In this video recording, Archimandrite Athanasios Mytilinaios (1927-2006), answers the question: “Why God created man even though He knew he would fall?” He also talks about “post-fall” phenomena and regeneration “Παλιγγενεσία” and marriage in the context of creation.
Audio source: “Answers to Sunday school questions”, no. 694, March 20, 1994
Fr. Athanasios Mytilinaios:
Let’s see another question.
It says: “God knew the outcome of the world, before even creating it.”
“More specifically, he knew that the man would fall into sin. Thus, what is the purpose of the creation of man?”. The purpose of the creation of man and the world. Of course, God knew that the world would end up like this. Men, particularly, would act like this. Despite the fact that the main plan of God was not the shape the present world has taken. It was a different one. You will be amazed if you hear it…
Despite all these, as Saint Irenaeus says, God gave this world a temporary shape as it would not be the permanent residency of man. Hence, we see this really important thing. Although God knows that this world will be led into decay and man will be led into sin, God still creates man, creates the world. This is an expression of His love, pay attention to this, an expression of His love. But His love is not confined in the creation of the world and of man. Because the adventure of freedom would lead man where it led him, He makes providence for the regeneration [«παλιγγενεσία» in Greek]. That is the re-creation, the re-generation. This is the most important. Because if He created a world which would be led into decay and death.
Then, we would ask: “Why God creates a world that is led into death and decay?”. Is not this absurd? In that case, we would not be able to find a purpose in the existence of the universe and man. It’s ‘the rock’ that crushes the thoughts and ‘the vehicles of thoughts’ of the philosophers of all centuries and of all times. The philosophers attempt to find the purpose behind the existence of the universe and man … they fail. Do you know why? Because there is death! Why shall I come to this world since there is death and I [am destined to] die. Why? Because they [the philosophers] do not know anything more. They dwell on their philosophical thought but not on the revelation of God.
God made this world. He made this world imperfect since He knew men would fall into sin and thus the form [of this world] temporary so He could make another world out of the same material. A world as it would have been if men did not fall into sin. Which world would that be?
It is going to be the Kingdom of Heaven. Even marriage exists in the view of the death.
Marriage is a ‘post-fall phenomenon’ [«μεταπτωτικό φαινόμενο» in Greek] and does not have an eternal character. In spite of us saying the marriage this and the marriage that and we lick our lips around it and suffer in case we do not get married and so many more things… It is just a form/schema [«σχήμα» in Greek], Apostle Paul says so in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 7 and produces the form/schema of this world. Surely without reducing [the importance of the existence of] love, it [1 Corinthians 7:29] says: “even those who have wives should be as though they had none,” Those who have wives as if they have not. He does not suggest scorning the wife. In other verses, the Apostle emphasizes this, but it’s a form/schema. Right after, it says [1 Corinthians 7:31]: “For the form of this world is passing away”. Hence, all these will take a new form, it will be the Kingdom of Heaven. We will be resurrected, we will still have our body, our initial construction… Do you see that? There will be no marriage, because there will be no death. There will be no civilization, because in the Kingdom of God everything will be perfect. There won’t even be a need for civilization. All these are ‘post-fall’ phenomena. Thus, if God did not proceed to the so-called… Do you know which word Christ, himself, uses to describe this? «Παλιγγενεσία» [“regeneration”], re-genesis, re-creation. It means again something new. Thus, if there was not this regeneration, then we could say that the world has something absurd. But now there is no absurdity. Because there is the Resurrection of the dead and the Kingdom of God.