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Old 08-30-2016, 04:36 PM   #28
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,978
Default Re: What is God's Economy?

Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I don't see the connection between God's economy (oikonomia) and deification (theosis.) They are different concepts. Lee taught God's economy for a quarter century in the US before he took up the so-called "high peak" teachings of Athanasius and the Eastern Orthodox.

Economy refers to the administration in God's house to minister the riches of Christ to God's children. To this end the apostles were given a stewardship, which is the office of this administration to minister, shepherd, teach, preach the gospel, etc. for the household of God.

The Bible says that many wonderful things result from the stewardship: the farm grows, the house is builded up, and the members are edified, perfected, etc. The Bible never says that we become God, and it had ample opportunity to do so, but did not. Athanasius may have taught it, but his writings are not scripture. The Eastern Orthodox church may still hold on to it, but that no more authorizes the teaching than for the Mormons to teach it too.
The connection is there in Lee's definition of "God's economy". Probably not in the 'mainstream' definition as you describe. It is possible to have "God's economy" without theosis, as in a cup which is filled with water but the cup is not changed or affected by the water. Alternatively, "God's economy" and theosis, is like a (cardboard?) cup which not only holds the water but absorbs the water. Lee uses the symbolism of the mixture of "tea and water" in a cup of tea. Early church fathers used the concept of an metal and fire which to me is more accurate.

Important concepts such as "saved by faith alone", and the Trinity, are not "explained by the Bible", either. We could probably make a long list of concepts held in Christianity for which a clear Bible verse cannot be found.

To make very clear that Lee is not the originator of this doctrine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (on the Vatican website) states:

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

2 Peter 1:4 says we "partake of the divine nature". This is not about whether we receive the Holy Spirit or not, but about whether this Spirit changes us or not. If the Spirit changes us, then we are, in essence, "partaking of the divine nature". If we "partake of the divine nature", then we are, in essence, "becoming god", where "god" means His nature, not His person.

To use more biblical language. We could say that Christ is the vine and we are the branches. The branch must be the same substance as the vine, the branch not only part of the vine but is the vine.

Another way to say this is using the biblical terminology of 'sonship'. In some Protestant circles the idea of sonship is merely an adoptive status as a son of God, where God "considers" or "reckons" a person to be a son. But this does not consider the nature-changing effect of the inward dwelling of the Spirit. Historically as can be seen by the Catholic definition, the understanding of sonship in the church was believers being made sons in life and nature, or in other words, being made divine.

To some, to become "like Christ" means we will copy Him in word and deed, as in healing the sick, feeding the hungry, etc. The original meaning of becoming "like Christ" means to become a human being with both humanity and divinity. That is, to become like Christ in His person, not merely to outwardly copy His words and actions.
In fact, the outward words and deeds should be an expression of the inward change.

In the Bible "son of God" is the same as saying "God". If we say we are "sons of God" in essence we are saying "we are God". This was also the Jewish understanding in the time of Christ - for a Christian to even say they are a "son of God" is blasphemous (John 10:30-33). Probably we might say we are "sons of God" and that God is our "Father" without really understanding what it means - the divinization of humanity.
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