Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Violence in the Old Testament: A Patristic Perspective

By John Sanidopoulos

When we encounter troublesome violence in the Old Testament that unsettles us, we may take some solace in the possibility that these texts reflect theological and ideological concerns as encountered by the communities that first read these books. Similarly, the Church Fathers tended to not read these stories and interpret them literally, but they transcended the literal reading. They knew that God is not a genocidal maniac who seeks the destruction of human beings, therefore they understood that these passages only truly make sense spiritually and theologically, as they are intended.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Response to the Teaching of Saint Paisios on Evolution

By John Sanidopoulos

Like most teenagers of his time and even of the present, St. Paisios was taught about evolution in the context that either you believe in Darwinian evolution and reject God, or you accept God and reject evolution. In his own words, he explains this is what happened to him when he was fifteen years old, when a friend of his brother tried to dissuade the young Arsenios (this was his name prior to becoming a monastic) from the "nonsense" of prayer and fasting. Arsenios saw this as a temptation that he had to overcome (read more about this here). And indeed it was, since he was presented with various theories to dissuade him from faith in Christ. As a reward for remaining faithful, even at his young age he was made worthy of a vision of Christ immersed in divine light, confirming his faith.