Gannon Murphy 改革宗的神化教义?




Theology Today 今日神学
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/004057360806500206
Theology Today 2008 65: 191
Gannon Murphy
Reformed Theosis? 改革宗的神化教义?
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Princeton Theological Seminary
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Gannon Murphy is general editor of American Theological Inquiry and tutor in the Centre for Faith, Reason, and Ethics at the University of Wales. He is author of Consuming Glory: A Classical Defense of Divine-Human Relationality Against Open Theism.

Gannon Murphy是美国神学研究(American Theological Inquiry)的主编,威尔斯大学信仰,理智和道德中心的辅导员。他是《最终的荣耀:一个针对开放神学神-人关系的经典辩护》一书的作者。

Abstract: Theologians in the classical Reformed tradition have not always recognized the elements in their own theologies that bear striking similarity to the doctrine of theosis principally advocated in Greek patristic and Byzantine theology and carried onward by historic and contemporary Eastern Orthodox thought. After a brief review of the classical Reformed doctrine of Christus in nobis (“Christ in us”), I propose a reconsideration and reformulation of the viability of theosis within classical Reformed theology, positing not only its fidelity to the biblical soteriology that Reformed theology seeks to guard but its suitability within Reformed theological and ecclesiastical contexts. It is indeed possible to conceive of a “Reformed theosis” provided it enjoins a certain substructural transmutation from that of its Eastern theological forebears.

摘要:传统改革宗的神学家们常常忽视,事实上,改革宗神学中的许多成分与主要由希腊教父和拜占庭神学所倡导的神化教义有着令人惊讶的相似之处,这个教义被历史上和当代的东正教思想继续保持一致。在简略的回顾传统改革宗Christus in nobis(“基督住在我们里面”)的教义后,我提议在传统改革宗神学的范畴中重新思考并重新架构神化教义,我们不能单单假设它乃是忠实的建立在改革宗神学所要捍卫的圣经救赎论之上,它符合改革宗的神学和教会文献。事实上,从对于东正教前辈神学家们对于神化教义结构式的调整,我们可以构思出一个‘改革宗的Theosis’教义。

The Reformers are particularly notable for their commendation and construction of the Christus in nobis (“Christ in us”) principle, the principle that speaks so richly of the mystical union (unio mystica) into which all the faithful are translated following a unilateral pneumatological regeneration. What are not often considered among Reformed theologians both past and present, however, are the surprising elements of developed Reformed theological constructions that bear striking similarities to the concept of theosis, principally advocated in Greek patristic and Byzantine theology and, of course, within historic and current Eastern Orthodoxy.[1] After a brief review of the classic Reformed doctrine of Christus in nobis, I propose a reconsideration of the scriptural warrants of theosis and posit not only that it is biblically sound but that it is best appropriated within a Reformed theological framework.

改革宗学者们因提倡并架构Christus in nobis(“基督住在我们里面”)的神学规范而扬名于世,这个规范极其丰富地论及奥秘的联合(unio mystica),在其中所有的信徒能够被诠释为一个仅从圣灵才能获得(unilateral pneumatological)的重生。出乎意料的,从古至今的改革宗神学家往往忽略了在已经发展完备的改革宗神学架构中,也涵盖主要在希腊教父和拜占庭神学以及,当然,历史上和今日的东正教所提出的,与神化观念的相似性。在简要地回顾传统改革宗Christus in nobis的教义后,我提议我们该对圣经所支持的theosis教义进行重新的评估,且最好将其置于在改革宗的神学架构之内。

Christ in Us


Chrìstus in nobis and unio mystica are closely allied terms. I will use both where appropriate, though I prefer the former term in that it appears better in communicating the operative principle at work in which the latter is established. At times, I will use them almost synonymously, but I nevertheless deliberately choose one term over the other in order to bring out a nuanced difference between the “mechanism” and the “fruit.” Union with Christ is the basis for genuine divine-human relationality; Christus in nobis is the theologically centered, unilateral principle that produces that reality in accord with the meticulous divine Providence classically advocated in historic Reformed theology.

在我们里面的基督(Chrìstus in nobis)和奥秘的联合(unio mystica)是两个唇齿相依的词。虽然我更倾向于前者,但我会根据情况使用合适的词,它看起来更能够合适的阐明后者所基于的在(基督)工作中运行的原则。大多数的时候,我交替的使用他们,然而,我也会特别倾向于选择其中的一个词好明确的在‘机制(mechanism)’和‘结果(fruit)’间划分出清楚的分界线。与基督联合(Union with Christ)是神人关系(divine-human relationality)的真正基础;在我们里面的基督(Chrìstus in nobis)是以神学为中心。在改革宗神学的历史中,它乃是根据神一丝不苟的护理被提出的单方面标准。

The reality of genuine union with Christ, the Reformers well knew, was hardly a tangential idea to the New Testament writers. Indeed, it is thematic in no less a fashion than the doctrine of justification. John Murray writes of the mystical union as actually being “the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation not only in its application but also in its once-for-all accomplishment in the finished work of Christ.”[2] He adds that “the whole process of salvation has its origin in one phase of union with Christ and salvation has in view the realization of other phases of union with Christ…. Union with Christ is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.”[3]

改革宗非常清楚,与基督真实联合的事实对新约的作者们,绝对不是一个次要的观念。反而,它的重要性绝不低于称义的教义。约翰慕理(John Murry)写到奥秘的联合实际上就是‘救赎教义的核心真理,不单单是在应用上,也是基督一次完全有功效所完成的事实。’他还加上,‘救赎的整个过程都起源与与基督联合这句话中,救赎乃是与基督联合的其他相关教训之完成。。。与基督联合是正救赎论的核心真理。’

The concept of Christus in nobis is certainly mysterious and exceedingly difficult to systematize. Indeed, Calvin wrote, “this mystery of the secret union of Christ with believers is incomprehensible by nature.”[4] Naturally, given the already problematic nature of philosophical anthropology, the ease with which it can be misunderstood and therefore misconstructed is a present danger even at its most basic levels. Yet the Reformation forebears of modern evangelicalism, notably Luther and Calvin, placed a tremendous premium upon the importance of recognizing Christ’s personal activity in the mystical union. Luther so emphasized the vitality of this union that he spoke of those adopted into God’s family as being

Christus in nobis的观念无疑是奥秘的,极其难以被系统化。加尔文确实写到,“这个与基督与信徒联合的奥秘是人性所无法理会的。”有鉴于哲学化人论本身具有争议的本质,人很容易根据自己的本性产生误解,并错误地架构其观念,这是今日我们面临的,最根本的危险。然而近代福音派的改革宗的先行者们,特别是路得和加尔文,花了极大的力气来确认基督在奥秘联合中,与其位格活动的重要性。路得强调这个联合的活力到一个地步,他论到那些被认养为神家的人为存有(being)。

so intimately with Christ, that He and you become as it were one person. As such you may boldly say: “I am now one with Christ. Therefore Christ’s righteousness, victory, and life are mine.” On the other hand, Christ may say: “I am that big sinner. His sins and his death are mine, because he is joined to me, and I to him.”[5]

(你)与基督是那么的亲密,以至于祂和你成为就像一个人一样(as it were one person)。使得你能够因此放胆的说:“我如今与基督是一。故此,基督的公义,得胜和生命都是我的。”在另一方面,基督也能够说:“我是个大罪人。因为他与我联合,我与他联合,他的罪和死都是我的。”

Calvin, perhaps even more so than Luther, placed critical emphasis on the believer’s union and oneness with Christ. I find it both strange and unfortunate that this emphasis of Calvin seems so often unnoticed even by those who thoroughly espouse his theology.[6] Abraham Kuyper remarked that “although Calvin may have been the most rigid among the reformers, yet not one of them has presented this, unio mystica, this spiritual union with Christ, so incessantly, so tenderly, and with such holy fire as he.”[7] Calvin writes that “to that union of the head and members, the residence of Christ in our hearts, in fine, the mystical union, we assign the highest rank, Christ when he becomes ours making us partners with him in the gifts with which he was endued. Hence we do not view him as at a distance and without us, but as we have put him on, and been ingrafted into his body, he deigns to make us one with himself, and, therefore, we glory in having a fellowship of righteousness with him.”[8] Calvin further draws upon this oneness language saying, “Christ does not so much come to us as become encumbered with our nature to make us one with him.”[9] He elaborates on this by drawing a distinction between the unitive and legal aspects of Christ’s indwelling:

加尔文,或许比路得还更为激进的强调信徒与基督的联合为一(oneness)。我发现,很不幸的,甚至连那些精通他神学的人往往也都会忽视这件事。亚伯兰肯普(Abraham Kuyper)感叹,“虽然加尔文在改教者中可能是最死板的,但是改教者中并没有任何人提及unio mystica。这个属灵与基督的联合如同祂是如此绵延不绝,那么的柔细,并带着圣别的火焰。”。加尔文写到,“对于那个头和肢体的联合,就是基督在那个美好和奥秘的联合中,内住在我们心中。当基督成为我们的时候,我们得到至高无上的地位(we assign the highest rank),使我们在祂所曾经忍受的恩典中,成为祂的同伴。因此,我们不再把祂当作遥远并缺少我们的,我们反披上祂,被接枝到祂的身体里面,祂的俯就使我们与祂成为一。因此,我们因与祂有公义的交通而得荣。”加尔文进一步发展这个一(oneness)的说法,说,‘基督的来临,并不是要拖累我们的本性,而是要让我们与祂合一。’他从基督内住(在我们里面)的联合和法理的两个不同方面,详述这个题目:

