Description : Deification penetrates all spheres of human existence, and can be seen as an answer to most pending ultimate questions. It is essentially practical in its manifestation and uplifting in its content, but nevertheless, always evasive and arcane in its comprehension. Aimed both at those who are already students of theosis and at those who are looking for an introductory text, this book contains biblical and historical-theological essays that offer innovative approaches to the issue of theosis the transformation of believers into the likeness of God. The interconnection between deification and the doctrines of the Trinity, Christology, anthropology, protology, hamartiology, soteriology, and eschatology are made manifest in these fascinating new studies.
Description : Torrance's vision of Theosis (deification/divinisation) is explored through his doctrine of creation and anthropology, his characterisation of the incarnation, his accounts of reconciliation and union with Christ, and his theology of church and sacraments. Myk Habets' study distinguishes Torrance's Reformed vision of theosis from other possible accounts of salvation as divinisation as they are found, for instance, within patristic thought and Eastern Orthodoxy. This book presents the first critique of the theology of T.F.Torrance to focus on theosis, and examines a model of theosis within the realm of reformed theology built upon Western theology.
Description : Evangelicalism is reaching an inflection point. The exodus of millennials from Evangelical churches and the growth of those self-identifying as --Nones, -- as in --None of the Above, -- for their church affiliation, is concerning for the movement's future. Evangelical leaders offer mixed responses to this challenge--from circling the wagons to an enthusiastic --Everything must change!-- posture. Theosis takes a different approach. Seeking to understand Evangelicalism and its origins, this book suggests that Evangelicalism is best understood as the sibling of western, Enlightenment Modernity, which served it well . . . until the modern cultural ethos began to shift dramatically toward post-modernity. In this shift, young Evangelicals--principally postmoderns themselves--are abandoning --their father's Evangelicalism-- and its perceived linearity, hyper-rationalism, either/or exclusivity, and faith expression, too often perceived as stripped of mystery and wonder. Theosis proposes that to move forward, Evangelicalism must go back to the future, to re-engage with the patristic understanding of salvation as theosis; deification, or union with God. This radical return--and broadening of the doctrine of salvation--has begun to gain traction in Western Christendom, slowly being considered as it has always in the Christian East, as mere Christianity. --For those seeking answers in this time of societal upheaval, this well written and researched work proposes a very ancient doctrine as the key for a renewed engagement of Christianity with American culture. In addition to the wonderful research he presents, Dr. Michael Gama's spiritual journey from Evangelical Christianity to Catholic Christianity is as compelling as his Maronite perspective is refreshing.-- --Anthony Lilles, Associate Professor; Academic Dean, The Avila Institue of Spiritual Formation; Academic Dean, Saint John's Seminary, Camarillo, CA --Michael has written a marvelous and ambitious book--part historical narrative, part theological tract, part apologia, part pastoral letter, part prophetic call. . . . I commend this book to you, the reader. He invites us to join him on a journey--or more appropriately, a pilgrimage--to explore what has been lost to the memory of the church but can be found again. He is a trustworthy guide who will help us do the finding. I am one who is ready to follow.-- --Gerald L. Sittser, Professor of Theology, Whitworth University --Michael Gama shows how American Evangelicalism rose in concert with Modernist rationalism and is now falling into decline--especially among America's youth--as modernism gives way to postmodernism. Interweaving his personal story with cultural history, Gama offers a promising way forward by looking back, recovering the insights of the early Church Fathers.-- --David C. Downing, Author of The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis's Journey to Faith and Into the Region of Awe Michael Gama received his MDiv from Fuller Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Born and baptized Roman Catholic, and raised in Evangelicalism, he is now a member of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in full fellowship with Rome. He teaches at the Avila Institute and is a Faculty Advisor at George Fox Seminary. He and his wife live in Oregon, have three children, and eight grandchildren.
Description : The doctrine of theosis has enjoyed a recent resurgence among varied theological traditions across the realms of historical, dogmatic, and exegetical theology. In Christification: A Lutheran Approach to Theosis, Jordan Cooper evaluates this teaching from a Lutheran perspective. He examines the teachings of the church fathers, the New Testament, and the Lutheran Confessional tradition in conversation with recent scholarship on theosis. Cooper proposes that the participationist soteriology of the early fathers expressed in terms of theosis is compatible with Luther's doctrine of forensic justification. The historic Lutheran tradition, Scripture, and the patristic sources do not limit soteriological discussions to legal terminology, but instead offer a multifaceted doctrine of salvation that encapsulates both participatory and forensic motifs. This is compared and contrasted with the development of the doctrine of deification in the Eastern tradition arising from the thought of Pseudo-Dionysius. Cooper argues that the doctrine of the earliest fathers--such as Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Justin--is primarily a Christological and economic reality defined as Christification. This model of theosis is placed in contradistinction to later Neoplatonic forms of deification.
Description : The perennial questions surrounding human identity and meaning have never before been so acute. How we define ourselves is crucial since it determines our conception of society, ethics, sexuality—in short, our very notion of the “good.” The traditional Christian teaching of “deification” powerfully addresses this theme by revealing the sacred dignity and purpose of all created life, and providing a comprehensive vision of reality that extends from the individual to the cosmos. Hans Urs von Balthasar is a valuable guide in elucidating the church’s teaching on this vital subject. Following the patristic tradition, he focuses his attention on Jesus Christ, whose kenotic descent in his incarnation and passion reveals both the loving character of God and the perfection of humanity. Christ is the “concrete analogy of being” who in his two natures as God and man unites heaven and earth. It is the Trinity, however, that brings to fruition the fullness of the meaning of theosis in Balthasar’s theology. The community of divine persons eternally deifies the cosmos by embracing and transforming it into the paradigm of all reality—the imago trinitatis—overcoming the distance between the created and uncreated while maintaining and honoring their difference.
Description : For a millennium and a half in China, Christianity has been perceived as a foreign religion for a foreign people. This volume investigates various historical attempts to articulate a Chinese Christianity, comparing the roles that Western and Latin forms of Christian theology have played with the potential role of Eastern Orthodox theology.
Description : The doctrine of theosis means a salvation that is the deification of the saved. The saved actually become God. This unusual doctrine lies at the heart of Nicholas of Cusa's (1401-1464) mystical metaphysics. It is here examined for the first time as a theme in its own right, along with its implications for Cusanus's doctrine of God, his theological anthropology, and his epistemology.
Description : This richly synthetic reading of Paul offers a compelling argument that the heart of Paul s soteriology lies in theosis the incorporation of God s people into the life and character of the God revealed in the cross. Michael Gorman deftly integrates the results of recent debates about Pauline theology into a powerful constructive account that overcomes unfruitful dichotomies and transcends recent controversies between the New Perspective on Paul and its traditionalist critics. Gorman s important book points the way forward for understanding the nonviolent, world-transforming character of Paul s gospel. Richard B. Hays / Duke Divinity School / Provides an important corrective to segmentalized approaches to Paul. Michael Gorman lucidly connects justification to spiritual transformation. Faith, love, and action come together as theosis the taking on of the character of Christ and, so, of God. Though constantly in conversation with other scholars, Gorman has a refreshingly original approach, illuminating the lively theology of Paul. Inhabiting the Cruciform God clearly advances the field of Pauline studies. Stephen Finlan / Fordham University / In this pioneering work Michael Gorman offers a fresh way to view Paul s understanding of justification and holiness. Cutting a new path through old territory, Gorman leads us to a vision of holiness and justification rooted in the transforming power of nonviolence and the cross. His work will provide pastors with new insights for preaching and scholars with new ways to address old questions. Frank J. Matera / Catholic University of America