Monday, March 1, 2010



Although the idea of Theosis is not a new concept to Christianity, it is for the most part unfamiliar to the Western mind. When Christ said, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," this is a call to a life of Theosis.

Theosis is personal communion with God "face to face." To the Western mind, this idea may seem incomprehensible, even sacrilegious, but it derives unquestionably from Christ's teachings. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the messianic dream of the Jewish race; His mission to connect us with the Kingdom of God a Kingdom not of this world. When Jesus said, "You are gods," "be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect," or "the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father," this is to be taken literally. (The True Purpose of Human Life, Archimandrite George, 2006)


The above quote asserts that a person experiences salvation when they are moved from the state of corruption (“sin” & “death”) to the state of participation in the everlasting Life of the Trinity. That movement is called “théōsis,” and it is nothing less than the process of salvation itself. The outcome is that a person becomes co-mingled with a part of God that we call His energy. This is the unanimous voice of the holy scripture:

44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45

1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Psalm 82:1

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.; Romans 6:22

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:2-4


  1. This Sunday just gone was, in the Byzantine kalendar, the Sunday of St Gregory Palamas, who was perhaps the main defender of Orthodoxy in the hesyvchast controversy. In keeping with the ancient fathers, it was St Gregory's teaching that we may indeed behold and be infused with God's energies not only after our death but during our earthly lives if we open ourselves to theosis, to the infusion of the grace of God, and conform our hearts, lives, minds, bodies, and wills to it. He taught that the three disciples saw the divine light on Tabor at the Transfiguration as far as they could bear, (not having completed their theosis), and that this was the grace of God that they beheld.

    I, too, wish that this were more prevalent in the west where, sadly, satisfactionism has its lasting effects on how we perceive the world and our salvation.

  2. Michael,

    As a parish priest I have focused my efforts on 4 major issues,
    1- the recovery of the vincentian canon (the dogma that has always been agreed upon by all, everywhere- this means the theology of the 7 ecumenical councils and the fathers),
    2- recovering the doctrine of the Trinity,
    3- recovering the doctrine of the incarnation, and 4- recovering the doctrine of theosis.

    What I have found is that those who get a glimpse of this are forever changed.

  3. May God continue to bless the work that you do.