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The Early Church and Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    [Administrator: This topic was started on another thread but given its own space in this one. Therefore Barbarian’s opening comment refers to the beginning comments before.]

    Helen: Just to make the record straight for any readers, Augustine was also the one who said in his Confessions that God must be in hell since God is everywhere. As great a theologian as Augustine was, he fell prey to the same problem that besets many theologians: coming to depend upon his own intellect and reasoning. This is another way of putting the creature above the Creator, as per Romans
    Augustine could have accepted on faith, as others of the early church did, that God knows what He is talking about in Genesis.

    That was, of course, what Augustine believed. He merely pointed out the logical absurdity of a literal Genesis. He was considered to be very orthodox by early Christians.

    From the start, orthodoxy did not include a literal Genesis.

    And, as I have mentioned in my other posts here, the belief in a young creation was the standard belief until the nineteenth century when Lyell and company declared that the rock strata could only be laid down very slowly over millennia upon millennia, thus ushering the concept of gradualism, which at that time was part and parcel of uniformitarianism,

    Actually, Lyell pointed out that eruptions and floods could suddenly deposit material, but that this was not the the norm, although we do see it happen from time to time.

    It makes no difference what Augustine or any theologian or scientist says. What matters is what does the Bible say? The New Testament concurs that Genesis is to be taken literally. Jesus talked of the beginning of creation referring to Adam and Eve. He talked of Noah and the flood. Romans talks about the first Adam. Hebrews refers to various Old Testament saints including Abel, Enoch, Melchizedek, Abraham, and Noah. James mentions Abraham and Isaac. I an II Peter talk about Noah, Sarah, Abraham, the Flood Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot. I John mentions Cain and Jude refers to Sodom and Gomorrha, cain and Enoch. Without exception, every part of the Hebrew Old Testament is referred to in the New Testament, whether it is the Law, the Prophets or the Writings. It is clear that the New Testament supports a literal Genesis. What others may say about it doesn't matter. "let God be true, but every man a liar." Romans 3:4.

    Thank you for your support, not just of me but, of course, primarily of the Bible itself.
    Barbarian is like many others who make a pronouncement and expect others to believe it because they said what they said with a tone of authority.

    But that was never a determiner of truth. For the most part, those who approach arguments like that, especially theologically, are not capable of dealing with the Bible on an exegetical basis. They cannot support themselves biblically, but only by way of whatever church authorities they are following.

    As far as Augustine goes, there is a lot to respect in his writings, as anyone who has read him knows. But that does not make him right in everything he said. It doesn't matter how much respect he has ever gotten.

    I was, Helen, merely pointing out that it is false to assume the early Christians were YE creationists. As Augustine demonstrates, they weren't.
    YE creationism is a modern religion, mostly influenced by the ideas of some Seventh-Day Adventists.

    Here are some more sources that show the early church believed in a young Earth.
    “Genesis means what it says: Basil (AD 329 - 379)”, by Don Batten and David Watson in Creation Ex Nihilo 16(4):23 September - November 1994. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v16n4_basil.asp

    What was Martin Luther's stand on reation/Evolution? http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c027.html

    “Calvin says: Genesis means what it says”, by Jonathan Sarfati in Creation Ex Nihilo 22(4):44–45 September–November 2000 http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v22n4_calvin.asp

    “Which is the recent aberration? Old-Earth or Young-Earth Belief?” by Don Batten http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/docs/date_of_creation.asp

    “The Westminster View of Creation Days: A Choice between Non-Ambiguity or Historical Revisionism” by David W. Hall

    The fact that Augustine noted the logical contradictions of a literal reading of Genesis is compelling evidence that the early church was not YE creationist.

    McCreedy vs. Augustine. Not much of a choice, eh. Not that Seventh-Day Adventists aren't Christian. But they don't speak for the early church, which quite different than that more recent form of Christianity.

    Actual research vs. the Barbarian. Not much of a choice, eh?
    "The Days of Genesis 1" -- take a look at who believed what in the early church. Barbarian has been given this link (actually to the entire paper, and this is just chapter 3) at least ten times now on various forums. It is obvious he has not read it at all.

    Actually you might want to read up on St. Augustine. His opinion was highly valued by his contemporaries, and Christians afterwards.

    We've discussed that some Christians then, as now, disagreed with him. The point is, as we discussed before, that YE creationism was not generally accepted by early Christians.

    Augustine himself tried a literal Genesis, and found it could not be done without logical contradictions. Check this site:

    It is simply untrue that the early Christians were YE creationists. The most respected and influential of them had pointed out that such beliefs could not be supported by Scripture.

    Criminy!! Read the link!! Quit the authoritarian pronouncements and get a little educated, OK?

    And yes, Helen, I have read your site. It provides a list of early Christian theologians, alleging that 9 out of 24 believed that the days in Genesis were 24 hour days.
    Which could be true. The point remains that such a doctrine was not orthodox then or now.

    [ January 01, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]