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After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

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earth-centeredness

from Joanna's notepad
Regarding the 2nd edition of Genesis, Creation and Early Man

the word Cosmos vs. the word Creation

To substitute the word "cosmos" as a synonym for "Creation" is a misleading

"Cosmos" is a scientific term and "Creation" is a theological term.  Fr. Seraphim uses the word "cosmos" [and it's derivatives] only in a scientific context.  The editor of Genesis, Creation and Early Man 2nd edition, is not very careful about this.  Reader beware.

The adjective "cosmic" is defined by Webster's as: the extraterrestrial vastness in contrast to the earth alone.  "Cosmogony" is a theory of the origin of the universe.  "Cosmography" is the science that deals with the whole order of nature.  "Cosmology" a branch of metaphysics, a theory, or branch of astronomy dealing with the origin, nature, and structure of the universe.  "Cosmos" is defined as a self-inclusive orderly system.

God's Creation, the Universe, can not be considered synonymous with the "cosmos."  For one thing, God's Creation is not self-inclusive.  Or else how do you explain the Virgin Birth and other things clearly outside the laws of nature and not contained in the orderly system of the cosmos.

I object to the misuse of the word "cosmos," because it leads our thinking away from the mind of the Holy Fathers who saw the earth as the center of the universe.  Even though the earth revolves around the sun, the Holy Fathers still have an "earth-centeredness."  The sun was created after the earth was formed, after time was created and measured, after the seas were formed, after plants were brought forth.  Light itself was present the First Day, before the sun was created on the Fourth Day.

Fr. Seraphim says, page 173:

But Divine revelation, as interpreted by the Holy Fathers, tells us ... that the earth comes first, both in time and in significance, and the sun comes second.  If our minds were not so chained ... we would not have such difficulty in opening our minds to [the Holy Fathers'] explanation of the world's beginnings.
In the Scriptural-Patristic view of the earth – as the home of man, the pinnacle of God's creation – is the center of the universe.  Everything else – no matter what scientific explanation of its present state and movement, or the physical immensity of it in comparison to the earth – is secondary, and was made for the sake of the earth, that is, for man.

The "physical immensity" of the universe Fr, Seraphim mentions and the "vastness" of the cosmos in Webster's definition, tend to make us feel insignificant in the grander scheme of things.  At least, that seems to be the purpose of this scientific meditation.  But this contradicts what our Church tells us, and what we know to be true: that there is great rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents, and it is not insignificant, but the greatest significance in God's grander scheme.  Can we imagine angels hanging out somewhere in the immense vast universe where there are no men?  All the activity, all the life is here, in this solar system, on this planet.  Paradise itself is on this planet.  For the present we can no longer see it, but it is still here and it has been re-opened.  Some of our saints have visited and returned to tell us about it.

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