When a Christian is saved, is she thereby deified? This is how Eastern Orthodox theologians describe Christian salvation, and it is a common saying that this is distinctive of Eastern Christian theology, but not of Western.
In this episode, Dr. Carl Mosser (Associate Professor at Eastern University, on leave, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame) challenges this assumption, taking us on a fascinating journey through the ancient and recent history of Christian theology. He’s working on two books on this topic – one historical, the other theological.
He argues that people now make this assumption in large part because of super heavyweight German scholar, Adolph von Harnack (1851-1930). But in Dr. Mosser’s view, we shouldn’t just take von Harnack’s word for it, but we should read the historical sources for ourselves.
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Next week I’ll talk with Dr. Mosser about the idea of salvation as deification in the Bible.
Links for this episode:
- Dr. Mosser’s papers at Academia.edu
- Adolph von Harnack