The phrase in ipso (in him) I have preferred to retain, rather than render it per ipsum (by him) because it has in my opinion more expressiveness and force. For we are enriched in Christ, inasmuch as we are members of his body, and are engrafted into him: nay more, being made one with him, he makes us share with him in every thing that he has received from the Father.[10]

我倾向于使用In ipso (在祂里面)这句话,而不是per ipsum(借由祂),因为我认为这句话更清楚也更有力。我们因在基督里变得富足,就像我们是祂身体的肢体一样;我们也被接枝到他里面:更有甚者,与祂成为一,祂使我们有份与祂从父领受的一切。

As evangelicals and their predecessors have attempted to systematize biblical doctrine since the sixteenth century, the Christus in nobis principle has generally been eclipsed theologically by the more justificatory principle of Christus pro nobis (“Christ for us”). Christus pro nobis speaks to those doctrines more specifically concerned with satisfaction, atonement, and justification. These are obviously vital concerns to Reformation and post-Reformation theology, yet in explicating them, the resultant unitive aspect of soteriology has not received nearly as much attention as it deserves. Mention is made here and there (often in sermons), but substantial scholarly treatments are noticeably lacking. This deficiency may, in part, be why current-day “open theists” and several quasi-immanentist, open-theistic-sounding theologians of the recent past find recourse in a radically different construction of the divine complexion in order to save divine-human relationality.[11] They do not grasp that a fuller-orbed understanding of the mystical union, as well as elements of theosis, have been on hand for centuries without compromising the broader Vincentian understanding of the incommunicable divine attributes (including exhaustive foreknowledge). Ironically, they have attempted to recast nearly the entire doctrine of God in order to rescue what was never in jeopardy.

从十六世纪以来,福音派人士和他们的先祖就尝试将圣经的教义系统化,这造成从神学的角度而言, Christus in nobis这个神学原理在Christus pro nobis(“基督为了我们”)这个能够起到辩护作用的原理面前,显得黯然失色。Christus pro nobis更明确的描述了成圣,代死,和称义的教义。这些对于宗教改革宗(Reformation)和宗教改革宗前(post-Reformation),都是必不可少的,然而在诠释它们的时候,救赎论中联合(unitive)的层面并没有受到该有的注意力。只不过(总是在讲道中)零碎的被提及,完全缺乏学术上的处理。这个缺陷也为今日的“开放神论(open theists)”和某些‘准泛神论(quasi-immanentist)’。近期开放神论的神学家们(open-theistic-sounding theologians)在一种对于神属性的极端特异的架构中寻找资源,,以拯救神-人关系。他们并没有察觉到,一个对于奥秘联合更为全面理解,就像神化(theosis)的成分,在没有牺牲Vincentian对于不可交流之神性理解(包括完全的预知)的前提下,已经存在了许多世纪。很讽刺的是,他们想要重新塑造整个神论来拯救从未陷入危机的(神论)。

Among the key biblical passages giving rise to the doctrine of the union of Christ and believers are those that speak of believers being “in” Christ and Christ “in” believers. We are “in Christ” (en Christo), “in him” (en autos) (alternatively “in him,” that is, Christ in the believer), “into Christ” (eis Christon), “in the Lord” (en kuriô), and “in me” (en emoi). For example, “if anyone is in Christ [en Christo] he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17).[12] Jesus declares, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me [en emoi], and I in him [en autos]” (John 6:56). Ephesians declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in him [en autos] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him” (Eph 1:3-4). Also, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus [en Christos lesous] for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Colossians speaks of “the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to his saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you [Christos en humin], the hope of glory” (Eph 1:26). The very mystery (musterion; literally, “secret”) that has been revealed is the Christus in nobis principle itself. Paul writes to the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). In other places, we read of Christ and the church as the head and body (Eph 1:22-23; 4:12-16; 5:23-32). This “in” language has enormous implications for the manner in which the believer carries out God’s work. Paul says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who worL· in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil 2:12-13). Jesus uses horticultural metaphors such as the vine and the branches to describe the mystical union: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing'” (John 15:4—5). Jesus also speaks of dwelling within the believer: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (John 14:23).

那些用来证明基督与信徒联合教义的经文都提到信徒‘在’基督‘里面’和基督‘在’信徒‘里面’。我们‘在基督里’(en Christo),‘在祂里面’(en autos)(与‘在祂里面’相对的,就是,基督在信徒里面(Christ in the believer)),‘进入基督(into Christ)’(eis Christon),“在主里面”(en kurio),和“在我里面”(en emoi)。例如,“若有人在基督里[en Christo],他就是新造的人,旧事已过,都变成新的了”(林后5:17) 。耶稣宣告,‘吃我肉、喝我血的人常在我里面[en emoi],我也常在他里面[en autos]”’(约6:56)。以弗所书宣称,“愿颂赞归与我们主耶稣基督的父神!他在基督里曾赐给我们天上各样属灵的福气:就如神从创立世界以前,在祂里[en autos]拣选了我们,使我们在他面前成为圣洁,无有瑕疵”(弗1:3-4)。和,“我们原是他的工作,在基督耶稣里[en Christos Iesous]造成的,为要叫我们行善,就是神所预备叫我们行的。”(弗2:10)。歌罗西书说,“这道理就是历世历代所隐藏的奥秘;但如今向他的圣徒显明了。神愿意叫他们知道,这奥秘在外邦人中有何等丰盛的荣耀,就是基督在你们心里成了有荣耀的盼望”(歌1:26)。这个奥秘(musterions;直译,“秘密”)乃是在Chritus in nobis(基督在我们里面)这个原则中,被启示出来。保罗写给加拉太人,“我已经与基督同钉十字架,现在活著的不再是我,乃是基督在我里面活著”(加2:20)。在另一处,我们读到基督和教会乃是互为头和身体(弗1:22-23;4:12-16;5:23-32)。这个‘在。。里面’这个词被大量的用来暗示信徒在其中作神的工。保罗说,“这样看来,我亲爱的弟兄,你们既是常顺服的,不但我在你们那里,就是我如今不在你们那里,更是顺服的,就当恐惧战兢做成你们得救的工夫。因为你们立志行事都是神在你们里面运行,为要成就他的美意。”(腓2:12-13)。耶稣用了一个园艺的图画,就是葡萄树和枝子,来描述这个奥秘的联合:“你们要常在我里面,我也常在你们里面。枝子若不常在葡萄树上,自己就不能结果子;你们若不常在我里面,也是这样。我是葡萄树,你们是枝子。常在我里面的,我也常在他里面,这人就多结果子;因为离了我,你们就不能做什麽”(约翰15:4-5)。耶稣也论到住在信徒之中:“人若爱我,就必遵守我的道;我父也必爱他,并且我们要到他那里去,与他同住。”(约翰14:23)。

Thus, the Christus in nobis principle, if difficult to grasp, is essential for a fully biblical theology. So deeply mysterious is it that a conscious limit to the parameters of analogy and even an apophatic approach often seem warranted. What is it really to be made one with God? Kuyper observed that the mystical union by which Christ dwells in us

故此,即使很难掌握的Christus in nobis原则,它仍完全符合圣经的神学。它是如此的奥秘,以至于理智的限制保证无法以类推法,甚至否定法的方式(来理解它)。到底什么事与神是一?肯普(Kuyper)认为,奥秘的联合乃是借由住在我们里面的基督

has a nature peculiar to itself; it may be compared to other unions, but it can never be fully explained by them. Wonderful is the bond between body and soul; more wonderful still the sacramental bond of holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; equally wonderful the vital union between mother and child in her blood, like that of the vine and its growing branches; wonderful the bond of wedlock; and much more wonderful the union with the Holy Spirit, established by His indwelling. But the union with Immanuel is distinct from all these. .. . It is a union invisible and intangible; the ear fails to perceive it, and it eludes all investigation; yet it is very real union and communion, by which the life of the Lord Jesus directly affects and controls us. As the unborn babe lives on the motherblood, which has its heartbeat outside of him, so we also live on the Christ-life, which has its heartbeat not in our soul, but outside of us, in heaven above, in Christ Jesus.[13]


Kuyper’s comparisons are quite useful. Especially poignant is the metaphor of mother and child. When a child, a baby for example, is left crying to itself, it is unconnected and, in a sense, inauthentic, to use a Heideggerian term.[14] It is not as though the baby has either ceased to exist or that it lacks distinct personhood. Rather, it is ungrounded in estrangement. Its world is one of unrelated aloneness. Yet when the mother arrives and the baby beholds her face, the child’s world is transformed. The child is enveloped in the world of the mother and is “authenticated” in the sense of being grounded and relationally contextualized, as the child “subsists” in its life source or sustainer. Similarly, our unitive bond with Christ transforms our world of disconnected aloneness into one in which the Lord is our world. This unspeakable bond is incomplete in this life, though it is progressively increased through sanctification (and theotic in nature, as I will soon argue). As such, God’s elect are caught between two worlds: the world of man, which is ultimately marked by unceasing estrangement, and the world of the Lord, which is our true home.

