Sunday, November 6, 2011

Origen on creationism

Okay, so Origen didn't actually write about creationism. But he did write some things that might be relevant, such as the following passage from The Philocalia (emphasis added):
Anyway, will any man of sense suppose that there was a first day, and a second, and a third, evening and morning, without sun and moon and stars? and the first, as it were, even without a heaven? And who is so silly as to imagine that God, like a husbandman, planted a garden in Eden eastward, and put in it a tree of life, which could be seen and felt, so that whoever tasted of the fruit with his bodily teeth received the gift of life, and further that any one as he masticated the fruit of this tree partook of good and evil? And if God is also said to walk in the garden in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under the tree, I do not suppose that any one will doubt that these passages by means of seeming history, though the incidents never occurred, figuratively reveal certain mysteries. Moreover, Cain's coming out from the presence of God, if we give heed, is a distinct inducement to inquire what is meant by "the presence of God," and by a man's "coming out from" it. Why say more? They who are not quite blind can collect countless similar instances of things recorded as actual occurrences, though not literally true.
Note: this was written approximately 18 centuries ago by a Christian theologian. Doesn't that make it seem a little silly that we still have arguments about creationism?

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