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God also separates : light and dark; day and night; the sky and the earth; and water and land. He honors humanity by creating us in His own image and likeness, male and female. This story is expanded in Genesis 2, as God forms the man from the dust of the earth and breathes the breath of life into him. He separates humans into two sexes, male and female. Each is distinct and valuable, and both reflect the image and likeness of God.

Not only does Moses write about this in Genesis, but Jesus and the Apostle Paul also point to the male-female creation as a foundational truth. Adam rejoices at this creation of Eve, celebrating and recognizing her as his partner, a complement, distinct from any other created being. Woman is uniquely formed as a gift for man — and man as a gift for woman. The LDS church Mormonism says that the God Elohim to whom we are accountable had a father god, then grew up on a planet as a man, and progressed to become a god himself.

Many other religions have claimed that gods beget other gods.

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Of course the problem with this idea is how did the first god get here? This problem of infinite regression invalidates such religions. Christianity claims that God has always existed. Is this idea even possible? Does science address such issues? Christianity answers the question of who made God in the very first verse of the very first book, Genesis:.

Lesson 1: In The Beginning: God (Genesis , Introduction) |

This verse tells us that God was acting before time when He created the universe. Many other verses from the New Testament tell us that God was acting before time began, and so, He created time, along with the other dimensions of our universe:. The idea that God created time, along with the physical universe, is not just some wacky modern Christian interpretation of the Bible.

Justin Martyr, a second century Christian apologist, in his Hortatory Address to the Greeks , said that Plato got the idea that time was created along with the universe from Moses:. For he wrote thus: 'Time, accordingly, was created along with the heavens; in order that, coming into being together, they might also be together dissolved, if ever their dissolution should take place. How does God acting before time began get around the problem of God's creation?

There are two possible interpretations of these verses. One is that God exists outside of time. Since we live in a universe of cause and effect, we naturally assume that this is the only way in which any kind of existence can function. However, the premise is false. Without the dimension of time, there is no cause and effect, and all things that could exist in such a realm would have no need of being caused, but would have always existed. Student: Was Plato right about his idea of the ideal world where the images of all things exist? In other myths the deep is used as a god, but we see that our God created it.

In the next verse we even see that the Spirit is hovering over it. The Spirit of God was borne upon the face of the waters. Basil, who takes it deeper. He says the Spirit is not just floating above the water, but is nesting like a mother hen, warming the waters, imparting a vital life-giving force. So the Spirit is not simply floating here.


He says there are those who say that matter came first, but we know matter came later. Specifically, the sun is created on the fourth day, and that makes no sense for modern scientific proposals. So I was told that even the sequence is not meant to be understood as is, but St. Just accept it.

It’s an illogical question

It is again showing that the Spirit is not just hovering but there is action going on. God said let there be light. As we said, God did not create darkness. Light is an image of God but light itself is a creation. Light has its idea in the mind of God because it reflects Him in some way. Ambrose talks about His word and the fulfillment of His word going hand-in-hand. Some people sometimes think this light is the Uncreated Light—that Light of Mt.

What does it mean that God spoke?

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The Fathers say that when the Scriptures speak about God we should understand them in a manner befitting of God. God was not yet incarnate and had no body. He did not literally move a mouth. But Scriptures are speaking of God in a way we can understand. The proper method of interpretation is to stick with the Fathers. Say it as the Fathers say it. For the most part, when the Fathers seem to say different things, probably the problem is with us.

Some Fathers say man is naturally mortal, some Father say man is naturally immortal, and some Fathers say he is naturally neither—he is in-between. God speaks, and man is created in the image of God, and man is the only creation that speaks. The Logos is the Rationality and man has this rational gift. Scripture comes back to this. Psalm reads By the word of the Lord the heavens were established and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth. So the Word and the Spirit are both there. And God saw that light, that it was good.

Of course He knew. Some people say that the spiritual world is good, but you can forget about the material world. Some say man is really just a soul, and he simply has a body. God says that material creation itself is good. Student: Ancient philosophers taught that our bodies are a prison for the soul, as punishment. This is not Christian at all, but people still believe this. Creation is good, but we also take the middle path and say it is fallen. Some people say that God created plants, so smoking marijuana is good, but marijuana is fallen like everything else. Orthodoxy is the middle path.

How did God get here?

And God divided the light from the darkness. The nature of light cannot mix with darkness. And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. But, he says, with God intellection is simple.

