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Zakuska

Christian Defification Doctrine

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The Earliest Patristic Interpretations of PSALM 82, Jewish Antecedents, and the Origin of Christian Deification

Carl Mosser

Deification is an important component of patristic theology.Its chief proof-text is Ps. 82:6. It has been commonly assumedthat this verse had nothing to do with the origin of the doctrinebut was cited later to bolster its biblical warrant. On thisview the patristic writers followed Jesus

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Google "theosis catholic" and see how many hits you get.

Theosis is not the same as "deification", allegedly, (Whispering) but it really is

(Don't tell anyone I said that ok?)

Edit: I think if you just google "theosis" you will find plenty of what you are looking for.

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Google "theosis catholic" and see how many hits you get.

Theosis is not the same as "deification", allegedly, (Whispering) but it really is

(Don't tell anyone I said that ok?)

No, it really isn't. Essentially, Mormonism teaches that the God of t his world was once a man, perhaps a sinner like all other men, and that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, was resurrected and exalted to Godhood. He is the God of this earth. All men can become gods by the same route.

On the other hand, Christians believe in the doctrine of divinization or theosis. There are several views, but absolutely none have anything remotely related to the Mormon view. For Christians, theosis means we can receive the attributes of God by grace. We are pefectly united with the One True God, Who has eternally been God from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning or end, always God. There never was a time when God was not God. Here is an interesting article telling all the views:

http://www.bethel.ed...s/THEOSIS2.html

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No, it really isn't. Essentially, Mormonism teaches that the God of t his world was once a man, perhaps a sinner like all other men, and that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, was resurrected and exalted to Godhood. He is the God of this earth. All men can become gods by the same route.

http://www.bethel.edu/~rakrob/files/THEOSIS2.html

Please show me where this is taught. This is not doctrine. Our doctrine is found the standard works.

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Catherine:

This is from the site you linked to:

In one of his letters, Athanasius, the fourth-century defender of the faith, made his famous statement that the Son of God became man "that he might deify us in himself."{1} In his great work, On the Incarnation, he wrote similarly that Christ "was made man that we might be made God.

I agree with this statement. You don't?

Edit: Will another TBM please take this up?

I have been through this so many times I really don't want to continue, but someone must teach Catherine. That's why I whispered to Zakuska

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No, it really isn't. Essentially, Mormonism teaches that the God of t his world was once a man, perhaps a sinner like all other men, and that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, was resurrected and exalted to Godhood. He is the God of this earth. All men can become gods by the same route.

Doncha just love it when a nonmember tells us what we believe?

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Comments? Since when did Christians believe in deification?

Since NT times and before obviously. But since you're talking about THOSE christians, the answer is, "Quite early". For example, regarding 1 Corinthians 8:5-6:

"Now it is possible that some may dislike what we have said representing the Father as the one true God, but admitting other beings besides the true God, who have become gods by having a share of God. They may fear that the glory of Him who surpasses all creation may be lowered to the level of those other beings called gods. We drew this distinction between Him and them that we showed God the Word to be to all the other gods the minister of their divinity . . . . As, then, there are many gods, but to us there is but one God the Father, and many Lords, but to us there is one Lord, Jesus Christ . . ."

Origen, Commentary on John 2:3, in ANF 10:323

So even they knew that it's not referring to idols. Those are found in verse 4.

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Where is David Waltz ?, he sent me a copy of chapter 1 of his book on the Godhead/Trinity which discusses Deification in the N.T which from my lights was well done. Also if someone can post David Pyles paper he did at the first F.A.I.R conference back in 1999 which is about Deification/Theosis it would be useful.

In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan - LDS JEDI KNIGHT,

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Doncha just love it when a nonmember tells us what we believe?

That's the "defecation" doctrine...

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Where is David Waltz ?, he sent me a copy of chapter 1 of his book on the Godhead/Trinity which discusses Deification in the N.T which from my lights was well done. Also if someone can post David Pyles paper he did at the first F.A.I.R conference back in 1999 which is about Deification/Theosis it would be useful.

In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan - LDS JEDI KNIGHT,

I can't wait until David finishes (and publishes) his book. From the tastes he has given through the years, I can

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No, it really isn't.