肯普的比较是非常有用的。母亲和婴儿的图画特别能够打动人心。当一个小孩,或一个婴儿,独自嚎嚎大哭的时候,它是没有人管的,从某个角度而言,可以用海得格尔(Heideggerian)的话,称作不真实的(inauthentic)。这不代表这个婴儿就不存在了,或它没有自己独立的位格。而是,它在不和谐(ungrounded in estrangement)中,没有安全感。它的世界是一个封闭的孤独。然而当母亲来临,婴儿看见她的脸,婴儿的世界就改变了。婴儿被母亲的世界所包围,在这个意义上,它的世界因为安全感和母亲的安慰而成了‘真实、有依靠的(authenticated)’,婴儿在它生命的源头或支持者(sustainer)里面‘生活(subsisit)’。同样的,我们与基督的联系把我们孤独孤立的世界变化成为一个主是我的世界(Lord is our world)的世界。这个联合虽然借由我们的成圣逐渐增长(它的属性乃是神,我接下来就会讲到这点),它无法在此生完成。神的选民被困在两个世界之间:由无止尽的不和,所代表人的世界,和主的世界,我们的真家乡。

Metaphors and analogies abound in descriptions of the union mystica. The Puritan Thomas Watson referred to the mystical union as “a marital union between Christ and believers” and suggested that its composition was twofold.[15] First, it forms a natural union that all human beings share, believers and unbelievers alike. This natural union is present due to Christ’s having taken on human nature, whereas the same was not done of the angelic realm (Heb 2:16). For Watson, however, this union was merely incidental and bears no significance to being relationally united with Christ.

比喻和类比能够丰富的描述union mystica。清教徒的多马士沃森(Thomas Watson)把奥秘的联合比喻为“基督和信徒的婚姻联合”并建议它的组成乃是双方面的。首先,它构成了一个所有人类所共享的本性联合(natural union),信徒和非信徒并没有分别。这个本性的联合基于基督取了我们的人性,这个本性并不是属于天使的范畴(希伯来2:16)。不论如何,对于沃森(Watson),这个联合不过是一个随机性的事件,不含有任何与基督产生关系上的联合之意。

The second, however, is what Watson called the “sacred union.” By this, Watson believed, we are mystically united to Christ. He admits that “it is hard to describe the manner of it It is hard to show how the soul is united to the body, and how Christ is united to the soul. But though this union is spiritual, it is real.”[16] Oddly, Watson adds the statement that this “union with Christ is not personal.”[17] Watson was apparently concerned that if we spoke of Christ as being personally united with us, it would be tantamount to Christ’s essence being transfused into the person of a believer such that all the person did would become meritorious.[18] Watson preferred, then, to think of the mystical union in more objective terms. First, the union is federal, or covenantal, in the sense that believers are represented by Christ. Second, it is effectual, in the sense that Christ becomes conjugally united to the faithful. In this sense, believers become “one” with him.


Much of what Watson says concerning the union is helpful. The conjugal metaphor is certainly scriptural (e.g., Matt 9:15; Luke 5:35; John 3:29; Rev 21:2) and speaks well to the positional nature of the union. I fear, however, that Watson’s treatment of the mystical union reduces it merely to objective elements (indeed, forensic) instead of including both the objective and subjective. Watson calls the union spiritual but denies that it is personal. When considering the union, it is difficult to see what the operative difference is between the spiritual and the personal or what Watson’s statement really accomplishes. Is Christ’s Spirit nonpersonall Even on the purely conjugal understanding, why cannot the union still be thought of as a personal one, indeed, a deeply personal one? Watson may actually be trying to avoid pantheism with this statement, by which the person of Christ and person of the human being become so amalgamated as to be nearly indistinguishable.


Watson is also not clear about what problem may be presented by the idea of meritorious works being performed by the Christian as they issue from the mystical union. If, for example, those very works were actually given to the believer by God (Eph 2:10) and it is God that works in the believer to do them (Phil 2:12-13), then they are the fruit, not the cause, of the unitive work of the Trinity made manifest in the life of the believer. Further, such meritorious works could be conceived as rewards, in that such rewards and their basis were both given as gifts of grace from God. I hold Watson to be a wonderful expositor of the Christian faith, but these issues underscore the manner in which wrestling with an understanding of the mystical union has been difficult in the forensic-dominated Western theological climate.


Augustus Strong may have struck a better balance between the objective and subjective elements of our union with Christ in his statement that “as the Holy Spirit is the principle of union between the Father and the Son, so he is the principle of union between God and man. Only through the Holy Spirit does Christ secure for himself those who will love him as distinct and free personalities.”[19] He further underscores the subjective aspects in tandem with the concept of “mutual interpénétration”:

奥古斯塔斯斯特朗在他的宣告“如同圣灵是父和子联合的基础,祂也神与人联合的基础。只有借由圣灵,基督才能够将那些爱他,与自己不同(性质)和自由的位格紧紧的联于自己,”这句话中,令人惊讶的对于我们与基督联合的基础提出了一个在主观和客观并重的平衡。他进一步用“彼此互相渗透(mutual interpenetration)”将主观的部分串联起来:

The Scriptures declare that, through the operation of God, there is constituted a union of the soul with Christ different in kind from God’s natural and providential concursus with all spirits, as well as from all unions of mere association or sympathy, moral likeness, or moral influence, a union of life, in which the human spirit, while then most truly possessing its own individuality and personal distinctness, is interpenetrated and energized by the Spirit of Christ, is made inscrutably but indissolubly one with him, and so becomes a member and partaker of that regenerated, believing, and justified humanity of which he is the head.[20]

圣经宣告,神的运行形成了一个灵魂与基督的联合,它与神的本质以及神对于所有灵魂的护理不同。这个联合也不同于以往单单基于结合,怜悯,道德的模仿,或道德影响的联合。它乃是一个生命的联合,具有最真实的独立性和位格之分别(personal distinctness),人的灵在其中被基督的灵渗透(interpenetrated)并加力(energized)。这个联合是无法被理解的,也是不可分解的与祂是一,叫人成为那个以祂为头,被重生,相信祂并被祂称义之人性的肢体和有份者。

For Strong, to be a Christian at all is literally to be indwelt by Christ. It is more than “mere juxtaposition or external influence.”[21] Christ’s work is performed not by an external agent but as one conjoined within the very nature of the redeemed. Loving God and obeying his commands are granted by the Spirit of God himself, inclining and motivating the secondary agent to do so.

对于斯特朗,作基督徒就是住在基督里面(indwelt by Christ)。其意义远超过“单单与祂并列或外界的影响。”基督的工作不单单是借由一个外面的中介执行,而是在被救赎者的本质之内(within),于他联合。爱神并遵行祂的命令乃是神的灵亲自赐给我们的,使得领受者倾向于,并被驱动爱神并遵行祂的命令。

Louis Berkhof recognized two equal and opposite dangers when considering the subjective union. One is to understand the union as “a union of essence, in which the personality of the one is simply merged into that of the other, so that Christ and the believer do not remain distinct persons.”[22] The other is to

路易斯伯克富(Louis Berkhof)察觉,就着客观的联合而论,有两个对立的危险。其一是把这个联合理解为“素质的联合,在其中一方的位格被融入另一方的位格中,使得基督和信徒不在是不同的位格。”另一个危险乃是

represent the mystical union as a mere moral union, or a union of love and sympathy, like that existing between a teacher and his pupils or between a friend and friend. Such a union does not involve an interpénétration of the life of Christ and that of believers. It would involve no more than a loving adherence to Christ, friendly service freely rendered to him, and ready acceptance of the message of the Kingdom of God.[23]


This latter error is built on the philosophy of libertarianism and is the unavoidable deduction of it. Thus, human love of God on most Arminian-Wesleyan, and certainly on open-theistic, constructs is chosen autonomously and voluntaristically according to the random vicissitudes of the will. Such love has no theologically grounded explanation, but in fact it becomes completely anthropocentric and quasi-deistic.


From a Reformed standpoint, elect believers most certainly do “invite” Christ into union with them as distinct individuals, but this act of the will is shot through with the providence and purposes of God as first cause in which he inclines the whole person toward the fruits of their own proximate causation. Human agents are not the sufficient cause of the unio mystica in either an initial or ongoing sense but exhibit cause as the fruit of God’s first working the miracle of regeneration in them and continuously in their sanctification. The will itself is liberated as its former, wicked inclinations are given a wholly new direction.


Reformed soteriologies avoid the enervative doctrines of human independence, stressing rather a “soft” omnicausalism that generates the divine-human relationship according to the purposes and good pleasure of the Deity. They attempt to bring together a teleology of God’s own creational glory with a doctrine of providence that thereby translates the believer into Christ so that the perichoretic Trinity delights in himself and his own glory—in us. Blaise Pascal rightly said:

改革宗的救赎论避免了人性独立的这种软弱的教义,强调一个“软性的” 全面因果主义(omnicausalism)。它根据神的旨意和良善的喜悦产生神-人间的关系(the divine-human relationship)。他们尝试结合神自己创造之荣耀的目的和看护的教义,以将信徒带入基督里面,好叫互相渗透的(perichoretic)三位一体在自己和自己的荣耀中喜悦————在我们里面。Blaise Pascal正确的论到:

[T]he God of Christians is not a God who is simply the author of mathematical truths, or of the order of the elements He is not merely a God who exercises His providence over the life and fortunes of men, [in order] to bestow on those who worship Him a long and happy life…. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Christians, is a God … who fills the soul and heart of those whom He possesses, a God who makes them conscious of their inward wretchedness, and His infinite mercy, who unites Himself to their inmost soul, who fills it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, who renders them incapable of any other end than Himself.[24]


There is no love that humans can render unto God other than God’s own love relationally given to them. Relationality is reciprocally given, returned, and received as believers are brought into the very being of God himself as creatures who mutually benefit from enjoying their own subjective experience of this union, a union that nevertheless begins, obtains, and subsists in God’s own being.


Toward a Reformed Doctrine of Theosis


The foregoing excursus of Christus in nobis thus prepares us to consider the viability of theosis, indeed, a decidedly Reformed theosis. I argue that elements of theosis further elucidate the Christus in nobis principle as one in which Christians truly become divinized. Theosis relates to Christus in nobis in speaking of operation. God’s very being shared with and in his elect effects the oneness that is salvation itself.

