Saturday, November 14, 2015

95 Theses, #51: The Transfiguration

 To see the introduction and disclaimers for my 95 Theses, first go to: 95-Theses-Introduction

51.) The Transfiguration and the Future of Human Nature - Another episode of special note within Christ’s ministry, which does not seem to fall into any of the above categories, is the event known as the Transfiguration. Here Christ is shown revealed in his true glory, surrounded by light, and represented as the fulfillment of the OT Law and Prophets. It stands as an unmistakable sign of his divinity. This episode has also been taken in the Eastern tradition as an image of the sort of participation that humanity can have in the divine nature. Christ is fully divine in essence, and we, unlike him, cannot ontologically become God’s own nature. What we can do is share in his “energies,” that is, metaphorically, to be so illuminated in the uncreated light of divine glory that we ourselves shine with the radiance of God. Though we can grow ever upwards in our moral nature toward love, which is God’s own nature, our love is always upheld and made possible by God’s love. Thus we cannot ever truly become God in essence, but we can share his nature in its energies, and so “become God” in this slightly weaker sense. (See yesterday's post for an in-depth treatment on the early church theology of theosis, or "deification").

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