Becoming a god is not Mormon doctrine? And if it is Evangelical doctrine, I can't wait to start hearing more layman Evangelicals teach the doctrine of human deification.

Essentially, Mormonism teaches that the God of t his world was once a man

Kind of like how "The Word was God...And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us?" (John 1:1, 14)

perhaps a sinner like all other men

Pure speculation that is the focused on by people like that Aaron S. guy from the incredibly scholarly MRM.

and that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, was resurrected and exalted to Godhood.

Wow, that is more than I really know. This sounds more like a quote from "The God Makers" than any official doctrine.

Speaking of "The God Makers":

"The Mormons are truly "godmakers": as the doctrine of exaltation explains, the fullness of human salvation means "becoming a god." Yet what was meant to be a term of ridicule has turned out to be a term of approbation, for the witness of the Greek Fathers of the Church, described in chapter two, is that they also believed that salvation meant "becoming a god." It seems that if one's soteriology cannot accommodate a doctrine of human divinization, then it has at least implicitly, if not explicitly, rejected the heritage of the early Christian church and departed from the faith of first millennium Christianity. However, if that is the case, those who would espouse such a soteriology also believe, in fact, that Christianity, from about the second century on, has apostatized and "gotten it wrong" on this core issue of human salvation. Thus, ironically, those who would excoriate Mormons for believing in the doctrine of exaltation actually agree with them that the early church experienced a "great apostasy" on fundamental doctrinal questions. And the supreme irony is that such persons should probably investigate the claims of the LDS Church, which proclaims that within itself is to be found the 'restoration of all things.'" (Jordan Vadja, "Partakers of the Divine Nature")

He is the God of this earth.

More like the Universe.

All men can become gods by the same route.

God became God by route of the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

On the other hand, Christians believe in the doctrine of divinization or theosis.

Well, considering theosis means "making divine," I don't see the conflict. Last time I checked, Mormons believed in deification.

But Jordan Vadja makes the distinction fairly well:

"The most profound difference between the doctrines of theosis and exaltation revolves around the way in which humans become divinized, or become gods. In the doctrine of theosis, divinization comes about through participation in the divine energies of the one divine nature, which divine nature is fully possessed by each of the three divine persons who comprise the Trinity

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http://jts.oxfordjou...bstract/56/1/30

Intrestingly... back on ZLMB when I first encountered Pslams 82 and I gave a personal interpretation of the Chapter... I explained it nearly exactly the same way.

Comments? Since when did Christians beleive in deification?

PS I mispelled the thread title I know.

Why are you asking Zak? Do you not know the answer? I share your opinion that it is derived from Apostolic teaching and taught explicitly at the latest in the late 2nd Century by St. Irenaeus. But there is little reason to think that the teaching was original with him. I suppose Irenaeus may have heard it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from an Apostle of Christ.

I don't have any problem with LDS beliefs about how God completely and fully shares His life with His children. That isn't where we disagree. Where we disagree is about why deification does not make us the One, Almighty God of Everything. Catholic deification is limited because God is infinite, LDS deification is limited because God is finite. That is no misrepresentation, is it? If I am not mistaken, any understanding that might be reached between Catholics and Mormons must begin with this principle: None of us believes that any of us are going to become infinite. I think we could agree on the end result, though we arrive at it from different directions. We both agree in limits to deification for different reasons.

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None of us believes that any of us are going to become infinite. I think we could agree on the end result, though we arrive at it from different directions.

The only problem is that no one knows what that means. I believe that there will never be a time when God is not God of everything, and there will never be a time that I will be.

Does that help?

Of course time applies to this universe, and so does the word "everything". Is there anything else? I don't know, do you? CAN you know of anything outside this universe?

If not, why quibble over semantics?

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Where we disagree is about why deification does not make us the One, Almighty God of Everything.

But we don't believe that! God will always be our God. He will always be as far "above" me as he is now. My becoming exalted "takes" nothing from his glory, but adds to it.

That is what "eternal progression" means. If he did not eternally progress, we could "catch up". But we cannot! All that "changes" is our relative position to our children. We are all on the same elevator together.

