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Theosis

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by Arcangl86, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    I just recently picked up a book by a AALC pastor called Christification talking about a way that the Lutheran idea of forensic justification and the Orthodox view of theosis are compatible. I haven't gotten far in yet, but what do y'all think of the concept?
     
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  2. Kalevalatar

    Kalevalatar Supisuomalainen sisupussi

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    Exploring this notion has been one of the cornerstones of the Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church. Those early 1970s discussions served as an inspiration and stepping stone for the late professor emeritus Tuomo Mannermaa's seminal Luther studies. It's definitely heavy stuff.
     
  3. Cappadocious

    Cappadocious Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it depends on whether or not forensic justification turns out to be forensic.
     
  4. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

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    Jordan is one of our pastors. I had the privilege of teaching him in our seminary.

    If you read his work, you will discover that while there is some overlap with Orthodox, there are some fundamental differences. That is one reason he opted for "Christification" as the title rather than "theosis." In my review of his book I noted that Galatians 4:19 would strengthen his argument. he agrees with that.

     
  5. The Conductor

    The Conductor Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι

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    I read the book as well. It was not so much arguing that the Orthodox view is correct, but that the Lutheran tradition has a doctrine of theosis that has gotten buried or called by other names over the years. It has some things in common, but also differences.
     
  6. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    I need to check the book out. The Lutheran circles I was involved with previously for many years were clueless on sanctification. I've since found a few Lutheran sources that do in fact hold on to genuine heart-changing sanctification and I'm always looking for more fuel on this topic.

    Any other recommendations?
     
  7. KEPLER

    KEPLER Crux sola est nostra theologia

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    I always wonder when I see people say things like this if by 'heart' they mean what the Bible means when the word 'heart' is used (the 'heart' in Scripture and all other ancient literature was understood to be the seat of the intellect (i.e., the mind)), or if they mean the 19th-century 'seat of the emotions' definition which is incompatible with the Biblical definition?

    K
     
  8. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    Not sure I agree with that. Matt 22:37 pretty much settles it for me. Just doesn't make sense in the Hebrew usage of the word wither.

    I use it in the sense of Matt 22:37, but with the caveat that the mind also must be renewed by the working of the Holy Spirit. Whoever taught that it is a 19th Century "thing" is pretty far from correct.

    “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

    "Though all my heart should feel condemned
    For want of some sweet token,
    There is One greater than my heart
    Whose Word cannot be broken."

    “All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.”

    All those are Luther. That's well before the 19thC. It's pretty much the way the Church has always spoken.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  9. Cappadocious

    Cappadocious Well-Known Member

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    Heart was not just another word for mind, although that was part of it. In fact, both the early Greeks and the Hebrews located the heart in or as the bowels. We're talking "gut knowledge" here.
     
  10. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, the purveyors of dry scholasticism cheated a lot of people out of the truth when they tried to turn Christianity into a "system of thought". It's not totally their fault, they were captives to their age and circumstances.

    I am one of the most cerebral people I know. And you know what, its really a curse. My salvation has to involve my whole being, not just my intellect. Because my intellect cannot possible understand God.

    Pascal had a saying, "the heart has reasons that Reason cannot know".
     
  11. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    I totally relate to that!
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I had first encountered Lutheranism by reading the Book of Concord, I doubt I would be all that interested in visiting a Lutheran church. There's an experiential element of Christian life that just can't be reduced to a doctrine, that's what we mean by practice. I think that was the point of the Pietists.

    I think Protestants are sure to misunderstand the concept of theosis, since it is so Neo-Platonic sounding. I don't think it implies a moral perfectionism or sinlessness, more of the Wesleyan concept of being "perfected in love", being transfigured, just as the sun and moon are distinct and yet the sun illumines the moon and makes it shine, however dimly, it still shines with the rays of the sun and lights up the night.
     
  13. The Conductor

    The Conductor Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι

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  14. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    Interesting observation. A lot of US self-proclaimed Confessional Lutherans love to attack the Pietists. I've yet to encounter one of them that actually knows what they are talking about. While Pietism gets the blame from these people for the cause of every woe known to the Church not one of them is familiar with the works of orthodox pietists. Just test them. Clueless. Rather, the spirituality being sold as the "orthodox" Lutheran position is essentially passive, which hardly reflects the very active spiritual struggle of the saints found in the Bible. I just read J. Kleinig's Grace Upon Grace...and at the end of it I was left wondering how anyone could ever grow in the Lord with such a dour passive and dull approach to spirituality. Then I figured it out. No one does. The orthodox Lutheran Pietists were right. You gotta live like a Christian and make efforts to pray, study and fellowship. You can't just sit there and hope God does something.

    I agree.
     
  15. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    That guy is easily the most switched on LCMS pastor I've ever heard. I felt like "finally, someone else sees it". Thanks for that. I just ordered his book.

    Edited to add: I just realized...he's not LCMS. LOL.
     
  16. The Conductor

    The Conductor Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι

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    I'm familiar with some of Dr. Kleinig's works, but not that one particularly, did you mean that US Lutherans have a dour, passive, and dull approach, or that he does? I've been watching some of his lectures on Christian Spirituality and I wouldn't have described it as such, which is why I'm wondering.
     
  17. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That probably came from the tendency to read Luther against Calvin. Calvinism's doctrines are a lot more comfortable stressing sanctification.

    Most Lutheran missionaries were connected to the pietist movement. The same is true in Anglicanism- most of the missionaries were not from the High Church party.
     
  18. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    I guess a bit of both, but I was referring more to his book in particular.

    Any links to those?
     
  19. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    True. But the real clincher is that catholic (small "c") doctrine is loaded with it and is very comfortable with it.

    There was a time shortly after the Oxford movement where the High Church sent out lots of missionaries, but it is true the main thrust of Anglican mission came resulting out of the Methodist revival- itself influenced by Lutheran pietism.
     
  20. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That also makes me wonder... would the Moravians fit under the Theologia Crucis subforum? I don't see anywhere else they could go. They are still around today, especially in the US, but they are a small church. But in the wider scheme, their tradition is very influential.
     
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