Deification in the Baptist Tradition: Christification of the Human Nature Through Adopted and Participatory Sonship Without Becoming Another Christ

Dongsun Cho 1
  • 1 Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,

Abstract

Some contemporary Baptists (Medley and Kharlamov) argue that the conservative Baptists in North America need to incorporate the concept of deification into their traditional soteriology because they failed to present the continual and transforming nature of salvation. However, many leading conservative Baptist systematicians (Garrett, Erickson, Demarest, and Keathley) demonstrate their concern about a possible pantheistic connotation of the doctrine of deification. Unlike the conservative Baptists, I argue for the necessity of working with the concept of deification in the traditional Baptist soteriology. The concept of deification is not something foreign to the Baptist tradition because Keach, Gill, Spurgeon, and Maclaren already demonstrated the patristic exchange formula ‘God became man so that man may become like God’. They considered the hypostatic union of two natures in Christ as the source and model of becoming like God or Christ, the true Image of God. Christians are called to be united with the glorified humanity of Christ by their adopted sonship and participation in the divine nature. Christification speaks of the real transformation of Christians in terms of a change in the mode of existence, not in nature. The four Baptists taught that Christian could participate in the communicable attributes of God, but not in the essence or incommunicable attributes of God. Therefore, Christification never produces another God-Man. Conservative Baptists do not have to compromise their traditional commitment to sola scriptura and the forensic nature of justification in their employment of the theme of deification. This paper concludes with four suggestions for contemporary Baptist discussions on deification.

Falls das inline PDF nicht korrekt dargestellt ist, können Sie das PDF hier herunterladen.

  • Athanasius (1907) On the Incarnation. In Schaff P & Wace H (eds) Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church, volume 4. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

  • Augustine (1983) Homilies on the Gospel of John. In Schaff P & Wace H (eds) Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church, volume 4. Grand Rapids: MI: Eerdmans.

  • Augustine (1999) The Predestination of the Saints. In Rotelle JE (ed) The Works of Satin Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, volume I:26. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press.

  • Balthasar HU (1990) Credo: Meditationen turn Apostolischen Glaubensbekenntnis. In Kipp D (trans) Credo: Meditations on the Apostles’ Creed. New York, NY: Crossroad.

  • Beck JR and Demarest B (2005) The Human Person in Theology and Psychology: A Biblical Anthropology for the Twenty-First Century. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel.

  • Byers AJ (2017) Ecclesiology and Theosis in the Gospel of John. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

  • Blomberg C, Robinson SE (1997) How Wide the Divide? A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

  • Calvin J (1963) in Torrance DW and Torrance TF (eds) The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews and The First and Second Epistles of ST Peter. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

  • Calvin J (1970) in McNeill JT (ed) Institutes of the Christian Religion, volume 1. Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press.

  • Carson DA (2005) Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

  • Chrysostom J (1994) Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle of Hebrews. In Schaff P (ed) Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

  • Cyril of Alexandria (1885) Commentary on the Gospel According to S. John. In Pusey PE (trans) A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, volume 2. London: Walter Smith.

  • Fiddes PS (2002) Church and Salvation: A Comparative Study of Free Church and Orthodox Thinking. In Cross AR (ed) Ecumenism and History: Studies in Honor of John H. Y. Briggs. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.

  • Fiddes PS (2006) Participation in the Trinity. Perspective in Religious Studies 33(3): 375-91.

  • Fiddes PS (2003) Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology [Studies in Baptist History and Thought 13]. Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster.

  • Garrett JL (2001) Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

  • Garrett JL (2009) Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

  • Gifford JD (2011) Perichoretic Salvation: The Believers Union with Christ as a Third Type of Perichoresis. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.

  • Gill J (1835a) A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: A System of Evangelical Truths Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures, volume. 1. London: Thomas Tegg.

  • Gill J (1835b) A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: A System of Evangelical Truths Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures, volume. 2. London: Thomas Tegg.

  • Gill J (1980a) Matthew to Acts. Gill’s Commentary, volume 5. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Gill J (1980b) Romans to Revelation. Gill’s Commentary, volume 6. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Grenz SJ (1994) Toward an Evangelical Theology of Religions. Journal of Ecumenical Studies 31(*): 49-65.

  • Grenz SJ (2001) The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

  • Hallonsten G (2007) Theosis in Recent Research: A Renewal of Interest and a Need for Clarity. In Christensen MJ and Wittung JA (eds) Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions. Madison, NY: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, pp. 281-93.

  • Harink D (2009) 1 & 2 Peter. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.

  • Harsch L (2009) Were the First Baptists Sacramentalists? Journal of Baptist Theology and Ministry 6(1): 25-43.

