Dear John and Kirk,
It occurs to me, reading you posts, that this is what I like about the BOF. You both share what you have read and name sources. There is not much room for a pooling of ignorance this way.
And, with that said, and at the risk of me being in the pool by myself here . . . if any have any quotes about a moment-by-moment theosis as opposed to a once and for all type of theosis, I would appreciate this. And, this is because 'it is my understanding' that some Orthodox writers speak of salvation as a once for all thing for any who might experience it in this life. In this sense it is an experience to not be repeated. But, 'it is also my understanding' that some Orthodox writers speak of theosis as a thing that can come and go in our life and is a repeatable experience. In this sense it is similar to other faith traditions (some even non-Christian) whereby there can be mini-experiences of enlightenment as opposed to one big once for all experience. So if anyone knows of any references to this or stumbles across any, I'd appreciate a sharing of these.
And, just one final thing. Knowing this thread is somewhat of an offshoot of the 'conversion' thread, as Kirk has rightly pointed out that theosis is salvation (in terms of a final salvation) . . . this is another area where I think sometimes that in order for doctrines at the top of a house to be supported there needs to be a protecting of doctrines down in the lower part of the house. And, sometimes this requires circular talking in order to keep things from seeming less than tight, or less than sensical. What I mean is take for example the normal Orthodox usage of: 1) Conversion; 2.) Salvation; and 3) Theosis. Knowing sanctification (as understood by most Protestants and others) is the main meaning of salvation, we can focus on the Orthodox 'take' on these three. And, they seem to flow pretty well I think. 1, 2, and finally 3. Or, do they?
But, now I feel that I am possibly adding to my 'pooling' a blending of this thread and the other thread on 'conversion' with where I'm headed so I will quit here, and just look forward to reading more installments which come from the History of the Christian Church.
And, it occurs to me that I have always been highly interested in the History of Christian Thought or what is known by some as Historical Theology. But, these are not always the same as a consideration of a History of the Church. And, this is where I think we are all so blessed in this thread. And, these are very fine lines which separate the above fields, and in fact, there is so much overlap, they really are one big field in reality. But, I think there are different approaches here based on how much of a personal agenda one has. But, there needs to be a balance I think for the one who has no agenda other than to seek the Truth as nothing more than a disciple of the Truth, a learner/follower of Christ. And, as it relates to this mode, and any who would attempt to share what one has learned, for any who would attempt to express the Orthodox faith and in this sense share theology . . . I am reminded of a quote by another John. John Zizioulas, who wrote:
Quote:One of the major and permanent goals of a theologian, who wants to express the Christian faith, as it is held by the Orthodox Catholic Tradition, is to be able to do justice to history as well as to "systematic" thought addressed to contemporaries. In most cases, however, historians limit themselves to history establishing the facts of the past leaving open the issue of objective truth. Systematic theologians, on the contrary, neglect the rigorous demands of historical criticism, and use the past merely as a source of proof-texts, selected by them to support their own, so often arbitrary interpretation of truth.
This dichotomy is particularly dangerous for Orthodox theology, which simply ceases to be Orthodox is it neglects either Tradition uncovered in history, or forgets the truth, which is its raison d'etre.
Thanks again for you efforts here John. Hopefully, this is a labor of love. And, while this might be more of a slower moving, and more of a long term type of thread, I am grateful that it is here now and as a reference in the future. I think your work here and elsewhere does not allow much room for the dichotomy described above and because of this we are blessed.