Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Food for Thought Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate,

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Food for Thought Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Food for Thought Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and I purify my thoughts. What else can I do? ” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will you can become all flame!” ---Joseph of Panephysis Theophanes the Greek, late 14 th c. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

2 The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Fathers 1. Biblical roots. 2. Deification and Christology. 3. Dimensions of deification. 4. Objections to the idea of deification. 5. Deification outside Eastern Christianity.

3 2 Pet. 1: 3-4. “His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.”

4 Related biblical themes 1. “I have said you are gods and sons of the Most High.” (Ps. 82: 6). 2. Transfiguration (Mk 9:2-8 and par.) & OT theophanies. 3. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10: 10. 4. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14: 6. 5. Pauline themes: salvation as incorporation into and union with Christ (e.g., Rom. 6); acquisition of the mind of Christ (1Cor 2: 16; Phil. 2: 5-8).

5 Terminology 1. Koinonia theou (fellowship, communion) with God. 2. Metousia theou (participation in God). 3. Mimesis (imitation) of God. 4. Theopoiesis (lit.: “becoming divine”). 5. Theosis. 6. Apotheosis (problematic term).

6 Non-Christian use Divinization (apotheosis) of the Emperor or his relatives. Divinization (apotheosis) of the Emperor or his relatives. Plotinus: realization of the essential self; soul is divine by nature. Plotinus: realization of the essential self; soul is divine by nature. Apotheosis of Hadrian’s wife Sabina.

7 Exchange formula: Christ was rich, “yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2 Cor 8: 9. Christ was rich, “yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2 Cor 8: 9. “Because of his infinite love [God] became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.” “Because of his infinite love [God] became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.” –Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 5. Praef. “He became human in order that we might become divine.” “He became human in order that we might become divine.” –Athanasius, De incarnatione, 54.

8 Irenaeus: Recapitulation & Education “Man was a little one and his discretion underdeveloped. Wherefore he was easily mislead by the deceiver.” (Proof, 12) “Man was a little one and his discretion underdeveloped. Wherefore he was easily mislead by the deceiver.” (Proof, 12) As mediator, Christ accommodates God to humans and accustoms men to receiving God. Adv. Haer. 3. 18. 7. As mediator, Christ accommodates God to humans and accustoms men to receiving God. Adv. Haer. 3. 18. 7.

9 Athanasius: deification requires the Son’s full divinity “For it is not possible that he who merely possesses from participation should impart of that partaking to others, since what he has is not his own but the Giver’s; and what he has received is barely the grace sufficient for himself.” De synodis, 51. “For it is not possible that he who merely possesses from participation should impart of that partaking to others, since what he has is not his own but the Giver’s; and what he has received is barely the grace sufficient for himself.” De synodis, 51.

10 Cyril: deification as appropriation “For unless He [Christ] had been afraid, human nature could not have become free from cowardice; unless He had experienced grief would never have been any deliverance from grief; unless He had been troubled and alarmed, no escape from these feelings could have been found. And with regard to every human experience, you will find exactly the corresponding thing in Christ. The passions of his flesh were aroused, not that they might have the upper hand as they do in us, but in order that when aroused they might be thoroughly subdued by the power of the Word dwelling in the flesh, the nature thus undergoing a change for the better.” “For unless He [Christ] had been afraid, human nature could not have become free from cowardice; unless He had experienced grief would never have been any deliverance from grief; unless He had been troubled and alarmed, no escape from these feelings could have been found. And with regard to every human experience, you will find exactly the corresponding thing in Christ. The passions of his flesh were aroused, not that they might have the upper hand as they do in us, but in order that when aroused they might be thoroughly subdued by the power of the Word dwelling in the flesh, the nature thus undergoing a change for the better.” –Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of John, 8.

11 Dimensions of deification 1. Deliverance, spiritual battle, liberation from the power of the demonic. 2. Purification, forgiveness, justification. 3. Filial adoption. 4. Reconciliation, communion. 5. Healing. 6. Illumination, perfection, transfiguration, regeneration, (entire) sanctification. 7. Imitation of Christ, incorporation into Christ. 8. Second creation, regeneration, restoration of the image and likeness of God. 9. Election. 10. Participation in the life of God, in divine energies.

12 Appropriation of D. by believers: 1. Faith: direction of the will, acceptance of revelation, right belief, trust. 2. Ascetic practices and charitable works. 3. Participation in the sacraments. 4. Spiritual senses.

13 Eucharistic dimension “[The Word] enables us to participate in divine life by making himself our food, in a manner understood by himself and by those who have received from him a noetic perception of this kind. It is by tasting this food that they become truly aware that “the Lord is good” (Ps. 34: 8), for he transmutes those who eat it with a divine quality, bringing about their deification (theosis) since it is clearly the bread of life and of power both in name and in reality.” “[The Word] enables us to participate in divine life by making himself our food, in a manner understood by himself and by those who have received from him a noetic perception of this kind. It is by tasting this food that they become truly aware that “the Lord is good” (Ps. 34: 8), for he transmutes those who eat it with a divine quality, bringing about their deification (theosis) since it is clearly the bread of life and of power both in name and in reality.” –Maximus the Confessor, Or. Dom. 2, 877C.

14 Deification as the main goal of human life “Because [God] is truthful he will give us everything that he has promised. This is ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Cor 2: 9). For that is also why he made us, that we might ‘become partakers of the divine nature’ and sharers in his eternity and prove to be like him through the deification bestowed by grace.” --Maximus the Confessor (7 th c.), Ep. 24. “Because [God] is truthful he will give us everything that he has promised. This is ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Cor 2: 9). For that is also why he made us, that we might ‘become partakers of the divine nature’ and sharers in his eternity and prove to be like him through the deification bestowed by grace.” --Maximus the Confessor (7 th c.), Ep. 24.

15 Spiritual Senses 1. Terminological problems. 2. Relation to the five ordinary senses: separation or extension? 3. Relation to mind and heart. 4. Relation to the senses of scripture. 5. Spiritual senses and religious experience.

16 Spiritual senses lost in the Fall: As a result of the fall, “instead of the divine and spiritual knowledge [Adam] received fleshly knowledge. Since he had been blinded in the eyes of his soul and had fallen from the life imperishable, he began to look with his physical eyes. He turned the vision of his eyes on visible objects with a feeling of passion… Such knowledge is in reality ignorance of all goodness, for had he not first fallen from the knowledge and contemplation of God he would not have been brought down to this knowledge.” --Symeon the New Theologian, Discourses XV. 1.

17 Criticism of deification 1. Deification is not biblical. 2. Deification is a pagan idea imported into Christianity by the Greeks. 3. Deification is physical/ material, not moral/ juridical. 4. Deification is impossible.

18 An account of deification recently found in…Aquinas

19 And in…Luther (wow!)

20 And in…Calvin (wow! wow!)

21 And, yes, in Wesley too! Book needed!!!

22


Download ppt "Food for Thought Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate,"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google