Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Partakers of the Divine Nature: The Byzantine Perspective

Orthodox Catholicism has long retained some aspects of the early Christian understanding of theosis - the potential for humans to become "gods" through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How ironic that modern LDS Christians practicing restored Christianity are condemned as non-Christian cultists for having that restored understanding. A great non-LDS article on this topic is "'Partakers of the Divine Nature' (2 Peter 1:4) in the Byzantine Tradition" by non-LDS writer Norman Russell. He discusses some early Christian views on what it means to become partakers of the divine nature and even be "gods." Search for the use of the word "gods" in this document, based upon ancient Christian concepts, and see how misguided the modern critics are in excluding Mormons as Christians for accepting this authentic Christian concept.

Also see my article on "The Divine Potential of Human Beings."


2 comments:

Dave said...

Jeff, that looks like an interesting article, I'll read it this weekend. No doubt Orthodox scholarship looks at early Christian documents and history with a rather different perspective than Protestant or Catholic scholars, probably much more in line with how secular scholars are open to early Christian documents and diverse Christian thinking.

Say, you deserve a pat on the back to being such a diligent blogger--one post per day is a threshold most people have a hard time keeping up with. If you're interested in enrolling in the RPT Blog Club (that's RPT for Religion, Philosophy, and Theology), just leave a comment over at my weblog. You will get a few more visitors and more comments. There's a list of affiliated weblogs on my right sidebar.

Anonymous said...

Have you also read "Partakers of the Divine Nature": A Comparative Analysis of Patristic and Mormon Doctrines of Divinization, by Jordan Vajda? This has been republished by FARMS. Bro. Vajda was a Catholic priest at the time that he wrote this paper. He has since joined the LDS church.