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163. Aug. 2/15, 1974. Archdeacon and First-Martyr Stephen

Dear Brother in Christ, Alexey,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ. Enclosed finally is my re-doing of the chapter on “Christian Evolutionism,” incorporating come suggestions of Father Herman. I think we have finally come to the “next-to-last” version of this part. I think the whole flow of what we want to say is here, with comprehensible transitions; probably all that is left is small points, repetitions, minor additions, etc. When you’ve finished looking at it and perhaps doing a little more smoothing up, let Susan read it again and see if it all makes sense and flows smoothly. We certainly hope to get the points across to those who are not “experts” in this realm, and it may be that it could be simplified a little more.

I have written corrections and suggestions right in the text itself, up to page 13; beginning there I completely rearranged the material from Teilhard, trying to make the main ideas clearer. Thus, my pages 13A to 18 completely replace your pages 13 (from the middle) to 20, joining your text again on line 9 of p. 20.

I will be working on the final, Patristic, section this fall, and God willing the whole study will be complete by the time Kalomiros sends his promised reply, which should give us all the “patristic arguments” of the supporters of evolution, making our study as complete as possible. I think the impact of this study will be considerable. I do not think most conscious Orthodox Christians are terribly prejudiced in favor of evolution; but they are somewhat confused as to what or how much to believe of what “science says.” Our study is supposed to give the “complete” picture, which hopefully will clarify many minds. It’s certainly clarified my own mind, since previously I hadn’t thought in detail on many aspects of the question.

I haven’t yet looked over again the section “How Evolution Came to Be,” but will hope to do so shortly.

The fast has begun, and nightly we are singing the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God, as Archbishop John did.

Pray for us. Pray for Melchisedek and Maria Russell, who it seems are still quite strongly in “Latin Captivity.”

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

P. S. You never sent us the tape of Fr. Panteleimon on evolution!

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