Through the incarnation of Christ, His kenosis (emptying) makes our theosis (deification) possible. But, what is theosis?
While Hanegraaff believes that theosis is the crown jewel of theology, he is aware that for many Christians theosis is a foreign concept and those who are aware of it all too often misunderstand it. Yet, if we ignore—or denounce—theosis than we miss the point of all theological speculation. Said Vladimir Lossky, ‘Christian theology is always in the last resort a means: a unity of knowledge subserving an end which transcends all knowledge. This ultimate end is union with God or deiﬁcation.” For more information on Hank’s view see Truth Matters, Life Matters More available for your partnering gift here.
In short, theosis is best understood as the process of attaining an ever-deepening union with God—a process that begins during our lives on earth and extends into eternity. As we celebrate the incarnation it is critical to remember that Jesus Christ came not only to save us from death, but to give us life. Theosis is what our lives are for and the process through which we become fully human.
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Topics discussed include: Why do so many Christians denounce deification? (4:30); what is deification? (9:20); the difference between the essence and energies of God and why it matters (11:30); what does it mean to experience theosis? (15:00); the incarnation, theosis and kenosis (17:45); we can’t do it alone—the ecclesial and sacramental nature of theosis (21:55); was the incarnation always intended to happen? (25:00); cooperation with God—some quintessential examples of theosis (32:05); self-transcendence and the communal experience of Christ—we cannot experience theosis on our own (38:25); the power of the Sacraments—chiefly the Eucharist (42:30); the Jesus Prayer and Hesychasm—seeking divine stillness through the contemplation of God in uninterrupted prayer (48:45).
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