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  #91  
Old Jan 21, '05, 7:16 pm
Matt16_18 Matt16_18 is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed
So, does it appear that we have arrived at a point where you can find that both teachings are at least not inconsistent with each other, even if not fully harmonized?
This has been a good thread for me, since it has forced me to delve deeper into these issues. I see that both Eastern and Western theologians agree that Godís essence cannot be known in this world. I also see that the apophatic mysticism of the East is not really any different from the via negativa of the West.

I am surprised to learn that the East considers the uncreated energies of God to be God. That is something that I didnít know, and I will have to ponder more on what that means.

We still havenít discussed much about what it means to be divinized, which is the topic of this thread. The Catechism says that Adam and Eve were predestined for divinization.
Man's first sin

397
Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398
In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".
  #92  
Old Jan 21, '05, 8:28 pm
Deacon Ed Deacon Ed is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Divinization or theosis is the process of "becoming God" -- St. Athenasius tells us that "God became man so that man might become God." Clearly we do not become a god, but we join with God. That is the goal of divinization. Perhaps this will help. It's written by Abp. Joseph Raya, a Melkite bishop:
Quote:
Because of the real union of the Person of God with our nature, every power and passion of the human body is, in its essence, a noble, holy, and sacred melody. God the Father gave a human nature to his Son. The human body is, therefore, the most precious gift God can offer -- besides his own Self. "We saw his glory" in the naked body of a Baby. For Christians, human flesh is a present and a reward, a divine instrument by which God saved and divinized the whole universe. When he ascended into heaven in that very same flesh, he carried us and the universe to the Father, our source and origin. This is our divinization.

This most important teaching of our Christian religion has been forgotten or neglected "because of our preoccupation solely with our own salvation: or, rather, union with God is seen only negatively, in contrast with our present wretchedness. (Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God, page 99).

In uniting with our nature God did not change himself, and he did not obliterate humanity either. He offered himself as a grace and a gift to our humanity and elevated it to a higher level of being. He divinized us, which means that he gave us the grace and capacity to love and to live his own love and life.
Does that help?

Deacon Ed
  #93  
Old Jan 22, '05, 12:08 am
Matt16_18 Matt16_18 is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Yes, thank you.
  #94  
Old Jan 22, '05, 6:03 pm
Gottle of Geer Gottle of Geer is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr Ambrose
Truly Amma Sophia has found the way for she has said: I do not know.

One day some old men came to see Abba Anthony. In the midst of them was Abba Joseph. Wanting to test them, the old man suggested a text from the Scriptures, and, beginning with the youngest, he asked them what it meant. Each gave his opinion as he was able. But to each one the old man said, "You have not understood it." Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, "How would you explain this saying?" And he replied, "I do not know." Then Abba Anthony said, "Indeed, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he has said: 'I do not know."
The Desert Fathers

Anthony of Egypt
http://members.tripod.com/~chippit/anthony.html

## With very few changes that could easily be a Zen anecdote - which is not a criticism, by the way

Which set of texts is that from, incidentally ? St. John Klimakos ? ##
  #95  
Old Jan 22, '05, 6:26 pm
Gottle of Geer Gottle of Geer is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed
Matt16_18:

If I show mercy to someone, is that God or is that of God? If I show love to someone is that God or is that of God?

Or, to make it a little easier, is creation God or is it of God? The attributes of God are not God, they are attributes. God is. Period. I refer you again to the citation from St. Augustine:I am saying exactly the same thing. St. Clement of Alexandria puts it in perspective by telling us that these are attributes of God.

The fact that God is infinitely simple and not divisible ought to lead you to a correct understanding. If God were divisible then we could say God is Mercy, God is Love, God is Creator, God is Source of the Son -- but God is simple, not divisible so these must be attributes rather than essence.

BTW, this discussion would be a lot better if you would refrain from attacking me and address the issues. I don't think that ad hominems serve any purpose at all. You could have said "Your argument makes no sense to me, it seems irrational" but to accuse me of being irrational doesn't address the issue.

Deacon Ed
## Agreed, that God is altogether simple and in no way composite. Yet also Triune.

Does it follow that God's attributes are not God ? As to this - maybe the answer differs according to whether one thinks of God's attributes "from God's side", or, "from the side of creation"; given that God is the Source of His activity, and that creatures are acted on, and that God is not a creature, nor to be classed among creatures, but is "wholly other" than creatures.

Since we are on the "receiving end" of God's activity - why can't it be said that God's attributes are God Himself, but are seen as multiple and diverse by us, simply because we are multiple and diverse ? IOW, this distinction would be a sort of economy allowed to us because we are neither God, nor yet fully conformed to Christ. If other ways of speech about Divine things can be a condescension to our weakness and ignorance - why not this also ? We receive other things in the measure of which we are capable - why not apply this saying to how we experience the God Who is wholly and simply One and Triune ?

Just a thought ##
  #96  
Old Jan 23, '05, 12:20 am
AugustineH354 AugustineH354 is offline
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Default Re: Divinization?

Hi Michael,

You posted:

>>Agreed, that God is altogether simple and in no way composite. Yet also Triune.

Does it follow that God's attributes are not God ? As to this - maybe the answer differs according to whether one thinks of God's attributes "from God's side", or, "from the side of creation"; given that God is the Source of His activity, and that creatures are acted on, and that God is not a creature, nor to be classed among creatures, but is "wholly other" than creatures.>>

Aug: For me, Godís attributes are the means by which we can discuss the nature of God. Light, love, perfect, holy, just, infinite, omniscient, omni benevolent, omnipotent, et al., are all facets of Godís nature/essence.

>>Since we are on the "receiving end" of God's activity - why can't it be said that God's attributes are God Himself, but are seen as multiple and diverse by us, simply because we are multiple and diverse ? IOW, this distinction would be a sort of economy allowed to us because we are neither God, nor yet fully conformed to Christ. If other ways of speech about Divine things can be a condescension to our weakness and ignorance - why not this also ? We receive other things in the measure of which we are capable - why not apply this saying to how we experience the God Who is wholly and simply One and Triune ?>>

Aug: Excellent points. I would like to add the question: since God is Triune will the saints experience the triune aspect of the Godhead? Further, since God is spirit, and spirit is substantial, I am compelled to ask: when one ďseesĒ God (Matt. 5:8) why should we restrict this ďseeingĒ to the attributes/energies (the Orthodox view), and not the very essence of God as apostolic constitution Benedictus Deus strongly suggests?

Grace and peace,

Aug
  #97  
Old Mar 24, '07, 8:46 am
DL82 DL82 is offline
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Join Date: March 19, 2007
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Default Re: Divinization?

Hey - how come we've gone all the way through this long, long thread without a single mention of the Holy Spirit?

I am going to be entirely heterodox here by saying that there is something about the Holy Spirit that He is in the created world at the same time as being of the ineffable and immutable essence of God. In the same way that Jesus is a fully incarnate human as well as being fully the essence of God.

Once we accept the Holy Spirit's presence in this equation, doesn't that reduce to nothing the whole of this controversy?

Or maybe it reduces it back to the filioque, because Catholic and Orthodox churches teach something different on the Spirit's procession, that maybe leads to disagreement on His operation also.
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