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They could just look at each other and understand maybe? Maybe they could to some degree. Sometimes the saints can meet one another in prayer. Student: Adam used language to name the animals. In the Hebrew it says the first day but in the Greek it says one day but then it says the second day, third day, so the Fathers ask why it says one day rather than first day. Hippolytus of Rome, a pope in the second century, and then St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. John Chrysostom, St.

Gregory Palamas. The cycle of night and day is a day. Many Fathers specifically go on to answer how long was the day. If these days are twenty-four hours then the earth is much younger than modern science says. A lot of people try to harmonize prevalent scientific theories and these days and so they say they are just symbolic of ages. Student 2: But, do we need a harmonization, or just to see how it was in reality?

To seek harmony between religion and science is of course not bad. Science is given to us by God, and if something scientific is true and something theological is true, they have to harmonize. But the question is, as we discussed last time, can science talk about this period? The Fall of man and the world came about and everything changed.

Everything begins falling into corruption. Death and natural disasters and all these things that shape the world as we know it entered at the Fall, and even the way that man now thinks and reasons, and all of these things have been changed as a result of the Fall. So how can we use our fallen world to tell us about the unfallen world? A lot of Fathers talk about this and say that the Fall is a barrier through which no human research can pass.

We can only know about it by God revealing things, for instance God revealing to Moses. Other saints later had spiritual experiences of revelation as well. Our world is a reminder of what we lost. Time is a measurement. If you measure consistently then what does it mean that time changed? Your means of measuring might change. Is time a thing that has velocity? Peter quotes that a lot of people point to in regards to this topic: A day is as a thousand years to the Lord Ps. A day is not literal! Of course not. A day is also as a second to God. Where else do you apply it?

Christ was in the grave for three days. Was it really three thousand years? Why would it only be Genesis where a day is not a day? Student: I tell people who say that the days of Creation are really a thousand years to open another book of Moses where it says to work six days and rest on the seventh. If you believe it you cannot fulfill the fourth commandment. Student: Yes. If you die without rest you have broken the commandment, because you had to work for six thousand years before you rested.

Some Fathers even go so far as to say that God created on Sunday. They give a specific day, and Sunday is clearly not a long age. How do they know it was Sunday? Because the seventh day was the day of rest—Saturday. Many saints say this, such as St. Anastasius of Sinai and St. Dimitrii of Rostov. Sergius Lavra. Daniel Sysoev :. The first day of the universe, according to the teaching of the fathers of the Church, was a Sunday in the first month of spring. That God made this particular day the first in history of the world is no accident. He knew that five and a half thousand years later, on this same spring Sunday, He would renew all creation by rising from the dead and manifesting to mankind the brilliance of eternal life.

To this day on the night of Pascha we recall those first days of creation. It is no accident, as Saint Basil says, that this day symbolized that remarkable state that will come to be after the end of the universe. Then there will be eternal day for the blessed, and for the damned—eternal night. It has to be a day to represent something more.

On this first day God lays the foundation for what will become the building of creation as a kingdom for man and a temple for man to offer sacrifice to God. The Second and Third Days of Creation. For more information on how the Church views St. Basil, the Great Visionary of Creation.

For in what books have they collected that number who learned letters from Isis their mistress, not much more than two thousand years ago? Varro, who has declared this, is no small authority in history, and it does not disagree with the truth of the divine books. For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed rather than refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a space of time so different from, and contrary to, the ascertained truth?

For what historian of the past should we credit more than him who has also predicted things to come which we now see fulfilled? See also St. Athos and in Optina Monastery and currently serves as the spiritual father of the patriarch. John Chrysostom says this is why Noah was able to live peacefully on the Ark with the wild animals. When saints regain what was lost in Adam they begin to live in harmony with nature as did Adam.

Naked Adam was clothed with the grace of God and surrounded by all the animals, he held and caressed them lovingly, and they, in turn, licked him devoutly, as their master. Athos: Epistles , pp. In order to teach man by deeds to perform his work gradually, not hurriedly, but with consideration. If you pray, pray without hurrying; if you read the Gospel, or, in general, any religious or worldly books, do not read them hurriedly, but read with consideration and with a true view of the material.

If you are learning a lesson, do not hurry to finish it quickly, but penetrate into the subject deeply and consider it well. If you are doing work, do it without hurrying, with consideration quietly. Even the world was not created instantaneously but in six days. The Lord shows us an example in everything; let us follow His steps.