Re: Evolution wars

From: George Murphy (
Date: Mon Dec 23 2002 - 08:53:13 EST

  • Next message: Dick Fischer: "Can We Archive ASA Quotables?"

    Adrian Teo wrote:
    > Hello George,
    > You wrote:
    > It was Vincent of Lerins, a younger contemporary of
    > Augustince, who said that
    > the catholic faith is what has been believed always,
    > everywhere, and by all (_quod
    > semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus est creditum_).
    > AT: Thanks for the correction and refeshing my memory.
    > George: This is certainly one helpful
    > criterion but it has its limitations. One only has to recall
    > "Athanasius against the
    > world."
    > AT: I understand the phrase "Athanasius contra mundum" not in
    > the sense that Athanasius was the lone defender of orthodoxy, but
    > that he was contending against the worldly powers - the Arian
    > emperors and bishops, and those leaders who caved in to pressure and
    > torture. Certainly, there were many bishops who supported Athanasius,
    > especially in the west. If the prevailing majority opinion was Arian,
    > then the council of Constantinople would have gone in a very
    > diffferent direction than it did.

            Athanasius wasn't literally "alone" but for some time in the
    mid-4th century a
    willingness to acceptance Arian, or semi-Arian, views was
    sufficiently widespread among
    both clergy and laity that one could hardly say that his position was
    accepted "by all."
    Understanding of the issues in the west was generally rather
    incomplete (the bishops at
    I Nicea were almost entirely from the east). The theological balance
    had changed by the
    time of I Constantinople, 8 years after Athanasius' death, but
    Arianism continued to be
    an important factor even after that.

    > George: The way in which important doctrines have developed
    > over the course of time
    > means that we can say that they have been held "always" only
    > in a rather nuanced way.
    > & "everywhere" clearly can't be taken too literally.
    > There is no scriptural promise that the church of
    > Christ will be protected from
    > all error, and history shows that it has not been. The
    > promise is rather that the gates
    > of Hell will not _prevail_ against the church. There will
    > always be believers gathered
    > around Christ in Word and Sacraments.
    > AT: I beg to differ with you on this, but our difference of
    > opinion is the result of differences in the traditions that we belong
    > to. Although I am personally comfortable discussing these
    > differences, I know that others on this list would find the issue
    > sensitive and volatile. I think we should leave it at that.

            I agree as far as the present discussion is concerned. But I
    would note again,
    as I have before on this list, that the ways in which our different
    traditions affect
    the ways in which we deal with science-theology issues should not be
    ignored. Questions
    about how to deal with the ideas of original righteousness and original sin in
    connection with evolution are some of the most important for which
    that is the case.


    George L. Murphy

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Mon Dec 23 2002 - 13:50:49 EST