the way down, after point VIII.
    i.e., that the EARTH is the CENTER of the Universe, and the Sun (red) and moon (blue) REVOLVE AROUND IT!

    Yes, the dreaded dogma of ‘Geocentrism’ (mwah-ha-ha-ha!). Not only that, but that the BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW, corroborated by the Fathers, presupposed not only a geocentric Cosmos, but a FLAT EARTH as well. Allow me to explain both points.

    1) Heliocentrism (the fallacious belief that the earth revolves around the sun, and not vice versa) has been dealt a death blow by ROMAN CATHOLIC Robert Sungenis: both via his recent [ 2014] film,’The Principle,’ as well as his other films and books. Moreover, his analysis of the Roman Communion’s firm stance AGAINST Galileo and Copernicus’ HERESY (two can throw that word around, Mr. Kalyniuk!) in his book, ‘Geocentrism 102- Why Galileo was wrong,’ is nothing short of astounding. While Byzantium fought the Devil on one front (Islam) and ultimately failed, the Western Church fought the Devil on another front (Heliocentrism/ Enlightenment/Scientism) on the other front, and, for a time, did prevail… as well. What one finds in this book, is a massive almost-400 page chronicle of how the Church sought to pastorally deal with these alchemical/hermetic/talmudic (cf. E. Michael Jones’ corresponding book, ‘The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit) ‘scientists,’ with almost as many footnotes (beware footnotes, as Gary North cautioned, back in the day) as pages! Sungenis clearly proves that the Church, from her earliest days, posited Geocentrism to be the NORMATIVE WORLDVIEW FOR ALL OF CHRISTENDOM.

    When Sungenis has major cosmologists, astronomers, physicists, and staunch Evolutionary ‘true believers’ (for YES, Evolution IS a COMPETING RELIGION) concur ON FILM, what the ‘cosmic background radiation’ clearly shows… that not once, not twice, but three times, in three different experiments over the last twenty years renowned scientists have been dumbfounded to ‘discover’ that the earth’s position is clearly at the CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE… well, it almost makes one long for the Michelson/Morley data, which was so less difficult to ignore! Speaking of which, what does the Michelson/Morley data tell Russian/’Orthodox’… or should I say, largely SOVIET scientists of the last century, hmmm? Or do THEY ignore it, too?

    2) The corresponding notion of a Flat earth (as anyone who has taken a class in Hebrew cosmology) and its attendant BIBLICAL worldview is related to geocentrism, but not synonymous with it.

    As an aside, you see, you have to at LEAST ‘get’ to Geocentrism, before you can even BEGIN to logically, BIBLICALLY ‘conform your mind’ [ Rom. 12:2] …to the BIBLICAL NOTION of a flat PLANE, and not a spherical/obloid/pear-shaped PLANE-T!

    And for this, one of the best compilations, (and sources for more information) is from this PROTESTANT author.

    http://www.philipstallings.com/2015/07/the-biblical-flat-earth-early-church.html

    Just one quote to smack between the eyes, the reality of both a flat earth, AND a geocentric universe by the Fathers should start us off:

    “Athanasius: But the earth is not supported upon itself, but is set upon the realm of the waters, while this again is kept in its place, being bound fast at the center of the universe. (Against the Heathen, Book I, Part I)

    How about another?

    Athenagoras: to Him is for us to know who stretched out and vaulted the heavens, and fixed the earth in its place like a center (Why the Christians do not Offer Sacrifices, Ch XIII)

    And another? (In the mouth of two or three witnesses….)

    Chrysostom: When therefore thou beholdest not a small pebble, but the whole earth borne upon the waters, and not submerged, admire the power of Him who wrought these marvellous things in a supernatural manner! And whence does this appear, that the earth is borne upon the waters? The prophet declares this when he says, “He hath founded it upon the seas, and prepared it upon the floods.” And again: “To him who hath founded the earth upon the waters.” What sayest thou? The water is not able to support a small pebble on its surface, and yet bears up the earth, great as it is; and mountains, and hills, and cities, and plants, and men, and brutes; and it is not submerged! (Homilies Concerning the Statutes, Homily IX, paras.7-8, in A Select Library Of The Nicene And Post-Nicene Fathers Of The Christian Church, Series I, Vol IX, ed. Philip Schaff, D.D.,LL.D., American reprint of the Edinburgh edition (1978), W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,Grand Rapids, MI, pp.403-404)

    Could it be that your article, Sir, failed to quote ANY author prior to the XIXth Century, because of this very reason? Just asking?

    And, your comment ” A Protestant pastor with a preferred translation of the Jewish (not Orthodox) canon of the Old Testament—is not in a position to know better than them” clearly is denied, in the face of this evidence.

    Lastly, your variant on the canard, ‘but it’s the current year’ is contained in this statement, which smells of the most condescending Romanist, Fordham Egalitarian ‘Pussy Riot’ modernism I have heard from an ‘Orthodox’ writer, in some time:

    “The holy fathers generally when they write of things we today would suppose fall within its range, are wrong. They believed in animals that don’t exist, related inaccurate geographical information and more. More often than not, because that is what their contemporaries, who were not Christians, believed. And we ought not to be ashamed of their errors. It is a demonstration of the standard of their education and the quality of their personal culture.”

