Two Kinds of Theosis - Jordan B. Cooper

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Puritan Board Doctor
From Christification: A Lutheran Approach to Theosis, "There are many different approaches to theosis in various authors and traditions, but there are two primary strands of thought on this subject. First, there is the earlier formulation as explained in Irenaeus and Athanasius. This approach to theosis is primarily theological in nature, arising from the teaching of the incarnation, and expounded upon through exegesis of biblical texts. (41) The second form is philosophical, taken from neoplatonism. This approach is represented in Pseudo-Dionysius, Clement of Alexandria, and Gregory Palamas. As Popov observes, “The starting point for the first was the deified flesh of Christ, while the starting point of the second was the Christian doctrine of God in its neoplatonic version. (42) Both of these perspectives are at work within Eastern Orthodox theology, but I purpose that the first, rather than the second, is compatible with Lutheran soteriology."

(41) “The first orientation was rooted in the very depths of the popular faith, always positive and palpable; the second - which characterized the more educated theologians - was clothed in philosophical forms and did not reject the better aspects of neoplatonism, which in that epoch dominated all minds and attracted all hearts.” (Popov, Idea of Deification, 44-45)
(42) Ibid., 45

I would post more from the book but it's tiny and very difficult to get it to stay open. I would recommend it.

Yours in the Lord,

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