Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Restoration as deification

What does it mean to be redeemed? As I have been tying thoughts together lately it seems that the church is full of people who are in the process of restoration. The word redemption is a good one, but for this blog's purpose I like the word restoration. It fits what Christ has done and is doing on the cross. Please, let me ease your furled brow.

Redemption carries the definition of delivering or purchasing. However, I think there is another picture of the cross happening, and it is not a matter of deliverance. What if the atonement was better defined as restoration - restoring humanity back to its original identity in and with God. I can't help but think of the history of God since the Fall having a mission of restoring humanity back to the way it originally was. I can't help but to look at Christ and think that this is the part of God that He thought; "This is the part of my image that I will put into humanity." I can't help but think that we are not trying to "be like Christ" as much as we are "being restored to the image of Christ." (All the Eastern Orthodox in the room just said "AMEN!")

As I ponder about the atonement, I think western Christians are terrifyingly afraid of the premise of deification, but I think there is something amazing in it when we can connect it to restoration. I am willing to fight about this if anyone wants to shout a little.

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