前面对于Christtus in nobis的记述乃是为了帮助我们了解theosis的活力,它无疑就是改革宗的神化教义(Reformed theosis)。我坚决主张以theosis的元素进一步诠释Christus in nobis的原则,就是基督徒在这个过程中,真正的被神化(divinized)。Theosis乃是在论到在神的运行(operation)之中,产生了与Christus in nobis的关系。神自己的存有被祂的选民所分享,并在他们里面产生了一(oneness),就是救恩。

The manifold risks of appropriating a theotic component into the broader framework of a Reformed model of divine-human relationality have not escaped my attention. Chief among these risks is the possibility for ambiguity and misunderstanding, especially that which results in a gross, nay heretical, overstatement of the doctrine. My intention is to unpack an understanding of theosis that provides the substructure for divine-human relationality but that nevertheless remains in fidelity with Reformed theology and in which the Creator-creature distinction is upheld to avoid pantheism or panentheism. No doubt, any Christian formulation of the doctrine of theosis must set an impassable limit on its elucidation that guards against the idea of created humanity ever being construed to become, ontologically, either God or a god.


Thus, my understanding of the doctrine acknowledges that God’s elect do literally share or become “partakers” in the divine, but their creaturely status and individual personality are not distorted or erased. On the contrary, the theotic aspect of Christus in nobis and unio mystica does not entail the erasure of the human person but the actualization of it. Our entire person—mind, body, soul—is designed to be in communion with the Trinity, to be totally embraced by God and enveloped by the glory of the Lord.

故此,我对于这个教义的理解乃是,神的选民确实分享神性,或成为神性的“分享者(partakers)”,但是他们被造之物的地位和位格,并不会被扭曲或消失。相反的, Christus in nobis和unio mystica的神性层面并不会使得消灭人的位格成为这个比喻的必要条件,而是使其变得更为真实(actualization)。我们的整个人格—心思,身体,魂—就是被设计为了要与三位一体交通,并完全被神所拥抱,并被主的荣耀所包围。

Moreover, the “glory” that God’s elect are to reflect in the eschaton is always theologically centered and, in this sense, not an autonomously generated phenomenon but a finite reflection and enjoyment of infinite glory. A classical Reformed doctrine of theosis must also be consistent with a monergistic soteriology. It is this that distinguishes a uniquely Reformed theosis from others in which the engagement of autonomous praxis is often thought to be necessary in order to appropriate or attain theosis as a kind of reward for holy behavior. A Reformed understanding must ground theosis and its fruits in the unilateral operation of God in the believer in both ends and means. As such, theosis is certainly in a sense “acquired” through praxis but never autonomously. It is rather the processive product of God working in, through, and for the believer to his own eternal glory.

此外,神选民在末世要返照的“荣耀”总是以神学为中心。从这个意义而言,它并不是一个自我发生的显现,而是一个有限的返照,并对于无限荣耀的享受。传统的改革宗教义theosis必须与神恩独作(monergistic)的救赎论一致。这也是唯一将改革宗的theosis和其他总是将autonomous praxis(自发对于信仰的实践)作为theosis的必要条件,并把theosis当做一种对于圣洁行为的奖赏的这些theosis区分开来的分别。改革宗的理解必须将Theosis在神在信徒中的单方面运作的结果作为基础。这样一来,theosis必然是从实践中‘得到’的,而绝对不会是自发的。它乃是神在我们里面工作逐渐产生的一个产品,借由它,信徒才能够进入祂自己永远的荣耀里。

Theosis (literally, “deification”) and the cognate theopoiesis (“being made God”) are terms that tend to mean very different things to varying ecclesiastical bodies. In Roman Catholic theology, theosis has not typically been thought of as either primarily eschatological or as a universal phenomenon applicable to all Christians. Rather, it is entirely a here-and-now phenomenon capable of realization among a select few people of saintly stature. Further, unlike some other versions of theosis, it is not thought of as a state of sinless perfection or completed sanctification. Rather it is “a more perfect knowledge of God possible in this life, beyond the attainments of reason even enlightened by faith, through which the soul contemplates directly the mysteries of divine light. The contemplation in the present life is possible only to a few privileged souls, through a very special grace of God: it is the theosis of a mystic union.”[25] Theosis in much of Western Catholicism is a rarely attained temporal enlightenment and is more experiential than ontological.

Theosis(直译为“神化-deification”),同义语是theopoiesis(“被作为神—being made God”),它们在不同的教会团体中,会倾向于表达不同的含义。在罗马天主教的神学中, theosis基本上并不会被认为是早期教会的末世论,或一个能够被用在所有基督徒身上的普遍现象。反而,它完全是一个只能被用在少数被封圣者的现象。另外,它也与其他版本的theosis不同,它不被当做是一种无罪的完美状态或完全的圣化。它反而是“一个在此生能够得到对神更完全的认识,远超过理智所能达到的程度,甚至远超过信仰的光照,借由它,魂能够直接理会神圣之光(divine light)的奥秘。借由非常特殊之神的恩典,只有少数被赋予特权的魂在此生得以凝视(祂):这乃是奥秘联合的theosis。”在西方的天主教神学中,theosis很少被联系于(神的)光照,更多的是被联于超越人本体的经验。

Theosis has also been used within the Wesleyan tradition, influenced by the Pietist movement, to describe the possibility of realized sanctification in the course of this life. Wesley himself referred to realized sanctification as “the highest state of grace,” or as being “perfected in love,” and said that those who claim to have “attained” it in this life should be “exhort[ed]… to pray fervently, that God would show them all that is in their hearts” in order to be sure that the attainment is true.[26] Roman, Lutheran, and Reformed bodies have uniformly rejected this Wesleyan interpretation. Indeed, some four centuries earlier at the Council of Vienne (1311), the Roman General Council declared heretical the doctrine that “a person in this present life can acquire a degree of perfection which renders him utterly impeccable and unable to make further progress in grace.”[27] The Westminster Divines also opposed the idea of realized sanctification, saying, “Sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”[28] Lutherans stressed Luther’s forensic concept simul iustus et peccator (“at the same time just and sinner”) and taught that the struggle with sin is never fully conquered in this life but that we must continually “engage in callings which are commanded, render obedience, avoid evil lusts, and the like.”[29]

因着圣洁运动(Pietist movement)的影响,Theosis在卫理会的传统中也被用来描述在此生中可能达到的圣化。卫斯理本人将这圣化称为‘恩典最高的状态,’或是‘在爱中被完全,’并称那些宣称在此生已经“达到(attained)”的人为“被劝勉。。。要忠实的祷告,好叫神能够向他们敞开心怀”好叫他们能够肯定所达到的是真实的。罗马(天主教),路德和改革宗都异口同声的拒绝这种卫理会的诠释。实际上,在维埃纳大会(Council of Vienne,1311)前四个世纪左右,罗马天主教的大会宣布“一个人在此生能够达到某种程度的完全,并带给他无瑕疵并无法在恩典中继续长进”是异端的教义。卫敏斯特神学也反对能够达到的生活,说“圣化是全人的事情;然而在此生无法无完全,在我们的每个部分中仍残留着败坏:因此(我们里面)不断的,也是不可避免的有争战,肉体的情欲抵挡圣灵,圣灵抵挡肉体。”路德会方面强调路德法理的观念simul iustus et peccator(“同时是义人和罪人”)并教导在此生中我们无法完全征服罪,但是我们必须不断的“遵从神所命令我们的,顺服,避免邪恶的情欲,等等。”

What then does it mean to be or to become “divinized” or “deified” if not that humans become gods? Athanasius himself penned some of the strongest theotic language used in the ancient church, yet it was also he who furiously defended a homoousios christology in which Christ is “of one substance” with God the Father, as opposed to “of similar substance” (homioousios) as held by Arius and his followers. While Alius believed that Christ is a created being of the highest order, Athanasius defended a christology in which Christ is uniquely and fully divine. Interestingly, it is this very christology upon which Athanasius built his understanding of theosis. Beginning christologically, Athanasius argued that in order for humans to be ushered into a divine state, God first needed to descend to earth, take on the nature of a man, represent humanity as a man, become glorified, and thus pass this glory onto all humans as they become partakers in divinity. Jesus Christ, he writes,

若人类不会变成神,被“圣别化(divinized)”和被“神化(deified)”到底是什么意思呢?亚他那修自己就写下了在古教会最强烈的神化教训,然而,也是他坚定不移的捍卫同质(homoousios)的基督论,基督乃是与父神‘同一性质(of one substnce)’,与其相对的,乃是亚流和他的跟随者所坚持的‘类质量(of similar substance)(homoioousios)’。当亚流和他的跟随者认为基督乃是一个最高等级的被造之物(created being of the highest order),亚他那修捍卫基督那是独一并完全拥有神性的基督论。很有意思的是,亚他那修就是在这个基督论上建构了他对于theosis的理解。从基督论开始,亚他那修争辩,为了让人类能够被服侍进入神圣的状态,神首先需要降世,取了人的本性,将人性展现在一个人里面,使得他(译者:基督的人性)被融合,并将这个荣耀在人类成为神性的分享者时,传输给每一个人。他写到,耶稣基督,

is thus become the Deliverer of all flesh and of all creation. And if God sent His Son brought forth from a woman, the fact causes us no shame but contrariwise glory and great grace. For He has become Man, that He might deify us in himself, and He has been born of a woman, and begotten of a Virgin, in order to transfer to himself our erring generation, and that we may become henceforth a holy race, and “partakers of the Divine Nature,” as blessed Peter wrote.[30]