    Does not Holy Scipture state that, as ‘spiritual men’ we can understand things that the ‘carnal’ man cannot? It does. Does not the Lord Jesus Christ state that the Holy Spirit will ‘lead you into ALL truth’ and not just propositional theological truth? He does, and He does. I last heard the BLASPHEMY that ‘we NOW know more than the Fathers’ shortly before I left Rome, thirty years ago! (again, the ‘it’s the current year’ fallacy)

    So, how can you make such a ridiculous statement as this above, in an ATTEMPT TO AVOID THE BIBLICAL, PATRISTIC, and historically ORTHODOX view of the Cosmos, with a flat earth, or at LEAST a geocentric Earth, and a TOTAL REFUTATION OF THE LIES of the ENTIRE Heliocentric/Evolutionary cosmology, which clearly is a religion, with its dogma, its ‘high priests,’ and its stratified society, and anathemas for ‘dissenters’ ??!?

    And as for the ‘animals that don’t exist,’ I’d like more specifics… What are they?

    While I love the Truth of Holy Orthodoxy, it is in its CATHOLICITY, and not its sectarian Byzantine manifestations, wherein that Truth lies. Nor even in an ever more narrow, post-soviet Orthodox resurgence of questionably patrimony, (why have the Sergianists not been anathematized?) in which I am at a loss to find that Catholicity, for which truth, ‘it goeth out unto the four corners’ of the world. A flat, geocentric, Orthodox and Patristic world, apparently.

  4. Well how to follow such an erudite and dogmatic world-view as the one which precedes me??
    Perhaps we best not burden ourselves with absolute litoral world-views, but instead pursue the “spirit of the essay” – “peaceful accommodation”!
    Martin – F**ck popularity it’s a losing game, unless you’re backed by zionist media!
    BRAVO – a tough call and nothing but ridicule to show from all sides when you try to reconcile faith in creation with evolutionary biology. Personally I have never understood the difficulty people have with convoking the complementary nature of involutionary and evolutionary protocols.
    Why must God oversee every minute aspect – could he in his wisdom not create the conditions for a system that allows for an infinite variety of expression, yet conform to certain rules – and then just press the run button and allow it, to fecund all else in response to our ever changing natural and cosmic environment?
    Why must we impose our limited thinking on things we so convincingly do not understand?
    Perhaps too, God is very far removed from the conditions of our world and must therefore employ intermediaries – angels as you imply. Does the boss of a company run down to despatch to explain how his clerk must affix every single stamp? Be sensible for Christs sakes!
    (a colourful term used to explain supersaturation and the inner meaning of crystallization).
    The quotation of St. Macarius is poignant and beautiful – No more need be said about “Mans sacred duty”!
    The fact that “Dialogue” is the essence of the matter cannot be disputed – it is the foundation for profuse creation and the proliferation of unique individual expression.
    The point about forcing youth to choose between one of two horns upon which to impale themselves is pure genius – for that is exactly what we do!!
    I really appreciate the way you write Martin – full of sympathy, artistry and gentle enquiry.
    Such a refreshing change from mainstream rancour.

    P.S The paintings are fabulous.

  5. Highly interesting to see this subject touched upon at SotE

    The first thing that should always be noted is that the ‘evolutionary debate’ is chock full of inference and attempts to define evolution in very specific ways despite a lack of concrete evidence. The word ‘evolution’ can be used to describe many different variations of the theory. I have come to accept only the shallowest interpretation of evolution; that species can, in the long term, adapt to environmental changes. So, I am convinced birds may have a common ancestor. That man and birds have a common ancestor, I don’t accept. On its face, this seems ludicrous, and the evidence for cross-species jumps is sketchy at best.

    I do genuinely think this question itself is overrated in terms of importance. Beliefs about evolution, so long as they begin with God, are no more serious than questions about the veracity of the ages given in the Bible. We do not interpret the text literally 100% of the way through. Discerning, we know when Jesus uses metaphor for example. Hyper-literalism is more at home with Evangelicism than Orthodoxy. However unlike Roman Catholics we must be happy to leave much up to the mystery of God. People who believe in a very literal 6 day creation are perfectly rational to believe it, for anything is possible with God. I am of the opinion that evolutionary science is one of those sciences with very little to offer the world.

  6. “Well, how to follow such an erudite and dogmatic world-view as the one which precedes me??
    Perhaps we best not burden ourselves with absolute litoral world-views, but instead pursue the “spirit of the essay” – “peaceful accommodation”!”

    Clearly, you fail to grasp the necessity of Proverbs 26:4, and prefer instead to merely insult a cleric.
    And Litoral is not the same thing as LITERAL, which is all I was asking to have explained.

    And as to the ‘spirit of the essay,’ if it preaches incorrect doctrine, still needs to be addressed, whether it be written by pope, prelate or merely pretender.

    “I really appreciate the way you write Martin – full of sympathy, artistry and gentle enquiry.
    Such a refreshing change from mainstream rancour.”

    Frankly, it’s the accomodation to the world, that has GOTTEN US into the mess we are in, in the first place. Luckily, with Putin at a 90%-plus rating, with Brexit, and with Trump, we won’t have to deal with the accomodators much longer, Deo Volente.

    “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.” – St. John Chrysostom

    • You’re entitled to your opinions father. I don’t think either of us want to be accused of believing, like a bigot or tyrant, that only our opinion is the one that matters!
      We are none of us, infallible creatures and more than likely prone to the sin of pride, but then that is still part of our journey in life. Our individual search for truth!

  7. If anybody here has actually taken the trouble to read Fr. Seraphim Rose’s highly illuminating tome*, perhaps the most cogent point of that work might now be recalled: prophecies are usually thought of as a prediction of future events, but the Fathers taught us that Genesis is a prophecy by Moses into the past.

    All within Orthodoxy should be able to concede, upon reflection, that this is a concept that unifies us, not divides us.
    ___________________________
    *Genesis, Creation and Early Man

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