  • Holmes SR (2012) The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in Scripture, History and Modernity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

  • Horton M (2011) Traditional Reformed View. In Beilby JK and Eddy PR (eds) Justification: Five Views. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, pp. 83-111.

  • Irenaeus (2004) Against Heresies. In Schaff P (ed) Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

  • Keach B (1694) A Golden Mine Opened, Or, The Glory of God’s Rich Grace Displayed in the Mediator to Believers, and His Direful Wrath Against Impenitent Sinners: Containing the Substance of Near Forty Sermons Upon Several Subjects. London.

  • Keach B (1698) The Display of Glorious Grace, or, The Covenant of Peace Opened in Fourteen Sermons Lately Preached, in Which the Errors of the Present Day About Reconciliation and Justification are Detected. London: S. Bridge.

  • Keach B (1858a) An Exposition of the Parables, and Express Similitudes of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Wherein also Many Things are Doctrinally Handled and Improved by Way of Application. London: Paternoster.

  • Keach B (1858b) Tropologia: A Key to Open Scripture Metaphors, in Four Books: to which are Prefixed, Arguments to Prove the Divine Authority of the Holy Bible: Together with Types of the Old Testament. London: William Hill Collingridge.

  • Keating DA (2007) Deification and Grace. Ave Maria, FL: Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University.

  • Keating DA (2015) Typologies of Deification. International Journal of Systematic Theology 17(3): 268-83.

  • Kharlamov V (2015) Can Baptists Be Deified? The Significance of the Early Christian Understanding of Theosis for Baptist Spirituality. Baptistic Theologies 7(*): 69-84.

  • Louth A (1996) Maximus the Confessor. New York: Routledge.

  • Maclaren A (1974a) John 1-14. Exposition of Holy Scripture, volume 10. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Maclaren A (1974b) Acts 13-28, Romans. Exposition of Holy Scripture, volume 12. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Maclaren A (1974c) I&II Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians 1-3. Exposition of Holy Scripture, volume 14. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Maclaren (1974d) Philippians 4 to Hebrews 6. Exposition of Holy Scripture, volume 15. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Maclaren (1974e) Hebrews 7 to 1 John 4. Exposition of Holy Scripture, volume 16. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

  • Maximus (1991) in Blowers PM (trans) Exegesis and Spiritual Pedagogy in Maximus the Confessor: An Investigation of the ‘Quaestiones Ad Thalassium’. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press

  • Maximus (2005) 1 Opus. 7 in Cooper AG (trans) The Body in St. Maximus the Confessor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Meconi DV (2013) The One Christ: St. Augustine’s Theology of Deification. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.

  • Medley MS (2011) Participation in God: The Appropriation of Theosis by Contemporary Baptist Theologians. In Vladimir Kharlamov (ed) Theosis: Deification in Christian Theology, volume 2. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, pp. 205-46.

  • Meyendorff J (1979) Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes. New York, NY: Fordham University Press.

  • Miles TL (2012) He Will Glorify Me: Evaluating the Pneumatology of Inclusivists and Pluralists. SBJT 16(4): 74-95.

  • Mosser C (2005) The Earliest Patristic Interpretations of PSALM 82, Jewish Antecedents, and the Origin of Christian Deification. The Journal of Theological Studies 56(1): 30-74.

  • Mosser C (2015) Deification: A Truly Ecumenical Concept. Perspectives 30(*): 8-14.

  • Olson RE (2007) Deification in Contemporary Theology. Theology Today 64(*): 186-200.

  • Pinnock CH (1996) Flames of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

  • Schreiner TR (2003) 1, 2, Peter, Jude. In The New American Commentary, volume 37. Nashville, TN: B&H.

  • Schreiner TR (2015) Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

  • Scott CR (2006) Iustitia imputata Christi: Alien or Proper to Luther’s doctrine of justification? Concordia Theological Quarterly 70(3-4): 269-310.

  • Spurgeon CH (1886) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 32. London: Paternoster.

  • Spurgeon CH (1969a) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 7. Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications.

  • Spurgeon CH (1969b) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 10. Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications.

  • Spurgeon CH (1969c) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 16. Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications.

  • Spurgeon CH (1969d) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 21. Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications.

  • Stavropoulos C (1995) Partakers of the Divine Nature. In Clendenin DB (ed) Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, pp. 183-94.

  • Trueman C (2006) Simul peccator et Justus: Martin Luther and Justification. In Mccormack BL (ed) Justification in Perspective: Historical Developments and Contemporary Challenges. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, pp. 73-98.

OPEN ACCESS

Zeitschrift + Hefte

Suche