Athanasius’s soteriology was inextricably bound up with his christology. God’s intention from the beginning of the world was to make his church and those men and women in it genuine partakers of the divine. Christ’s assuming human flesh was the practical means to realize this objective. In On the Incarnation, Athanasius writes that “the Word Incarnate, as is the case with the Invisible God, is known to us by His works,” and “by them we recognise His deifying mission.”[31] He continues:


If a man should wish to see God, Who is invisible by nature and not seen at all, he may know and apprehend Him from His works … [and] let him marvel that by so ordinary a means things divine have been manifested to us, and that by death immortality has reached to all, and that by the Word becoming man, the universal Providence has been known For He was made man that we might be made God.[32]


Vladimir Lossky, perhaps the most preeminent Eastern theotic theologian of the twentieth century, calls these writings of Athanasius, and those similar among the Cappodocians, to be nothing less than “the very essence of Christianity.” God descends to the nadir of existence—fallen humanity, marked by death—so that a pathway of ascent can be made for humans to the divine. Lossky calls this the “descent (katabasis) of the divine person of Christ mak[ing] human persons capable of ascent (anabasis) in the Holy Spirit.”[33]

Vladimir Lossky,或许是二十世纪比较突出的东正教神化神学家,他称这些亚他那修的作品,以及加帕多的类似作品,是‘基督教最核心的素质。’神降世成为最卑贱的存在—由死亡所标出堕落的人性—好为人类打通升往神性的道路。Lossky称这个为“基督神圣位格的降世(katabasis)使得人类的位格(persons)能在圣灵中升高(anabasis)。”

It is baffling to me that such a central concept has been so ill pursued in Western theology—especially within the Reformed context. This is a soteriology that is entirely God-centered, focused on the unilateral purpose and plan of God’s becoming realized among his creation. Indeed, I maintain that it is a soteriology best explained through the monergistic initiative so axiomatic in Reformed thought. It focuses on what God is doing, as opposed to the autonomous powers of humanity. Further, it grounds the unio mystica and, in turn, genuine love and relationality between the human and the divine by emphasizing true love’s having always a divine rather than human etiology. Humans do not choose to love God unless God’s love is first put in them.

我一直搞不清楚这样核心的观念竟然被西方神学所贬抑—特别是改革宗的材料。它乃是一个完全以神为中心(entirely God-centered)的救赎论(soteriology),着重于神在被造之物间被实化的,那个不会改变的目的和计划之上。然而,我坚持它最好被改革宗思想中的神恩独作思想为主轴来诠释。它着重在神的作为,与人自发的能力相对。另外,它并借由强调在神里面那个真正的爱,而不是借由人类自己的etiology,将unio mystica基于人和神间那个真正的爱和关系。除非神先将祂的爱置于人的里面,人类不可能选择爱神。

Two scriptural texts are crucial to the study of theosis: Genesis 1:26 and 2 Peter 1:4. The first of these illustrates the creational uniqueness of humanity. God declares, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Robert Rakestraw observes that “the Greek Fathers taught that, in the fall, humanity lost the likeness but retained the image.”[34 ] Rakestraw quotes Gerald Bray:

两处对于研究theosis非常重要的经文:创世纪1:26和彼得后书1:4。第一处经文描述了人性被造的独一特质。神宣告‘让我们照着我们的形象,按着我们的样式造人。’Robert Rakestraw观察到,“希腊教父们教导,在堕落中,人性失去了样式,但是保留了形象。”Rakestraw引用Gerald Bray的话:

The Christian life is best conceived as the restoration of the lost likeness to those who have been redeemed in Christ. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, who communicates to us the energies of God himself, so that we may become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The energies of God radiate from his essence and share its nature; but it must be understood that the deified person retains his personal identity and is not absorbed into the essence of God, which remains for ever [sic] hidden from his eyes.[35]


The issue at hand is not whether it is the image or likeness that is restored (or whether these are a kind of hendiadys in which they have essentially the same referent) but with “the Christian’s reintegration into the life of God.”[36]


The Second Epistle of Peter breathes new life into this reintegration, locating its realization in the advent of Christ. This letter claims “that his [God’s] divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (1:3-4). Here the church is reminded, on the basis of Christ’s own commitment and work, that believers become genuine participants in the life of God. This new life is engendered en Christo and translates the redeemed from both physical and spiritual death unto new life. Moreover, John 17 and the “in Christ” scriptural texts, already noted in my discussion of the mystical union, are also key in theotic theology.

彼得后书将新生命吹入这个重新的整合(reintergration)里面,并在基督的再临时得到实现。这封书信宣称“祂的[神的] 能力已将一切关乎生命和虔敬的事赐给我们,皆因我们认识那用自己荣耀和美德召我们的主。因此,他已将又宝贵又极大的应许赐给我们,叫我们既脱离世上从情欲来的败坏,就得与神的性情有分”(1:3-4)。在基督的献身和工作的基础上,让我们想到教会,好叫信徒真正成为在神生命中的分享者。这个新生命产生与基督之中(en Christo),并将物质和属灵的死亡转变并救赎成为新生命。除此以外,以及在我针对奥秘联合的讨论中被提及,约翰17章和“在基督里(in Christ)”的经文,它们都是神化神学的钥匙

The Byzantine monk Gregory Palamas (1335) called theosis “God [setting] before us all His riches and truly beneficial gifts to share ‘The person who has been deified by grace will be in every respect as God is, except for His very essence.'”[37] That Palamas and the Greek Fathers made a careful distinction between theosis as participation in the divine “energies” as opposed to God’s essence is widely known among students of Eastern Orthodoxy and should serve to placate the fears of the theological West that theotic soteriology somehow implies either pantheism or humanity as attaining to substantial godhood. George Mantzaridis, commenting on Palamas, writes,

拜占庭修士Gregory Palamas(1335)称theosis为,“神将祂的丰富和真正有益的祝福放在我们面前,让我们分享。。。‘被恩典神化的人在各方面将会如同神,除了祂自己的素质(essence)外。’”Palamas和希腊教父们,非常谨慎的在作为有份于神的‘能力(energies)’和有份于神的‘素质(essence)’间做出区别,这是研究东正教的学生们所熟知的,也能安抚西方神学对它也暗示泛神论,或人类从本质上达到神的恐惧。Geroge Mantzaridis在注释Palamas的时候,写到,

Man’s deification is not realized through participation in God’s essence, but through communion in His divine energy. Man may share in God’s glory and brightness, but the divine essence remains inaccessible and nonparticipable. Thus, the deified man is made god in all things, but he neither is identified with the divine essence nor shares it.[38]


The distinction made by the Eastern theologians between God’s energies and essence, knowability and unknowability, is remarkably similar to points raised by the Scholastics and Reformers in which created humans cannot know God as he is in himself, nor can they share in his essence. Basil writes, “The operations [of deification] are various, and the essence simple, but we say that we know our God from His operations, but do not undertake to approach near to His essence. His operations come down to us, but His essence remains beyond our reach.”[39]


Deification, our nexus of union with Christ, occurs through participation in God’s energies (which are nevertheless truly God) but not through sharing in God’s essence. This is vitally important both in understanding the theotic dynamic and in preserving an Orthodox biblical theology. Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia) notes:

神化,我们与基督nexus的联合,乃是借由有份于神的能力(它无疑就是神)而产生的,但不是有份于神的素质。这在了解神化的张力和保守正统的圣经神学上,是极其重要的。Timothy Ware(Diokleis的Kallistos主教)注意到:

[T]his distinction between God’s essence (ousia) and His energies goes back to the Cappadocian Fathers. . . . However remote from us in His essence, yet in His energies God has revealed Himself to men. These energies are not something that exist apart from God, not a gift which God confers upon men: they are God Himself in His action and revelation to the world. God exists complete and entire in each of His divine energies. .. . It is through these energies that God enters into a direct and immediate relationship with mankind. In relation to man, the divine energy is in fact nothing else than the grace of God; grace is not just a “gift” of God, not just an object which God bestows on men, but a direct manifestation of the living God Himself, a personal confrontation between creature and Creator…. When we say that the saints have been transformed .. . by the grace of God, what we mean is that they have a direct experience of God Himself. They know God—that is to say, God in His energies, not in His essence.[40]


This deification through God’s energies is, first and last, a work of God’s grace. Palamas (in part defending the Hesychastic disciplines) wrote that “union with God” is accomplished only through the “deifying grace of the Spirit.”[41] Further,.


if deification is accomplished according to a capacity inherent in human nature and if it is encompassed within the bounds of nature, then of necessity the person deified is by nature God. Whoever thinks like this should not attempt, therefore, to foist his own delusion upon those who stand on secure ground and to impose a defiled creed upon those whose faith is undefined; rather he should lay aside his presumption and learn from persons of experience or from their disciples that the grace of deification is entirely unconditional, and there is no faculty whatever in nature capable of achieving it since, if there were, this grace would no longer be grace but merely the manifestation of the operation of a natural capacity.[42]


Theosis through God’s energies is by grace. This theotic grace speaks to God’s intentions and work in making genuine relations possible between himself and created humanity. This very thing is itself the mystery of the Christian faith. Colossians teaches that it is God’s purpose to “reconcile all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross” and that Christ “has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death, in order to present you before him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (1:20, 22). This is the “mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to his saints” (1:26).


Theosis, in part, may be thought of as a summary term for the subjective, relational nature of salvation. Whereas justification and satisfaction refer to the forensic appeasement of God such that created humans might be positionally “clean” in God’s eyes, theosis encompasses the subjective aspects of the order of salvation (ordo salutis)—regeneration, sanctification, and glorification— and explains each of them as the sole work of God. Each of these I construe as subspecies of theosis such that we might even rename them, respectively: inaugural theosis, progressive theosis, and consummative theosis.