Thank of Abraham. The fact that he has more and more children does not limit him as patriarch of all those children grandchildren and an infinite family group of descendents. He is still "father" of all of them no matter what they achieve or how many children each individual has.

A child never becomes his own father.

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The only problem is that no one knows what that means. I believe that there will never be a time when God is not God of everything, and there will never be a time that I will be.

Does that help?

Of course time applies to this universe, and so does the word "everything". Is there anything else? I don't know, do you? CAN you know of anything outside this universe?

If not, why quibble over semantics?

Hi bukowski.

Where is a quibble? It seems to me like we agree. The deified remain definite.

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But we don't believe that! God will always be our God. He will always be as far "above" me as he is now. My becoming exalted "takes" nothing from his glory, but adds to it.

That is what "eternal progression" means. If he did not eternally progress, we could "catch up". But we cannot! All that "changes" is our relative position to our children. We are all on the same elevator together.

Thank of Abraham. The fact that he has more and more children does not limit him as patriarch of all those children grandchildren and an infinite family group of descendents. He is still "father" of all of them no matter what they achieve or how many children each individual has.

A child never becomes his own father.

Hi again mfbukowski.

You said that you do not believe the following: "Where we disagree is about why deification does not make us the Almighty God of Everything."

You then proceed to explain that deification leaves the LDS far behind your Heavenly Father. I understand the elevator analogy. It seems to me that you agree with the Catholics that "deification does not make us the Almighty God of Everything." Catholics don't believe in the elevator ride. It is for a different reason, but it seems to me that we are agreed that we never become what God is whether we are Catholic or LDS.

I am not looking to disagree, but for common ground. Can you see no common ground here? I grant that it is not going to allow us to go to Church together. But it seems like these discussions on deification always begin and end with an over-emphasis on differences and under-emphasis on similarity. I am just trying to regain some balance and recognize that we are not so far apart as partisans on both sides would seem to have it.

Converts on both sides often have an unhealthy and unwarranted disdain which they zealously express for the views they once happily endorsed. Lifetime adherents on both sides eagerly imagine the other side to be ridiculous. Soon enough, historical exaggerations and doctrinal misrepresentations of the other side become almost "gospel". I think this is truly the work of the devil, to keep us who should cultivate love and respect apart. It is impossible to have respect for that which we mistakenly imagine to be absurd or ridiculous.

My sermonette is for the purpose of clarifying why I would not wish to seek a quibble.

Thank you for your consideration.

3DOP

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I understand the elevator analogy. It seems to me that you agree with the Catholics that "deification does not make us the Almighty God of Everything." Catholics don't believe in the elevator ride. It is for a different reason, but it seems to me that we are agreed that we never become what God is whether we are Catholic or LDS.

I am not looking to disagree, but for common ground. Can you see no common ground here? I grant that it is not going to allow us to go to Church together. But it seems like these discussions on deification always begin and end with an over-emphasis on differences and under-emphasis on similarity. I am just trying to regain some balance and recognize that we are not so far apart as partisans on both sides would seem to have it.

No, I wasn't picking a fight either! I also am looking for unity, and I think we are in fact very close. But if we ever will be able to bridge the gap we need to know the exact location, dimensions, and "soft spots" in the gap we are attempting to bridge.

So where IS the gap then?

Let me tell you what I think the Catholic position is and perhaps you can correct me as needed.

Frankly to me, it seems that the Catholic view is rather "parochial" (sorry- couldn't resist!) :P.

By that I mean there is one possible universe with an infinite eternal spirit who created it all, and that's all there is or could be without limiting God.

We look at more possibilities I think. What if there are many domains in which multiple Gods may dwell? Call them universes or whatever. Each is "infinite" in his relative position, for all that any of his children can know. So on this view there could be multiple "infinite and eternal" Gods.

Of course speaking about it gets us all messed up. If you demand God to be "infinite and eternal" and you are LDS, you can answer that he IS infinite and eternal (in every way we can know about) whereas if you are Catholic there is on one hand not a possibility that such a relative "infinite and eternal" God could exist. And of course time is relative within each "domain" or "universe", making each "eternal" in his sphere.

