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  #1  
Old Aug 23, '11, 7:27 pm
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joshrp joshrp is offline
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Default What is theosis?

Hi,

I heard something about the term "theosis". Does anyone know what this is and if it has any truth to it. In the CCC, there is a quote from St. Athanasius where he says "God became man, so that men could become gods." What does this mean?

Joshua
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  #2  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:17 pm
Goldrock Goldrock is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

"The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."" (CCC)
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  #3  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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Originally Posted by Goldrock View Post
"The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."" (CCC)
What does this mean though? We are not gods. How exactly does God make us into gods?
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  #4  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:36 pm
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Viola Incognita Viola Incognita is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

The Catechism has a footnote to 2 Peter 1:4

"Through these [his own glory & power?], he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire."

To save us from sin and reunite us with God ???
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  #5  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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Originally Posted by Viola Incognita View Post
The Catechism has a footnote to 2 Peter 1:4

"Through these [his own glory & power?], he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire."

To save us from sin and reunite us with God ???
What is the divine nature?
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  #6  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:48 pm
fhansen fhansen is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshrp View Post
Hi,

I heard something about the term "theosis". Does anyone know what this is and if it has any truth to it. In the CCC, there is a quote from St. Athanasius where he says "God became man, so that men could become gods." What does this mean?

Joshua
The Eastern Churches have put more emphasis on this but it’s also a part of Roman Catholic tradition. These is from the Catechism:

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice".250 This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life".251

705 Disfigured by sin and death, man remains "in the image of God," in the image of the Son, but is deprived "of the glory of God,"66 of his "likeness." The promise made to Abraham inaugurates the economy of salvation, at the culmination of which the Son himself will assume that "image"67 and restore it in the Father's "likeness" by giving it again its Glory, the Spirit who is "the giver of life."

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".279

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: [78] “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” [79] “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” [80] “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” [81
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  #7  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: What is theosis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhansen View Post
The Eastern Churches have put more emphasis on this but it’s also a part of Roman Catholic tradition. These is from the Catechism:

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice".250 This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life".251

705 Disfigured by sin and death, man remains "in the image of God," in the image of the Son, but is deprived "of the glory of God,"66 of his "likeness." The promise made to Abraham inaugurates the economy of salvation, at the culmination of which the Son himself will assume that "image"67 and restore it in the Father's "likeness" by giving it again its Glory, the Spirit who is "the giver of life."

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".279

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: [78] “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” [79] “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” [80] “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” [81
What is divinity though?
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  #8  
Old Aug 23, '11, 8:58 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

Theosis roughly means "to deify", "to divinize". It is referred to as the final and complete union with God.

Now, what does this mean? First off it is most important to say what it *is not*. It is the absolute union of the self with the Divine which results in the extinguishing of the person, as in other religions. You may perhaps be most familiar with the idea of union with the Divine from perhaps Hinduism or maybe even Buddhism (in the doctrine of Nirvana). This is, again, *not* the meaning of theosis.

Theosis is the teaching that we are made like God. What God is by nature, we become by grace. To put it in a simple manner, Western Christians usually refer to this process as sanctification, as distinct from justification. In the East, these terms are not primarily used and thought about; it is all part of the same work of God- namely, salvation.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the transformation of the person by the Grace of God. It is the putting off of the Old Adam and the putting on of Christ. It is conformity to the way of the Cross. It is the restoration of the likeness of the Trinity within us.
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  #9  
Old Aug 23, '11, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy92 View Post
Theosis roughly means "to deify", "to divinize". It is referred to as the final and complete union with God.

Now, what does this mean? First off it is most important to say what it *is not*. It is the absolute union of the self with the Divine which results in the extinguishing of the person, as in other religions. You may perhaps be most familiar with the idea of union with the Divine from perhaps Hinduism or maybe even Buddhism (in the doctrine of Nirvana). This is, again, *not* the meaning of theosis.

Theosis is the teaching that we are made like God. What God is by nature, we become by grace. To put it in a simple manner, Western Christians usually refer to this process as sanctification, as distinct from justification. In the East, these terms are not primarily used and thought about; it is all part of the same work of God- namely, salvation.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the transformation of the person by the Grace of God. It is the putting off of the Old Adam and the putting on of Christ. It is conformity to the way of the Cross. It is the restoration of the likeness of the Trinity within us.
What about cognition, or creativity? God is called the Creator. Is that what His nature is?
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  #10  
Old Aug 23, '11, 9:19 pm
fhansen fhansen is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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Originally Posted by joshrp View Post
What is divinity though?
We don't know so well-because we're not God. In this life we only get to look a little "higher" than ourselves at any given point in time, I think, just enough to keep us wanting more, to the extent we're willing, unless by way of a special grace He chooses to show Himself more directly to our intellect. But I'd hazard to say that it means, for one thing, to be conformed to His image-the image that is Love-and to share His beatitude-His happiness-as a result of being engulfed in and transformed by this Presence. Another way it could be put is that we are to become like Jesus, perfect love, holy, innocent, and always true-always who God created us to be.
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  #11  
Old Aug 23, '11, 9:26 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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What about cognition, or creativity? God is called the Creator. Is that what His nature is?
I'm not sure what those have to do with theosis.

How to put this...

God is completely other. However, He deigns to delight in us and share of Himself with us. As it it states in Scripture (1 Peter I think), "we partake of the Divine Nature". What this means is that we have a share in the Life of God- indeed, He freely and lovingly gives it to us.

I'll admit that perhaps my description isn't the best. Besides that, I am tired- hopefully someone will come along and perhaps explain it better than I!
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Old Aug 23, '11, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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We don't know so well-because we're not God. In this life we only get to look a little "higher" than ourselves at any given point in time, I think, just enough to keep us wanting more, to the extent we're willing, unless by way of a special grace He chooses to show Himself more directly to our intellect. But I'd hazard to say that it means, for one thing, to be conformed to His image-the image that is Love-and to share His beatitude-His happiness-as a result of being engulfed in and transformed by this Presence. Another way it could be put is that we are to become like Jesus, perfect love, holy, innocent, and always true-always who God created us to be.
Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be God. It is a weird question. I mean like, really, like I don't even know how to put this question. I don't mean like, if I could be God myself. I am never God, and will never be God can never be God. But what is His life like? He must have a lot of fun, don't you think?
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Old Aug 23, '11, 9:30 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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What is divinity though?
That which is belonging to the Divine. Namely, God.

I admit that is a pretty lame definition. But there is only so much that one can describe concerning the nature of that which is beyond him.

Someone, come and save me! Alexander Roman, your expertise is needed!
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  #14  
Old Aug 23, '11, 9:34 pm
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joshrp joshrp is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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That which is belonging to the Divine. Namely, God.

I admit that is a pretty lame definition. But there is only so much that one can describe concerning the nature of that which is beyond him.

Someone, come and save me! Alexander Roman, your expertise is needed!
Well, what does God do? And who is Alexander Roman?
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  #15  
Old Aug 23, '11, 9:37 pm
fhansen fhansen is offline
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Default Re: What is theosis?

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Originally Posted by joshrp View Post
Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be God. It is a weird question. I mean like, really, like I don't even know how to put this question. I don't mean like, if I could be God myself. I am never God, and will never be God can never be God. But what is His life like? He must have a lot of fun, don't you think?
I think God has a lot of fun. I think He is pure joy, pure unconditional love, pure happiness, aside from all the serious stuff like all-powerful, all-knowing, etc. and very unlike the petty egoism that drives this world and results in all our petty anger and petty conflicts and petty confidence in our own petty, pathetic "righteousness".
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