The deification of man – Adam before the Fall

When Adam was first created, the Spirit of God robed him in holiness, making him a perfect person. However, such perfection was not absolute but relative, so that Adam and his proposed descendants could “progress peacefully and rise up toward the perfect . . . to draw closer to the Unbegotten” (Irenaeus of Lyon, Haer. 3.23.5 [963]). It was progressive deification, therefore, that was intended for mankind and presented for the working life of our First Parent (Gross, J. 1938/2002. The divinization of the Christian according to the Greek Fathers).