Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm a little puzzled. There are ancient Platonist threads in Christianity, in which the physical, though created good, must be left behind as the soul reaches for God. The idea comes across to me as almost gnostic.

We were created, and therefore have a nature and form. Perhaps that form, like a caterpillar's can change to something else, but that in turn will also be a form.

To be united with God, therefore, happens through a particular form.

That does not have to limit the depth of the union: consider Jesus as the ultimate example. He had the form and nature of a man, but was also fully God.

So there's no intrinsic reason why divinization demands that we abandon our physical bodies. Some austerities may be required along the way (and in this fallen world almost always are), but they are only a secondary means. That we cannot know God as He knows Himself ought to be obvious, though we doubtlessly need regular reminders.

That all seems pretty straightforward. But quite a few Christians through the centuries hold pretty much the opposite.

What am I missing?

UPDATE: If the process of union were our operation instead of God's I could see a reason for the focus. But since divinization is God's doing, we should expect the miraculous and look to the examples we know: Jesus.

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