Theosis,从某种程度上而言,可以被视为一个救赎客观和相应本质之总结。尽管称义和成圣都被用来指神法理的平息,好叫被造的人类在神的眼中有个“干净”的地位。theosis保护了救恩顺序(ordo salutis)的主观方面—重生,圣别和得荣—并将它们解释为神独有的工作。我将它们每一项都解释为theosis下面的分题,这样我们甚至就可以将它们重新命名为:开始的(inaugural)theosis,渐进的(progessive)theosis和终极的(consummative)theosis。

Rakestraw refers to the anthropological reception of this gift as “Christification,” preferring this to deific terminology.[43 ] Another theologian uses the term “Trinification.”[44] These terms may be helpful in Western circles to avoid possible misunderstandings of deification. Nevertheless, the principle is essentially the same. Relationality is possible as humans are brought progressively into the relational being of God by his grace or energies. Whatever humans render unto God that is pleasing to him is that which was sovereignly given. This work is theologically centered in God’s own purpose but is graciously extended to his church for their mutual fulfillment, that the church may become “one” with him, and that the glory of God may shine forth in all that God does.


This model of relationality also precludes the necessity of the open theistic remedy of divine nescience of future contingencies. It grounds vital relationality in God himself and establishes it in humans according to the purposes of the divine will. Exhaustive divine foreknowledge presents no obstacle to the view, as theotic relationality and the Christus in nobis principle at once ground genuine relationality while simultaneously unfolding it according to the movement and sovereign predilection of the triune God. As with creation, it is a triune activity, never “adding” to the divine nature but expressing the eternal perfections. This view similarly avoids fatalism because it is always the glorious purposes of God at work accomplishing his ends through means that concurrently infuse humanity with its creational significance. This is quite opposed to the purposeless machinations of the “Fates,” which fundamentally lack telos. Basil writes:

这种关系的模式也能够防止开放神论对所认为的,神无法遇见未来之事的无知论点。它将这种充满活力的关系根植于神的里面,也将其建立在那些根据神旨意(而活)之人的里面。神全面、完全的预知不存在任何盲点,如同神化关系和Christus in nobis的原则一旦根植于(神人间)真实的关系上,就同时根据三一神的喜好而有的运作和主权,而被揭示出来。创造乃是一个三位一体的活动,绝不会再将任何事物‘加入’神性之中,只显明祂那永恒的完全。这个观点也能够避免宿命论,因为它总是神在工作中荣耀的旨意,借由如今将被造之物的意义注入人性而得以完成。这与“命运”那种毫无目标的诡计是完全对立的,它基本上缺少了目的。巴西流写到:

Through His aid hearts are lifted up, the weak are held by the hand, and they who are advancing are brought to perfection. Shining upon those that are cleansed from every spot, He makes them spiritual by fellowship with Himself. Just as when a sunbeam falls on bright and transparent bodies, they themselves become brilliant too, and shed forth a fresh brightness from themselves, so souls wherein the Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual.[45]


The Means of Theotic Relationality


The preceding, of course, raises the question of how the benefits of inaugural, progressive, and consummative theosis are communicated to us. Consummative theosis (or glorification) is an eschatological realization—an eternity of perfected fellowship and communion between recipient and Trinity. But inaugural and progressive theosis (or regeneration and sanctification) relate to experiences in the present life of the believer. How then are they normatively mediated such that we enjoy the unitive fruits of God’s grace? What are the God-ordained means of grace whereby the sanctifying influences of the Spirit are communicated to humans? I advance three primary means: the Word, the sacraments, and prayer.


The Word

The Word, quite simply, is Christ himself—condescending to humankind in the words of the gospel message, as they are believed by the Spirit. Christ the Word is to be found in Scripture, which, Calvin wrote, is “effectually impressed on the heart by the Spirit; if it exhibits Christ, it is the word of life converting the soul, and making wise the simple.”[46] God calls us by his Word, Jesus Christ, the Logos known through the power of the Spirit operating in the simplicity and mundaneness of the gospel preached. By the hearing of the Word, the theotic blessings of God pour over to those in whom the Spirit inwardly inclines. This is true of both inaugural and progressive theosis; in the former instance as God works through his Word to “inlodge” faith, in the latter as God sustains those in whom he instills it.

道,很简单,就是基督自己—在福音书中的话(words)临及人类,使得他们借由圣灵而相信。我们能够在圣经中找到基督-道(Christ the Word),加尔文写到“圣经的核心是极其令人惊讶的;它展览基督,就是生命的话改变灵魂,使得聪明人变得单纯。”神借由祂的道,耶稣基督,呼召了我们,道借由圣灵在单纯人里面的运行和福音平凡无华的传扬而被众人所知。借由听见道,神将神化祝福的能力倾倒在那些内心倾向圣灵的人身上。在开始和渐进theosis的中都是真实无误的;在前面的事例中,神借由祂的道作工,把信仰‘安置(我们)里面(inlodge)’,神在后者中维持那些人。

The Sacraments


In the sacraments, the same is true as of the Word but with a different mode of operation. The sacraments, that is, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, add to the theotic blessings of God a physical expression of the Word and an imbuing of empowering, unitive grace. None of this is to add a crass, magical component to the sacraments in which God has blindly bound himself to them such that the sacraments themselves, ex opere operato, communicate the theotic blessings of the Spirit. Rather, Calvin—echoing Augustine [47]—stressed that “the efficacy of the word is produced in the sacrament, not because it is [performed], but because it is believed.”[48] Indeed, Paul speaks of the Lord’s Supper heaping condemnation upon the recipient who takes of it in an “unworthy” manner (1 Cor 11:27-29), especially one in which the body of the crucified Lord is left unrecognized (11:29).

在圣礼中,道也是同样真实的,但是具有不同的形式。圣礼就是浸礼和主的晚餐,再将对于道的物质彰显,和一个充满能力,独一的恩典加入神化的祝福中。这些绝不会将任何愚蠢或神奇的成分加到圣礼里面。神已经将祂自己绑在它们身上,好叫圣礼本身,ex opere operato,能够交流圣灵神化的祝福。加尔文反而呼应奥古斯丁—强调“圣礼产生道的果效,并不是因为它被[实行],而是因为它被相信。”保罗确实说到,若领受者若以“不配(unworthy)”的方式领受主的晚餐,咒诅则会堆积在他头上(林前11:27-29),特别是当一个人不认识被钉死的主在这个身体里面的时候(11:29)。

To the regenerate communicant, however, the sacraments are a principal means through which God “signs and seals” himself—his promises, his salvation, and our theotic communion with him. The sacraments are a constituent part not of inaugural theosis but of progressive theosis during the life of the believer. They are a spiritual picture and a spiritual food, intended for those already regenerated through the Spirit by his Word.


Calvin spoke of the sacraments as a symbol: “an external sign, by which the Lord seals on our consciences his promises of goodwill toward us, in order to sustain the weakness of our faith, and we in our turn testify our piety towards him, both before himself, and before angels as well as men.”[49] The sacraments visibly signify and seal the reality of Christus in nobis. B. A. Gerrish summarizes Calvin’s sacramentology by noting, “The very nature of the symbolism suggests to Calvin that the Supper is a matter of nourishing, sustaining, and increasing a communion with Christ to which the word and Baptism have initiated the children of God.”[50] As such, the sacraments are a spiritual food, operating in a progressive theosis, binding us more and more to Christ, until such union is made perfect in heaven (consummative theosis).

加尔文说到圣礼乃是标号:“一个外面的标记,借由它,主将祂对我们良善旨意的应许封存于其中,好维持我们软弱的信仰,我们在祂面前,在天使面前,也在世人面前见证我们对祂的敬虔。”看的见的圣礼意表并封存了Christus in nobis的实际。B. A. Gerrish将加尔文的圣礼论总结为,“这些标记的本质暗示加尔文圣餐乃是喂养,维持和增加与基督交流的事件,由道和浸礼在神的儿女间开始的。”如此,圣礼乃是属灵的事物,在渐进的theosis里面运行,逐渐的将我们联于基督,直到联合在天上得以完全(终极的theosis)。

Throughout ecclesiastical history, some wishing to emphasize more strongly the spiritual and noncorporeal over the earthly and mundane (notably the Anabaptists, Remonstrants, Zwinglians, Socinians, and others), have divested the sacraments (with particular attention to the Lord’s Supper) of being actual means of objective divine grace as a physical seal, preferring instead to consider them merely commemorative or celebratory in nature.[51] It is interesting here to observe the quasi-Platonic undertones of the view, which is reluctant to connect the outworking of the Spirit of God to anything physical. Yet while commemoration and celebration are rightfully attached to the significance of the Eucharist (promise and declaration to baptism), it has largely been recognized by the Reformed—without recourse to what they deem an extremity of superstition in Roman sacramentology—that the sacraments are far more than mere external rites reminding the faithful of Christ’s ministry. Rather, they are real spiritual sustenance bringing with them real spiritual presence. Gerrish observes that, for Calvin, the Lord’s Supper is in fact the occasion for a double act of unitive self-giving: Christ giving himself to the church and the church reciprocally giving itself to God. “It is this double self-giving,” Gerrish writes, “that makes the Supper both embody and represent the perpetual exchange of grace and gratitude that shapes Calvin’s entire theology. The sacred banquet prepared by the Father’s goodness is the actual giving, not merely the remembering, of a gift of grace, and precisely as such it demands and evokes the answering gratitude of God’s children.”[52]

