Arnobius of Sicca Could Care Less About Creationism

In reading Ancient Christian Doctrines, I came across a few of the lesser known early Church writers (perhaps only to me?), so I thought that I might share with you a few of the more interesting ones for the next week or so.

Click to OrderChrist says that it is none of our business to inquire into such things as the origin of souls, the causes of existence of evil,whether the sun is bigger than the earth, or whether the moon shines with its own light or one borrowed from elsewhere. What benefit is there in knowing such things? Leave them to God. What matters to you is the salvation of your own soul, which is in danger. Unless you dedicate yourselves to the knowledge of the supreme God, a cruel death awaits you when you are finally set free from the body. You will not be suddenly annihilated but destroyed by the bitterness of a grievous and long-protracted punishment. (Against the Nations 2.61, ACD Vol 1, p 8-9)

Arnobius (d330) has one surviving work, and around the the time of this writing, was a a new convert. I wonder what he would have thought about John Walton‘s book?

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19 Replies to “Arnobius of Sicca Could Care Less About Creationism”

  1. We sure do, don’t we Joel?  But I think recent discussions on the Genesis Narrative (ie: Walton) are perhaps moving in the right direction in that they are not promoting creation science or anything but trying to determine its place in the narrative. 

  2. As a Christian and philosopher therein, I still need to ask about theodicy…the part of theology that is concerned with defending the goodness and omnipotence of God in the face of evil and suffering in the world. For me this is a just cause or study, and thus question!
    Fr. R.

  3. But, doesn’t it fall into the purview of Arnobius’ suggestion? If we were to examine, truly examine the evil in the world, would we then not find the root cause and then the solution which is the salvation of our souls by the cross of Christ?

  4. Indeed, as long as our “preview” of evil does not take us outside of Scripture – Covenant to Incarnation!  The answer does lie at the Cross & Death of Christ!  (Col. 2:15)  See, Henri Blocher book: Evil and the Cross (IVP)
    Fr. R.
    PS..Augustine and Tertullian have good thoughts here also!

  5. PS…Blocher is a French Reformed professor, this book was written in 1990, but dates to materal taken from the 1980’s, by him. Solid work in my opinion! A MUST read!
    Fr. R.

  6. Joel,
    I think in this postmodern culture, the Church MUST enter into this area of theodicy, questions yes…but always our answers are from the human need in a broken and fallen world, in the Text and Word/Breath of God HIMSELF, who was and is still Incarnate, the Son of God!  (1 Tim. 3:16) The ‘mystery of godliness’ will always shine from the Throne and Session of Grace above: Christ Jesus!
    Fr. R.

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