Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Sanctification vs. theosis


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Du.

Michael Du.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts

Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:27 AM

I am familiar with the Orthodox emphasis on theosis. As a Protestant, I have often been taught about sanctification. From the Protestant point of view, sanctification is the life-long process of being made more like Christ. The book of Romans (see 8:28,29) also talks about this - that God's purpose for us is to be conformed to the image of His Son. My question is, is there a difference between sanctification and theosis, and if so, what is the main difference? Also, is it possible we are talking about the same thing but just using different terminology. Thanks in advance for your responses.

#2 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:09 PM

Michael,

It is true that theosis and sanctification do look an awful lot alike. The major difference, at least in my mind, is that sanctification is something that happens to you after salvation while theosis is the process of salvation itself. To put it another way, sanctification is the dessert whereas theosis is the whole meal. Sanctification is neither necessary nor sufficient for salvation but rather something that comes after, while theosis is both necessary and sufficient for salvation as they are the same thing. There are, then other differences which spin off from that distinction, but that I think is the core.

Fr David

#3 Eugenia Vasiliadis

Eugenia Vasiliadis

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 07 August 2011 - 01:47 AM

Dear Michael,

As fr. David said, Theosis is a process of salvation/sanctification

It is a way of life for the Orthodox Christian in that we go through the 3 steps
of Theosis during our life time. 1. Purification 2, Illumination 3. divinization

The beginner christian is concerned with the purification of the soul from the passions and trying to get rid of
those passions, while the more mature christian while struggling with passions can also taste the
grace of God in his life by being illumined in the Word. That strengthens the person and motivates him to
move further along the difficult path ahead. Those experienced in the Theosis practice, more purified, can taste the Divine and are gifted with the Spiritual Knowledge and have the saintly experiences.

Some great books to read on this subject are, Orthodox Spirituality , Orthodox Psychotherapy, Illness and cure of the Soul in the Orthodox tradition

#4 Cuthbert Rollings

Cuthbert Rollings

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:14 PM

[clipped for brevity]
Some great books to read on this subject are, Orthodox Spirituality , Orthodox Psychotherapy, Illness and cure of the Soul in the Orthodox tradition


Eugenia, Could you give the authors for these books?

Blessings,

Fr. Dcn. Cuthbert Rollings

#5 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:03 PM

The author of these books is Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos). You can find information here: Publications of Met. Hierotheos

#6 Michael Du.

Michael Du.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts

Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:50 PM

Thanks for the responses. I will also look further into the books that Eugenia suggested. Take care.

#7 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:59 PM

Metropolitan Hierotheos can be quite a "hard read", but it will be well worth the effort.

#8 Anna Stickles

Anna Stickles

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,365 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

I realize this is an old topic, but I came across some quotes from some reformation theologians the other day that made me think of another aspect of things when we compare Orthodox doctrine of theosis with say PC doctrines of santification.

 

When we consider whether sanctificaiton and deification are the same thing this question can’t be answered in general terms but rather
the details of what exactly is meant by each of these terms has to be looked at.  In traditional reformed theology for
example, God’s attributes are divided into two groups, incommunicable and communicable.  The first group then is associated with God’s
transcendence., the second with our sanctification.  

 

But looking at things this way does damage to the Orthodox
doctrine of deification which teaches that God communicates the fullness of the
divine nature to us, not a nature stripped of some of its essential being.
Therefore we become god by grace, not something that is not quite god (yet nevertheless we remain fully man)

 

In this vein some Orthodox theologians have even talked about how man becomes uncreated by grace. 
Now if there were an attribute that we would think should not be communicable,
this would be it, and yet the very purpose of such language is to point out to
us the truth of how in our adoption as sons the fullness of the Divine nature
is communicated to us.

 

The main point then that I think is at stake here is that to really make meaningful statements about the differences between Orthodox
theology and the theology of other traditions the specific context  of how a given concept is understood has to be looked at. 



 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users