Faith and seeing God

The Son of God became man so that man might become god – Saint Athanasius (De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B).

Yes, God Is and will remain – despite the present loss of your faith.

There are two kinds of faith: faith derived from hearing and learning, and faith derived from theoria. Although not separate from each other, the two kinds of faith differ, resulting in different kinds of knowledge of God.

Faith derived from hearing and learning (simple faith) results in the natural knowledge of God. Faith derived from theoria (perfect faith) results in the spiritual knowledge of God and the healing of man. We have become very used to the former, but thoroughly unused to the latter that we seem to have forgotten it indeed exists and is part and parcel of the life of humankind.

The shift from the mere natural knowledge of God, to the spiritual knowledge of God, is what is happening right now, necessitating purification in all the dimensions of life. This shift will continue, steadily increasing, until illumination of the heart of the soul, the nous, occurs and then all humankind will know God Is.

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4* Review for Deification of Man in Christianity

Deification Front Cover“Although very concise, this small book offers a very good introduction to the Deification/Theosis of man, the very purpose of all our lives, particularly from the Eastern Orthodox perspective. It is replete with credible references, both biblical and from respected Eastern Orthodox saints, that together provide a sound basis for the postulation of the author, who here in this book attempts to represent the overarching view of the Eastern church to those less familiar or completely unacquainted. The book is readable within a couple of hours . . . [it] is recommended for those that would like a better understanding of Theosis but without having to encounter all the accompanying extraneous theological baggage.”

(Source: Amazon.co.uk)

What is Deification of Man in Christianity?

Deification Front CoverDeification is the transformation of man into god through the grace of God. Predominant in the theology of Eastern Christianity, but marginalized and obscured in contemporary interpretations of the theology of Western Christianity, Bartolo-Abela explores how it is deification, not just salvation, that was and remains the intent of God for mankind, with deification occurring not solely in patria, but in via and in patria. This is an understanding of deification which has been largely lost and needs to be recovered in the Western Church.

Examining the works of the Church Fathers on both sides of the East-West divide in Christianity, Bartolo-Abela shows that rather than being restricted to the East, deification featured consistently in many theological works popular in the West, with the most prominent being those of Aquinas, Augustine, Hilary of Poitiers, Irenaeus and Jerome. Bartolo-Abela argues that it was deification, not just salvation as commonly understood, that was also inherently referred to by Paul VI in the universal call to holiness found in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.

Deification is the process of man becoming god and attaining theoria, seeing God, after purification of the heart and illumination of the heart of the soul have ensued through baptism in the Holy Spirit, as understood throughout tradition. Deification from this life, not solely the next, is the desire of God for mankind in accord with the words of Christ and Peter, “I said you are gods” (Jn 10:34) and “partakers of the divine nature” (2 P 1:4).

Just out – Deification of Man in Christianity

On deification – 13

“Deification is also the invocation of the great God and Father, the symbol of the authentic and real adoption, according to the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit, thanks to the bestowal of which grace the saints become and will remain the sons of God” (Gregory Palamas, III.1.28).

On contemplation and deification – 2

“Perfect contemplation of God and divine things is not only a stripping away, but beyond this, a participation in divine things, a gift and possession more than stripping away” (Gregory Palamas, The triads, I.3.18).

On contemplation and deification – 1

“If contemplation may not be equated with the via negativa, neither is it identifiable with the via positiva: contemplation is not simply abstraction or negation but a union and a divinization that occurs mystically and ineffably by the grace of God” (Williams, on Gregory Palamas I.3.17).

On deification – 12

“To understand the nature of God is to become deified; those who know that God is Spirit are those who become god completely and know God in God … [they] see God by God (Gregory Palamas, II.3.68; II.3.52).

On deification – 11

“Those who have been purified … make themselves worthy to contemplate invisible things, the essence of God remaining beyond their attainment; but those who are worthy of this contemplation can be initiated into it and make it the object of their understanding; thus they participate Continue reading “On deification – 11”

On deification – 10

“Deification is both the light encountered (inasmuch as it is a visible apparition) and something that attaches to the person, becoming one with her and changing her. It is both God as other and God transforming the human person from within” (A. N. Williams, 1999).