Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Theosis

My dear wife and I visited the local Christian bookstore yesterday, hoping to find an Easter tie for her father.

Ah, you know what's coming!

On the way out, I glanced briefly at a book about defending one's faith. I don't remember the title or the author. But of course it had the obligatory chapter about "the Mormons."

I really am not quite sure why the rest of the Christian world so vehemently recoils from the ancient Christian doctrine of theosis: becoming like God. That it is taught in the LDS church is considered by many to be one of our greatest sins, right up there with believing that God can still write scripture.

The last time I read the Bible through, it was full of statements such as the command for us to become perfect; the promise that we would be heirs of the Father and joint-heirs of Christ; that we are the offspring of the Father, and that ultimately we would become like Christ, who is, let us note, fully God.

The author of the aforementioned book said that many Mormons he met did not understand/defend/present consistent statements when asked about said doctrine.

Is that not to be expected? Could every "traditional" Christian one meets, possibly be expected to understand/defend/present consistent statements on any given permutation of "traditional" Christian doctrine, such as, say, the definition of the Trinity?

It was not one of the finest moments of the late Gordon B. Hinckley, our recently passed-away prophet, when he said, "I don't know that we teach that [that as man is, God once was, as God is, man may become]. That was during an interview several years ago with Larry King. But I understand why he didn't want to become embroiled in theological technicalities that the show's format would not have allowed him to properly explain.

We do not need to back away from or be ashamed of this doctrine. We are the children, the very offspring of God, heirs to all that He has. We certainly won't ever dethrone Him. An earthly father does not cease to be a father when his son becomes a man and begets a child.


Dr. B said...

I added your blog to my site aggregator. Could you please help to attract new users to the Mormon Blogosphere aggregator? I wonder if you are going to keep up your blog it is interesting.

Copy and paste the following code into your HTML/JavaScript widget, then take out the # signs:

<#a href=""><#img src=""/><#/a>


Dr. B.

Clifford said...

Thank you for your visit, Dr. B. This blog feels a little lonely sometimes. I do intend to keep it up.