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Old 09-23-2012, 05:51 PM #1
TheSilentAssassin
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Christianity and Creationism

I have noticed a trend towards people believing that Christianity has been and will always be a creationist religion and I can't figure out why. Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Philo, along with many other Early Jewish teachers and Church Fathers were not strict creationists. All had different notions of allegorical or metaphorical interpretations of Genesis. This doesn't seem to jive with the modern perception that Christians who aren't strict 7 day creationists are "new", "radical", or "going soft". It seems that if a Christian doesn't believe that God created the world in 7 days than he is not a true Christian.

Is this a fair assessment? Do you think Christians who aren't strict creationists get looked down upon by Christians? Why do you think this is? Is this a problem of ignorance? Thoughts?
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:11 PM #2
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I think it's mainly the "new" Christian denominations out there which is largely influenced by American Evangelism. I myself am Roman Catholic which is very orthordox and many times I disagree with the comments made by other Christians on here. Our theology tends to differ in one way or another. Of course I can easily point at others within Catholicism who profess to be Catholic but behave otherwise and either label themselves as "liberal" or take a more "liberal" view of the Catholic Church's teachings. Which basically means they pick and choose what they like. Kind of funny how people don't want to follow the Catholic Church's teachings but still want to remain Catholic. I think that's the problem, there are so many different Christian denominations out there with varying degrees of teachings and you are getting a really tiny percentage of Christians posting in here. Let alone educated enough in their own church's teachings/philosphy to make an authorative answer. Plus a lot of these church's are relatively young and their teachings change or "evolve" over time. Roman Catholicism has gone through/will continue to experience changes as well. We just have 2000+ years or so under our belt so our changes have been gradual over long periods unlike the "younger" church's out there.

Many of the early Church Fathers you mentioned above are probably not even known by most Christians whether Catholic or not. So that just adds to the issue that your question is addressing.

Here's the Catholic Church's view(not necessarily Catholics themselves as some of them probably don't even know that their Church has a stance on this subject)

"Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37). They need not be hostile to modern cosmology. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "[M]any scientific studies . . . have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life forms, and the appearance of man. These studies invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator" (CCC 283). Still, science has its limits (CCC 284, 2293–4)." And for quotes from the Early Church Fathers: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/creation-and-genesis

I'm not sure whether Christians who aren't strict creationist's get looked down upon by other Christians or not? I'm Catholic and I am faithful to the Church's teachings and the authority of the Church's teaching office so I get looked down upon most of the time by the world anyways
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:42 AM #3
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I think its just the typical cycle of religion accepting scientific and social progress. Remember, we used to think the Sun went around the Earth.

Christians will consistently make concessions until the majority of them accept evolution as a fact. It'll grow exponentially; knowledge is infectious. They can then move on to the next battle; scientists already did. 250 years ago.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:56 AM #4
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I think there's a bit of a misnomer there - Scientists and Christians are not mutually exclusive groups. The head of the Human Genome Project was a Christian, and the whole thing with Galileo was more complex than you'd think. And of course Galileo was a man of faith. Heck even the initial idea of the Big Bang theory was proposed by a bishop of all people, and ridiculed among parts of the scientific and atheist community for being an attempt to bring God back into creation by having a beginning. Ironic.

Perhaps the side of Christianity that teaches strict 7 literal day creation is the most talked about because, like Westboro, it is the furthest from the secular worldview. It is probably the default position however. I on the other hand have been brought up in a Christian home where I've been taught that the creation story is not necessarily literal. I don't have any problem with evolution etc., but then I'm open to questioning it's most basic tenets as I'm not forced to roll with it in order to be as Dawkins would say "intellectually fulfilled".
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:34 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
I have noticed a trend towards people believing that Christianity has been and will always be a creationist religion and I can't figure out why. Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Philo, along with many other Early Jewish teachers and Church Fathers were not strict creationists. All had different notions of allegorical or metaphorical interpretations of Genesis. This doesn't seem to jive with the modern perception that Christians who aren't strict 7 day creationists are "new", "radical", or "going soft". It seems that if a Christian doesn't believe that God created the world in 7 days than he is not a true Christian.

Is this a fair assessment? Do you think Christians who aren't strict creationists get looked down upon by Christians? Why do you think this is? Is this a problem of ignorance? Thoughts?
I would say that the creationists are reactionary. They perceive a dwindling of their authority in society and are responding accordingly. I hardly see the logic in lashing out at the causal adaption of physical forms though I suppose the only decent thing going for creationism is that it counters the mythology of evolution as linear progress.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:21 AM #6
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I don't care usually. I keep my beliefs and my opinions clandestine as much as possible. That way I can participate in discussions with people who have the complete opposite opinions of myself. It is all about gathering knowledge, be it right or wrong.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:42 PM #7
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Quote:
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I think there's a bit of a misnomer there - Scientists and Christians are not mutually exclusive groups.
Science and Creationism is.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:46 AM #8
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Depends. There are many different takes on creationism. Some are more dogmatic than others, and some are more scientific than others.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:55 AM #9
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Depends. There are many different takes on creationism. Some are more dogmatic than others, and some are more scientific than others.
Example? Now keep in mind it can probably can be assumed for this discussion we are talking about the Abrahamic God.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:45 AM #10
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You've noticed this trend because the creationists are the most vocal.

