Saturday, September 30, 2017

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

...continued from part four.

The matter of the creation of the world is, in itself, a field where the religious and scientific views of the world meet. Any investigation of this ‘world-shattering event’ would certainly involve pausing to remark on the dynamic which is evolving in the ranks of the scientific community. Ideas come and go, arriving and departing, and all the time constantly being tested against observable data[24]. This dimension is of importance when the scientific view is contrasted with the religious concept of creation. The religious concept appears to be static and well-established in sacred texts, which were written when an entirely different world-view prevailed, and in social environments with a completely different educational composition from our own.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Creation of the World: The Crossroads Between Theology and Science (4 of 5)

Moreover, the truth is that the idea of creation from nothing had begun to gain ground in the mind of the scientific community, a concept that was clearly closer to a religious approach to things[18]. Already a great figure in science in the 20th century, the physicist and philosopher of science, Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944), using a logic dependent probably on Occam’s Razor[19], declared that the difficulties presented by a beginning (of the universe), are so insurmountable that they can be avoided only if we invoke a supernatural cause[20].

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.