Friday, September 22, 2017

The Creation of the World: The Crossroads Between Theology and Science (3 of 5)

Beyond the checking of prevailing theories, which is inherent in the research process[11], and the required investigation of all alternative proposals, which will provide the answers sought for, it’s difficult to avoid the observation that one point which encourages the need for a recourse to forms which by-pass the established cosmological model of the Big Bang, has to do precisely with its close relationship with the religious version of the creation of the world. Indeed, acceptance of the beginning of the universe from a particular time is more in tune with the Biblical (if not other) narratives concerning the beginning of the world through divine will and intervention.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Creation of the World: The Crossroads Between Theology and Science (2 of 5)

...continued from part one.

As regards the origins of the universe, the scientific community traditionally believed in its eternal existence. Going as far back as Ancient Greek thought, the prevailing scientific concept was that the universe always existed and would continue to do so. Everything changed when Albert Einstein introduced his General Theory of Relativity (1915, 1917), and especially when the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann (1888-1925) solved its field equations, in 1922, with results which indicated an expanding universe[4].

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Creation of the World: The Crossroads Between Theology and Science (1 of 5)

By Petros Panayiotopoulos

The matter of the beginning of the world is one which traditionally has belonged to those great issues which have engaged our minds. How was the world created? What existed before that which we see? What was it that brought it all into existence? This is what inquiring minds wonder in any culture and at any time. These are questions which are baffling, so much so that we may prefer to avoid them altogether, not to trouble our minds with them, since they seem to have little relevance to reality, in which case neglecting them is not particularly difficult.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Genesis 3 and the Origin of the Term "Fall"

The Exile of Adam and Eve

By John Sanidopoulos

In the book The Story of Original Sin by John Toews (2013), we read:

'The interpretation of Genesis 3 as a "fall" reflects a much later Christian understanding which has been read back into the text; the term “the fall” was first used with certainty to describe the sin of Adam by the Greek church father Methodius of Olympus, late third or early fourth century (d. 311), as a reaction to Origen’s teaching of a pre-natal fall in the transcendent world. In other words, a "fall" theology about the interpretation of Genesis 3 begins to develope about six to eight centuries after the probable writing of the original Genesis 3 story in a totally different setting and for a totally different purpose (many more centuries later if Genesis 3 is dated to the tenth century BCE). Why is it profoundly significant that this much later Christian and Greek “fall” construal is not stated or even suggested in the text? Because that means the story of salvation history, which is a fairly normative interpretive framework for a Christian reading the whole Bible does not begin with “the fall.” Rather, it begins with broken relationships and exile, which is a very Jewish way of reading the text. And lest we forget, it was Jewish people who wrote this text originally for Jewish people, probably for Jewish people living in exile trying to understand the profound tragedy of the destruction of their country, the Temple, many of their fellow countrymen, and their exile in Babylon. The re-definition of the story of Genesis 3 as a "fall" represented a much later Hellenistic-Gentile re-interpretation of the text.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Early Testimony to the Darkness at the Crucifixion of Christ

In the account of Jesus’ crucifixion in the Gospel of Mark we read, “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mk 15.33). This detail is part of the pre-Markan passion story and, since Mark is the earliest of our Gospels, therefore a very early tradition that deserves to be taken seriously.