I received a pingback from my previous post on Theosis from someone at Christian Forums. I have another post on President Lorenzo Snow’s famous couplet, “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.”
I’ve had a few exchanges with people over there. Since I spent so much time, I thought I would highlight some of these exchanges here and show a Biblical basis for Exaltation.
While there are distinct differences in belief between the Trinity and the Godhead among Evangelicals and Mormons, I must say that this idea of theosis seems to have some amazing parallels with the Mormon concept of Exaltation. “As Athanasius put it, ‘God became man, that man might become God.’ That’s theosis, or deification.”
Skylark points out the differences between the Mormon concept of God, and the Evangelical nature of God. Yes, Trinity and Godhead are different concepts, and I readily admit that Athanasius didn’t believe in the Godhead. However, this idea of theosis–[Jesus], indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God bears remarkable similarities with Mormon theology. I don’t believe that most western Christians are comfortable quoting Athanasius. Please correct me if I am wrong, but are any other Christians routinely quoting Athanasius and teaching “that we might become God” during church services?
If I may be so bold, I will point to some Bible verses that support this idea of Athanasius idea that ‘we might become God.’
What is the reason Jews were so angry with Jesus? John 5:18 says “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
Paul tells us in Phillipians 2:5-6, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: “
Psalm 82:6 says, “I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High.”
Jesus quotes this scripture from Psalms in John 10:34-39, “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?
If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God cameâ€“and the Scripture cannot be brokenâ€“
what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.
But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.”
Here’s one last scripture and I’ll stop for now because this is too long. In Luke 17:20 we are told, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’”
There are no Bible verses that say men can become Gods,
Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34 “Ye are gods”
that men can create children in heaven,
Psalm 82:6 says, “you [are] children of the most High.”
God created us as his children. Jesus said, John 10:36, “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.”
John 5:19, ‘Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’
If God created us as his children (an interesting choice of words), then Paul says in Romans 8:16-17 “that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,”
Therefore, if God can create children, Jesus can create children. If we can be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, we have that capability too, because Luke 17:20 “The kingdom of God is within you.”
or that marriage exists in heaven.
1 Corinthians 11:11 “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”
There are no Bible verses that say the Godhead is comprised of three separate Gods who are the supreme presidency of the universe.
Luke 3:22 “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
(1) Jesus is being baptized in the river Jordan (2) Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, (3) A voice from heaven (God the Father) said, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
You want to interpret this as a trinity. Mormons feel this represents (using your words) “three separate Gods who are the supreme presidency of the universe.” We’re not going to agree Phoebe, and I am fine with that.
Frankly, I think the Mormon Godhead is not as far off from the Trinity as many people think. Please show me a single verse in the Bible that has the word “trinity”, yet the term “godhead” does actually appear in the Bible in Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9. We can get into the trinity if you want–there are some interesting posts over at Mormon Matters and I think Evangelicals and Mormons split hairs too much on this issue. We have more in common that you think, but due to differences in terminology we argue way too much on this issue.
I remind you that ancient Christians were accused of being polytheists by Jews. This gave way to the great debate over whether Jesus and God were homo-uzious (the same substance), or homoi-uzious (of similar substance). The trinity is a direct result of trying to maintain a foundation of monotheism against attacks of polytheism by Jews. I find it ironic that modern western Christians use the same tactic against Mormons (calling us polytheistic), that was once used against ancient Christians.
God the Father does not have a body of flesh and bones.
I know we disagree here, but let me address this again. I already posted the D&C scripture, which is the primary source of Mormon knowledge on this issue. The First Vision account also confirms this. As for the Bible, Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
What image is that exactly? Let’s look at Gen 5:3, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:” What image was Seth? I think the obvious image of Adam. Therefore, what image was Adam? Using similar logic, Adam looked like God. Adam had a body as tangible as me. Adam is in God’s image. Adam looks like God with a body of flesh and bone.
Needless to say, I didn’t convince anyone over there (at least that I know of), but I thought you might enjoy some of these exchanges. Comments?