Blog Archives

Flotsam and jetsam (10/25)

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Some interesting links from over the weekend:

Psychologically, I think Halloween performs two important functions. First, Halloween allows us to collectively process our eventual death and mortality….Second, Halloween allows us to work through our fears of the uncanny, the things that go bump in the night.

  • Similarly, Patheos is hosting an interesting series addressing the question, Are demons real?

In this season of haunted houses and horror movies, we couldn’t imagine a better time to grapple with the subject of demons. In the Christian traditions, demons take center stage in numerous biblical stories and continue to chill us today as central characters in popular and religious culture. But do they really exist outside of our imaginations and nightmares? Are demons real, today?

  • Bryan Lilly argues in favor of a more profound materialism, offering four reasons that Christians should value the human body: (1) creation; (2) incarnation; (3) the sacraments; and (4) the resurrection.

Evangelicalism has teetered between a compete disregard for the body…, and a gnostic-inspired view that sees the material world, including our bodies, as something we would be better off without.

As Carnell wrote: “Fundamentalism is a lonely position. It has cut itself off from the general stream of culture, philosophy and ecclesiastical tradition. This accounts, in part, for its robust pride. Since it is no longer in union with the wisdom of the ages, it has no standard by which to judge its own religious pretense.”

Humanness is not an opponent in the story of attaining to God’s purposes for us, humanness is the goal of the story, and Jesus is the helper sent to take us there.

Greek fathers roundup

Here’s a roundup of all the papers and abstracts that we have posted over the last several weeks in our series on the Greek Fathers.

And, here is the Greek Fathers Annotated Bibliography. Thanks everyone for submitting your papers and making them available here.

Old Word Version of Paper

Here is a copy of my paper in the Old Word Format for those of you who haven’t upgraded yet :). See post below for Word 2007 document.

“Becoming Like God?”

Becoming Like God?

Here is my paper for my Greek Fathers class. It is a survey of the Doctrine of Theosis.

Abstract:
This paper “Becoming Like God?” is an overview of the understanding of theosis in a few of the early Greek Church Fathers. It is meant as an overview and not a precise understanding of one Church Father because understanding theosis through one Church Father really limits the scope of what theosis meant to these men. The paper begins by trying to form a definition of theosis from the Church Fathers so that definition can be used when reading through each of the surveys of the Church Fathers. The paper then moves into the proponents of theosis beginning first with two key passages in the Bible (Gen. 1:26 and 2 Pet. 1:4). Then the paper surveys the Church Fathers beginning with Irenaeus and ending with John of Damascus. The final part of the paper is a few critiques of the doctrine of theosis and application of this doctrine in an Evangelical framework.

Greek Fathers Annotated Bibliography

We’ve started posting a number of papers and abstracts that some of the Th.M. students wrote during last semester’s class on the Greek Fathers. The class started with Irenaeus and Origen as two fathers who exercised a profound influence on the later Greek Fathers. We then worked our way from Athanasius to John of Damascus. So far we’ve posted the papers that were written on Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and John of Damascus. We’ll be posting a few others over the next couple of weeks.

We also compiled a working Greek Fathers Annotated Bibliography. This is far from an exhaustive bibliography, but it does provide good resources on each of the individuals studied as well as a number of resources on theosis.