Sunday, March 03, 2013

Benedict XVI on "Christification"


Recent discussions of New Testament, particularly Pauline, soteriology have pointed out that a primarily forensic view of salvation ignores certain aspects of the biblical witness. Ben Blackwell's fine dissertation, Christosis (WUNT 2/314; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck 2011), highlights the idea of theosis, s an idea found in many of the fathers, which seems a critical aspect of the NT soteriological vision (cf. 2 Pet 1:4). To that end, here's Benedict on on a related idea: "Christification."

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My brothers and sisters, “let us make haste to know the Lord”, the Risen One! As you know, Jesus, perfect man, is also our true God. In him, God became visible to our eyes, to give us a share in his divine life. With him a new dimension of being, of life, has come about, a dimension which integrates matter and through which a new world arises. But this qualitative leap in universal history which Jesus brought about in our place and for our sake – how is it communicated to human beings, how does it permeate their life and raise it on high? It comes to each of us through faith and Baptism. This sacrament is truly death and resurrection, transformation and new life, so much so that th baptized person can say together with Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). I live, but no longer I. In a certain way, my identity has been taken away and made part of an even greater identity; I still have my personal identity, but now it is changed and open to others as a result of my becoming part of Another: in Christ I find myself living on a new plane. What then has happened to us? Paul gives us the answer: You have become one in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal 3:28).


Through this process of our “christification” by the working and grace of God’s Spirit, the gestation of the Body of Christ in history is gradually being accomplished in us...

(Benedict XVI, Homily at Saint Paul's Church in Luanda, March 21, 2009)

1 comment:

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