But it seems that Catholics just don't ask the question or it doesn't occur to them that it could be otherwise than their belief.

I have said that LDS answer questions Catholics don't even ask.

So we have the Catholics saying "Yeah, but then God is not infinite", and the LDS say "Oh yes he is" and it goes back and forth "Yes he is," No he's not" like two little kids and this goes on ad infinitum.

So am I wrong?

How do we get out of the loop?

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Double post

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Please show me where this is taught. This is not doctrine. Our doctrine is found the standard works.

The words of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Pratt, and others. Smith and Young were prophets according to Mormons, so it's simply a matter of whether or not you believe what they taught.

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Please show me where this is taught. This is not doctrine. Our doctrine is found the standard works.

Brigham Young: "[T]hat God the Father was once a man on another planet who 'passed the ordeal we are now passing through. . .'"

Brigham Young, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 29.

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Very worthwhile treatments of the matter of deification include Keith Norman's Duke University doctoral dissertation, "Deification and the Content of Athanasian Soteriology," which has been republished by the Maxwell Institute and is available on line:

http://mi.byu.edu/authors/?authorID=400

and Father Jordan Vajda's thesis at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, "Partakers of the Divine Nature," which has also been republished by the Maxwell Institute and is also available on line:

http://mi.byu.edu/authors/?authorID=435

Father Vajda has, of course, since been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

P.S. I always get a kick out of evangelicals claiming that they possess a doctrine of deification superior to that of the Latter-day Saints. It's only recently that a tiny percentage of them have discovered that such a doctrine even existed in early Christianity. Sorry. We do well on this one. They don't.

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Father Vajda has, of course, since been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

P.S. I always get a kick out of evangelicals claiming that they possess a doctrine of deification superior to that of the Latter-day Saints. It's only recently that a tiny percentage of them have discovered that such a doctrine even existed in early Christianity. Sorry. We do well on this one. They don't.

When you say "we", are you referring to the Church or the LDS apologetic community? And when you say "well", how do you measure it? As convincing argument and/or thesis?

I wonder on this because as members we know that Joseph Smith was very specific when he said:

"It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself"

And yet who will forget the national interview w President Hinckley on this very issue when he obviously wanted to avoid it's discussion and said "we don't know much about that".

As a Church, we rarely discuss this in any depth or length either publically or within our own meetings. So I am interested in or by what perspective "we" (whoever that means) have done well?

FMI, who is Father Vadja and what is his story? Have never heard of him or it before but sounds interesting.

[Finally, no offense to my bros and sisters in Utah but, go Frogs! Fantacizing for an all Texas BCS game this year!]

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Brigham Young: "[T]hat God the Father was once a man on another planet who 'passed the ordeal we are now passing through. . .'"

Brigham Young, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 29.

Did Christ not have to overcome temptation?

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Did Christ not have to overcome temptation?

Not sure what you are getting at that comment.

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And when you say "well", how do you measure it? As convincing argument and/or thesis?

I find it interesting that Joseph Smith taught deification long before Evangelicals even knew it was taught by the early Church Fathers.

I wonder on this because as members we know that Joseph Smith was very specific when he said:

"It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself"

And yet who will forget the national interview w President Hinckley on this very issue when he obviously wanted to avoid it's discussion and said "we don't know much about that".

Considering the Joseph Smith quote is pretty much the extent of our knowledge on the subject, I think Pres. Hinckley was right.

FMI, who is Father Vadja and what is his story? Have never heard of him or it before but sounds interesting.

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=622fbf9cd2f0c110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

The relevant part:

The conversion of Jordan Vajda, a fine young man who had been a Catholic priest, is instructive. When he was in grade school, he had Latter-day Saint friends in his class who shared with him their love of the gospel. At age 13 he found an offer from the Church for a free Book of Mormon. He sent for it, and two sister missionaries responded. They were surprised that he was only 13 and had requested the Book of Mormon. He was impressed with what they taught and what he felt, but after discussions with his family, he decided to become a priest in the Catholic Church. As he prepared to be a priest, he remained interested in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He studied at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He became acquainted with many who take the position we are not Christians, but he also associated with the students at the Latter-day Saint institute of religion at Berkeley. He decided to write a master

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