Creationism is simply an easy concept to get the base fired up about. They can use it to spin the, "the world is evil and against us and lying to us. We're enlightened victims," argument. There are lots of things in the world they don't like and they're all interconnected. You know how it works, you' read their posts. If you go to one of their seminars it's pretty clear how they feel.

In answer to your question, yes they look down on other christians that aren't creationists. They see themselves as enlightened so by default others are lost or blind to the truth. God still loves the other Christians though.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:18 PM #11
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Most who bash the concept of creationism in respect to Abrahamic faiths don't understand creationism nor Abrahamic faiths and reject both through improper preconceived notions, interpretations, and understandings.

Christianity has good teachings in regards to morals, in regards to worshipping God (God, not Jesus), but it's "100 AD ignorance" is very evident because the scripture was written by the hands of man. What is written is not what Jesus said, not what Moses said, etc etc. The corruption of man is clear and obvious.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:27 PM #12
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I have noticed a trend towards people believing that Christianity ......... Do you think Christians who aren't strict creationists get looked down upon by Christians? Why do you think this is?
Are Christians capable of pride, being judgmental or arrogance, even concerning other Christians? Sure, for any number of reasons. I'm sure that there are some teachings in the Bible they could read that teach against these things that would help.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:47 PM #13
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Most who bash the concept of creationism in respect to Abrahamic faiths don't understand creationism nor Abrahamic faiths and reject both through improper preconceived notions, interpretations, and understandings.

Christianity has good teachings in regards to morals, in regards to worshipping God (God, not Jesus), but it's "100 AD ignorance" is very evident because the scripture was written by the hands of man. What is written is not what Jesus said, not what Moses said, etc etc. The corruption of man is clear and obvious.
Men who are creationists do not understand emanationism like our dear friend Aquinas.

God defined as the actualization of all potential is the same thing as Defining god as the essence of being rather than a supreme being. Calling God a supreme being is also the supreme error that leads one to becoming a creationist.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:24 PM #14
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How can an actualization of all potential not have control over the "less" divine? Can it be "perfect" if it has no power over what isn't?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:19 PM #15
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Drex - if you define "creationism" as literal seven days then that's one thing, but I wouldn't. I believe God created the cosmos - but I don't pretend to know exactly how or in what order. I like the Big Bang idea, and as I've said don't have any real issues with evolution, but I'd still consider myself a creationist.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:57 PM #16
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Drex - if you define "creationism" as literal seven days then that's one thing, but I wouldn't. I believe God created the cosmos - but I don't pretend to know exactly how or in what order. I like the Big Bang idea, and as I've said don't have any real issues with evolution, but I'd still consider myself a creationist.
Your version of the creation not directly contradicting science (as a literal 7 days interpretation would) does not mean it is in any way scientific.

Saying that for example that god caused the big bang, and has guided the evolution of humans is not scientific, it just gets along with science better than other views.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:12 AM #17
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You're playing semantics. "More scientific" can mean "agrees more with science", which is what I meant. It seems however that by "scientific" you mean "employs the scientific method" - in which case non-literal creationism is still more scientific by virtue of many of it's ideas having been discovered via said scientific method (regardless of who did the discovering).

Something does not have to be 100% scientific in order to be scientific at all.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:56 PM #18
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You can really get way out there with creation theory. If any of you ever watch the Ancient Aliens Series you'd find it has more circumstancial " proof " than that of the old bearded guy in the sky. http://listverse.com/2011/02/21/top-...ncient-aliens/

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:07 PM #19
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How can an actualization of all potential not have control over the "less" divine? Can it be "perfect" if it has no power over what isn't?
Here, take a lil Plotinus:

"That which is eternally perfect is eternally productive. That which it produces [the Nous] is eternal too, though inferior to the generating principle"
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:52 PM #20
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I'm not sure if that answered my question.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:42 PM #21
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Most who bash the concept of creationism in respect to Abrahamic faiths don't understand creationism nor Abrahamic faiths and reject both through improper preconceived notions, interpretations, and understandings.

Christianity has good teachings in regards to morals, in regards to worshipping God (God, not Jesus), but it's "100 AD ignorance" is very evident because the scripture was written by the hands of man. What is written is not what Jesus said, not what Moses said, etc etc. The corruption of man is clear and obvious.
Actually, most people who "bash" Abrahamic creationism do know quite a bit about your religion and its beliefs, and remain unconvinced. The fact of the matter is your religion isn't nearly as convincing as you believe it to be.
However, most religious who turn away scientific fact, know nothing about it. Most people who deny evolution have no idea how it works. Many have no idea what their own beliefs are. Many christians think the tree Adam and Eve ate from was an apple tree or simply a "forbidden tree." No, there were actually two trees, the tree of life which granted everlasting life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil(which they ate from) that gave them an innate knowledge of good and evil, or as the Bible put it, the knowledge of god. They were kicked from the garden because god was afraid that man would then eat from the tree of life and become an everlasting god himself.

No matter how much you want it to be true, the Bible and the Koran are a very poor source for ethics.
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