"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sanctify Them in the Truth

As I noted almost three years ago now, we have seen an explosion of books in the last decade devoted to the topic of theosis, otherwise known in English as divinization or deification (and I tell my students to pay special attention to the spelling of that latter term as a few of them turn in essays with it rendered as defecation!). Set for December release is a wide-ranging collection devoted to exploration of the idea of "sanctification," that is, how do we become holy and thus like God? Edited by Kelly M. Kapic, the book is Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice (IVP, 2014), 300pp.

About this book we are told:
Often treated like the younger sibling in theology, the doctrine of sanctification has spent the last few decades waiting not-so-patiently behind those doctrines viewed as more senior. With so much recent interest in ideas like election and justification, the question of holiness can often seem to be of secondary importance, and widespread misunderstanding of sanctification as moralism or undue human effort further impedes thoughtful engagement. But what if we have missed the boat on what sanctification really means for today's believer? The essays in this volume, which come out of a recent Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference, address this dilemma through biblical, historical, dogmatic and pastoral explorations. The contributors sink their teeth into positions like the "works" mentality or "justification by faith alone" and posit stronger biblical views of grace and holiness, considering key topics such as the image of God, perfection, union with Christ, Christian ethics and suffering. Eschewing any attempt to produce a unified proposal, the essays included here instead offer resources to stimulate an informed discussion within both church and academy. Contributors include:
  • Henri Blocher
  • Julie Canlis
  • Ivor Davidson
  • James Eglinton
  • Brannon Ellis
  • Michael Horton
  • Kelly M. Kapic
  • Richard Lints
  • Bruce McCormack
  • Peter Moore (whose chapter focuses on the great Eastern Father John Chrysostom)
  • Oliver O’Donovan
  • Derek Tidball

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