在教会历史之中,有些人希望更强烈的强调属灵和非物质过于属地和平凡(特别是重浸派,Remonstrant,慈运理,Socinians等等),他们抛弃了圣礼(特别是主的晚餐)所具有的那个带着主观神圣恩典的物质封印之真实意义,而宁愿认为它们的本质不过就是个仪式或庆祝罢了。在此看见这种类柏拉图主义(quasi-Platonic)的弦外之音是很有意思的事,他们拒绝将神的灵之工作联系于任何与物质有关的事物。然而,当纪念和庆祝被正确的联于圣餐(对于受浸的应许和宣告)的时候,它被大多数的改革宗所承认(并接受)—这并非诉诸于他们所认为的,在罗马天主教圣礼论中的迷信—圣礼远超过外面的仪式,它提醒忠信者基督的职事。反而,它们乃是带着真正属灵的显现的真正属灵食物(spiritual sustenance)。Gerrish观察到,对于加尔文,主的晚餐事实上乃是一个双重自我赐予的场合(double self-giving):基督将自己赐给教会,教会将自己献给基督作为回报。Gerrish写到,“它乃是一个双重的自我赐予,使得晚餐成为永恒的,恩典和感谢互相交换的具体化身和展现,这塑造了加尔文整个的神学思想。父用祂的良善所预备的神圣宴席为了赐下恩典和恩赐,不单单是一个纪念,更准确的说,它要求并激发神的儿女以感谢作为对神的回应。”

With Calvin, though in the theotic language I have used, the sacraments are a means of progressive theosis in which they “[do] not so much confirm his word as establish us in the faith of it.”[53] Moreover, in so ordaining the sacraments as a means of grace, “our merciful Lord, with boundless condescension so accommodates himself to our capacity, that seeing how from our animal nature we are always creeping on the ground, and cleaving to the flesh, having no thought of what is spiritual, and not even forming an idea of it, he declines not by means of these earthly elements to lead us to himself, and even in the flesh to exhibit a mirror of spiritual blessings.”[54]


Contemporary pretensions may find themselves resistant to the notion that God has bound himself to something so “animal,” deeming it a crude throwback to antiquated, religious primitivism. Some may thus fear the doctrine as minimizing the Deity and tying God to something less powerful and or even less “spiritual.” Yet this fear should be abated and swiftly replaced with gratitude and thanksgiving when we recognize in the sacraments a tangible expression of the Deity’s having not neglected that we are sensuous beings. As such, both the body and soul are included among those means God uses to manifest and sustain us in the abundance of his theotic blessings—the communication of himself to us, holistically, as we are. God does not discard the corporeal nature of his children in his means of communion with them. Calvin quotes Chrysostom: “Were we incorporeal, he would give us these things in a naked and incorporeal form. Now because our souls are implanted in bodies, he delivers spiritual things under things visible. Not that the qualities which are set before us in the sacraments are inherent in the nature of the things, but God gives them this signification.”[55] The sacraments, then, are a principal means of theotic grace.

当代的(神学)主张会发现自己实际上在抵挡神将自己与那个“禽兽”(的本质)联合的观念,他们认为这是粗鲁的回归到古代,宗教的原始主义。有些人甚至恐惧这样的教义会将神格压制到最小的境界,将神减低为没有能力,甚至是不‘属灵的’。当我们发现,在圣餐中,神格有一个具体的彰显,无法被我们忽视的时候,这种恐惧会迅速的被我们的感谢代。如此,身体和魂都被包括在神在祂丰盛神化的祝福中用来彰显并维持我们的手段中—在历史中,祂自己与我们交流,如同我们之所是的(as we are),神并没有在祂与祂子民交流中,抛弃祂子民物质的身体。加尔文引用屈梭多模的话:“若我们是非物质的,祂将会将这些事物以一种赤裸裸和非物质的方式赐个我们。如今,因为我们的魂乃是根植在身体中,祂在这些看得见的事物中赐下属灵的事物。并不是说呈现在我们面前之圣礼的质量是从那些(看得见之)事物而来的,而是神在这个意义中赐下了它们。”圣礼就是神化恩典的主要手段。



Augustine refers to prayer as “a turning of the heart” and a “purification of the inner eye.” As a means of grace, it “purifies our heart, and makes it more capacious for receiving the divine gifts, which are poured into us spiritually.”[56] Calvin considered prayer to “draw as from an inexhaustible fountain.”[57] To neglect availing ourselves of this inestimable privilege “were just as if one told of a treasure were to allow it to remain buried in the ground.”[58]


Prayer might literally be considered “converse of the soul with God.”[59] Yet as with the indwelling of the Word in our hearts and the efficacy of the sacraments as the Spirit indwells the disposition of the communicant, genuine prayer begins with the instigation of the Spirit unitively sanctifying the soul, urging it toward communion with God. Ephesians speaks of true prayer as prayer enpneuma (“in the Spirit”; 6:18). Calvin acknowledged the work of the Spirit in prayer, saying that to “pray aright is a special gift.”[60] As the Spirit literally gives us prayer, and inasmuch as that prayer fills our souls with the theotic blessings of God, it too is a powerful means of grace.

祷告能够被直接认为是“魂与神的对话。”然而因着道住在我们的内心和圣灵作为交流的成分使得圣礼有功效,真实的祷告乃是有圣灵圣别魂作为一个开始,促使它与神相交流。以弗所书说道一个真正的祷告乃是一个en pneuma(“在圣灵里”;6:18)的祷告。加尔文肯定圣灵在祷告中的工作,说“正确的祷告是一个特别的恩赐。”当圣灵直接将祷告赐给我们,祷告将神那个神化的祝福充满我们的灵,它就是恩典最有威力的手段。

In this manner, prayer is an awesome expression of the unitive nature of progressive theosis in which we uniquely experience Jesus’ promise to the believer that he, the Father, and the Spirit “will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23). Prayer also brings out “all gracious affections: reverence, love, gratitude, submission, faith, joy, and devotion.”[61] Moreover, “When the soul thus draws near to God, God draws near to it, manifests his glory, sheds abroad his love, and imparts that peace which passes all understanding.”[62] Prayer, as with salvation itself, brings our focus upon the praises of God’s glory, which reciprocally fills our spirit.


The Normativity of These Means


In a polemic against Pelagianism, Calvin wrote that “God works in his elect in two ways: inwardly, by his Spirit; outwardly, by his Word. By his Spirit illuminating their minds, and training their hearts to the practice of righteousness, he makes them new creatures, while, by his Word, he stimulates them to long and seek for this renovation.”[63] These “two ways” may seem to contradict Calvin’s later identification of Word and sacrament as the normative means of grace (and identification of the true church), but they do not.[64] Calvin consistently maintained, as I have, that regenerative grace (as well as preservation in faith) are the unmerited gifts of God bestowed upon the “elect” through a unilateral operation of the Spirit.[65] This salvation, in turn, follows normatively through the hearing of the Word. Yet further, the sacraments themselves “[consist] of the word and the external sign.”[66] Thus, salvation comes by faith in Christ, through God’s grace, normatively mediated through the Word and sustained by prayer, Word, and sacrament according to the power of the Holy Spirit. Further, it is through Christ’s holy church that the Spirit brings the Word and sacraments to those whom God the Father calls. Naturally, then, Scripture considers the temporal mission of the church to be both the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the sacraments (Matt 28:19; Luke 22:19). In this manner, the benefits of theosis are normatively communicated to the believer throughout the interadvental epoch.

在于伯拉纠主义争辩的时候,加尔文写到“神以双重方式在祂的选民中做工作:借由圣灵在他们的里面作工;借由祂的道在他们外面作工。祂的圣灵光照他们的心思,并训练他们的心操练公义,把他们作成新造。同时,借由祂的道,祂激动他们渴望追寻这个(内心神形象的)重建。”这个“双重方式(two ways)”看起来跟加尔文后期将道和圣礼视为恩典的标准手段(以及真教会的记号)相悖逆,事实却不是这样。加尔文和我都不懈坚持重生的恩典(以及对于信仰的看护)都是神无条件的恩典,借由圣灵单方面的作为,倾倒在“选民”身上。救恩这是接着听见道而来的。圣礼更进一步“由道和外面的表号[所组成的]。”故此,救赎乃是在基督里借由信心而来,借由神的恩典,和道的调解,并根据圣灵的能力,由祷告,道,和圣礼所维持。除此以外,圣灵借由基督神圣的教会将道和圣礼带给那些父神所呼召的人。圣经顺理成章的认为教会暂时性的任务乃是宣扬神的道和执行圣礼(马太28:19;路加22:19)。Theosis的益处则以这种方式,在(基督)再度显现间的时代中,交流给信徒。

It is important to stress the normativity of this operation. Reformed theologians in general (myself included) have often acknowledged the possibility that God can, and perhaps does, work in a special operation of grace upon those lacking access to the visible church and its ministry of Word and sacrament. No less an “arch-Calvinist” than Loraine Boettner, for example, confessed, “We do not deny that God can save some even of the adult heathen people if He chooses to do so, for His Spirit works when and where and how He pleases, with means or without means. . . . Certainly God’s ordinary method is to gather His elect from the evangelized portion of mankind, although we must admit the possibility that by an extraordinary method some few of His elect may be gathered from the unevangelized portion.”[67] Nevertheless, such operation is not normative, nor is it admonished in Scripture as the commonplace means through which the Lord condescends spiritually to feed those whom he gathers and calls his own. In this sense, God has “bound” himself to Word and sacrament, not such that he is held captive to them, but insofar as the Lord has seen fit to offer himself to his church in mediate form of ordinary, altogether human means.

强调这些运作的规范性是很重要的。改革宗神学家们(包括我本人)一般都承认神能够,或确实,在恩典特别的运行中,临到那些无法接触看得见教会,它所服侍的道和圣礼的人。Loraine Boettner这位‘半加尔文主义者(arch-Calvinist)’承认,“我们并不否认若神愿意,祂甚至能够拯救成年的异教徒。因为祂的灵乃是根据祂喜悦的时间,地点和方式作工,不论是使用什么手段。。。当然神常用的方式乃是,从人类中接受福音的那部分人中聚集祂的选民,虽然我们必须承认祂也可能从那些未接受福音的人中,用非常的手段聚集少数的选民。”尽管如此,这样的做法是特殊的,圣经也并非没有忽略主借由某些通用的手段,以属灵的方式临及,并喂养那些祂所呼召归于自己的人。从这意义而言,神已经将自己与道和圣礼联结,这并不是说祂被它们所捕获了,不过就是主看起来以一种平凡,人类能够接受的方式,合适的将自己给了教会。

Neither is this to deny or derogate the general providence of God in directing human affairs, freely bestowing his grace according to his own sovereign predilection and enjoining communion with the created order through limitless means. Similarly, the gathering of the church in general as the company of the faithful (coetus fidelium)—that is, apart from its administration of the sacraments—is also a vital means of communion with the Lord. Participation and fellowship in the church is indeed a mediative ministry of the Word as the Spirit indwells the movement. But should we seek the prominent means, spoken of in Scripture and identified generically in the course of Reformed theological reflection, we come back to the normativity of Word, sacrament, and prayer. But first among these, unifying and directing the others, is the Word.

这并不是否定或减损神直接的介入、对人的看护,并自由的根据祂自己的主宰、以无限的方式享受于被造之物的交流,倾倒下祂的恩典。同样的,教会的聚集一般而言就是忠心者的聚集(coetus fidelium)——也就是说,除了服侍圣礼外——也是主交通的活泼手段。在教会中有份(Participation)和交通(fellowship)乃是道作为内住于该活动中圣灵之中保的职事。然而我们必须从圣经的教导和从改革宗神学所反映出来的相同之处,回到道,圣礼和祷告之上。然而,首先将众人联合为一的,乃是道。


[1]. A notable exception is the work of Reformed theologian Τ. E Torrance, who has enthusiastically embraced theosis in his concept of the mystical union. Accordingly, Torrance urges the Reformed community to reconsider earnestly the doctrine [Theology in Reconciliation (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1996), 243]. See also the recent work of Reformed theologian Myk Habets, who favorably adopts theosis in critical interaction with Torrance [“Reforming Theosis,” Theosis: Deification in Christian Theology, eds. Stephen Finían, Vladimir Kharlamov (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2006), 146-66].

最有名的表述是改革宗神学家拖伦斯(T. F. Torrance)的作品,他在奥秘联合(mystical union)的观念中热切的拥抱theosis。有鉴于此,拖伦斯呼吁改革宗圈子要认真重新思考这个教义[和解中的神学(Theology in Reconciliation) (Eugene, OR:Wipf & Stock,1996),243]。也参考近期改革宗神学家Myk Habets的作品。他在与拖伦斯的重要讨论中,更倾向于使用theosis这个词[“改革中的神化(Reforming Theosis),”神化:基督教神学中的神化,Stephen Finlan,Vlafimir Kharlamov 编辑(Eugene,OR:Wipf & Stock, 2006),146-66]。

[2]. John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984), 161; emphasis added.

John Murray,已经完成和被应用的救赎(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984),161。

[3]. Ibid., 161, 170.


[4]. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.17.1, trans. Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 2:557.

约翰加尔文,《基督教要义》4.17.1,Henry Beveridge译(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,1989),2:557。

[5]. Martin Luther, Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1939), 77.

马丁路得,加拉太书注释(Grand Rapids: Zondervan,1939),77。

[6]. No less a Calvinist than B. B. Warfield, while correctly stating that “the doctrine of predestination is not the formative principle of Calvinism” but only “its logical implication” stemming from “God in His majesty,” nevertheless makes no mention of Calvin’s stress upon our mystical union with God. See Warfield, “The Theology of John Calvin,”

B.B. Warfield是一位不折不扣的加尔文主义者,他同时正确的指出‘预定论的教义并不是构成加尔文主义的原则,’‘从逻辑上它只暗示’其源头乃是‘在君尊中的神,’尽管他没有提及加尔文如何强调与基督奥秘联合。参考Warfield,“约翰加尔文的神学,”

[7]. Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1946), 325.

亚伯兰肯普,圣灵的工作(Grand Rapids:Eerdmans,1946),325。

[8]. Calvin, Institutes, 3.11.10, 1:46.


[9]. Calvin, Commentaries, ed. Joseph Haroutunian (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1958), 598.

加尔文注释,Joseph Hroutunian编辑(费城:卫敏斯特,1958),598。

[10]. John Calvin, Commentary on Corinthians, vol. 1, http://www.ccel.Org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol39/htm/viii.ii.htm.


[11]. Other works of the recent past that sound open theistic include W. Noms Clarke, “A New Look at the Immutability Of God,” in God Knowable and Unknowable, ed. Robert J. Roth (New York: Fordham University Press, 1973), 43-73; Roy Elseth, Did God Know? A Study of the Nature of God (St. Paul: Calvary United Church, 1977); Lorenzo McCabe, Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies, rev. ed. (1882; repr. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); and John Polkinghorne, ed., The Work of Love (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).

[12]. Bible quotations are from the New American Standard Bible® (La Habra, CA: Lockman Foundation, 1995).

[13]. Kuyper, Work of the Holy Spirit, 337.

[14]. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 232.

[15]. Thomas Watson, “Mystical Union between Christ and the Saints,” in The Godly Man’s Picture (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1987), 35.

[16]. Ibid.

[17]. Ibid., 2.

[18]. Ibid.

[19]. Augustus Strong, Systematic Theology (Valley Forge, PA: Judson, 1907), 793.

[20]. Ibid., 794.

[21]. Ibid., 800.

[22]. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 451.

[23]. Ibid.

[24]. Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 556 (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2002), 90.

[25]. George Sauvage, “Mysticism,” in The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. Κ. Knight,

[26]. John Wesley, “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” in The Works of John Wesley, vol. 11, ed. Thomas Jackson (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1999), accessed at http://www.ccel.0rg/w/wesley/perfecti0n/perfecti0n.html.

[27]. Council of Vienne (1311), 28.1, in Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, ed. Norman P. Tanner (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1990), accessed at

[28]. Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), 13.2.

[29]. The Augsburg Confession (1530), 20.11, accessed at

[30]. Athanasius, Letter 60 [to Adelphius], in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1999), para. 4, accessed at 14.htm Ρ10078.3609272.

[31]. Athanasius, “On the Incarnation of the Word,” in ibid., 54, accessed at

[32]. Ibid.

[33]. Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974), 97.

[34]. Robert Rakestraw, “Becoming Like God: An Evangelical Doctrine of Theosis,” Journal of the Evangelical Theology Society 40, no.2 (1997), 257.

[35]. Ibid., quoting Gerald Bray, “Deification,” in New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988), 189.

[36]. Ibid.

[37]. Gregory Palamas, “Homily Eight,” in The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, vol. 1 (South Canaan, PA: Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press, 2002), 90-91, quoting Maximus the Confessor, Letters to Thalassius, 22.

[38]. George Mantzaridis, The Deification of Man (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984), 122.

[39]. Basil, “Letter CCXXXIV,” in Basil: Letters and Select Works, ed. Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2003), 525.

[40]. Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (London: Penguin, 1964), 77-78.

[41]. Gregory Palamas, “The Declaration of the Holy Mountain,” in The Philokalia, ed. G. Ε. H. Palmer et al. (London: Faber & Faber, 1995), 420.

[42]. Ibid.

[43]. Rakestraw, “Becoming Like God,” 265.

[44]. James Beilby, lecture on the Doctrine of God, Bethel Theological Seminary (October 9,2000).

[45]. Basil, “On the Spirit,” in Basil: Letters and Select Works, 125.

[46]. Calvin, Institutes, 1.9.3, 1:86.

[47]. “This is what belongs to the virtue of the sacrament, not to the visible sacrament; he that eateth within, not without; who eateth in his heart, not who presses with his teeth.” Augustine, Tractate XXVI. 12, in Homilies on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2005), 218. See the longer discussion at 217-19.

[48]. Calvin, Institutes, 4.14.7, 2:495.

[49]. Ibid., 4.14.1, 2:492.

[50]. Β A Gerrish, Grace and Gratitude The Eucharistie Theology of John Calvin (Minneapolis Fortress, 1993), 134

[51]. See Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3 20 2 (Grand Rapids Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2005), 353-54, Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 607-8

[52]. Gerrish, Grace and Gratitude, 156

[53]. Calvin, Institutes, 4 14 3, 2 492

[54]. Ibid., 2:493.

[55]. Ibid.

[56]. Augustine, On the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, 2.3.14 (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2000), 65.

[57]. Calvin, Institutes, 3.20, 2:146.

[58]. Ibid.

[59]. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3.20.2, 559.

[60]. Calvin, Institutes, 3.20.5, 2:150.

[61]. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3.20.20, 507.

[62]. Ibid.

[63]. Calvin, Institutes, 2.5.5, 1:277.

[64]. Ibid., 2.1.9,1:289. Calvin treats prayer in a separate place; see 3.20, 2:145-201.

[65]. Calvin writes that “the Lord both begins and perfects the good work in us.” Ibid., 2.3.9, 1:260 (cf. 1.13.14, 2.5.2, 3.1.4, and 3.11.23).

[66]. Ibid., 4.14.4, 2:493; emphasis added.

[67]. Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2004), 67.