9) How do you see your work on non-violence fitting into your discussions of co-crucifixion and theosis?
I have a whole chapter on this in Inhabiting, but basically because I see the cross both as the definitive theophany and as the display of God’s nonviolent way of reconciling enemies, participation in the life of this God must take on God’s nonviolent character. I think that is Paul’s perspective, and for him it is part and parcel of justification by faith/co-crucifixion.
10) How do you think Paul`s understanding of participation in Christ relates to the Platonic and Aristotelian understandings of participation?
I am not an expert on either Plato or Aristotle, but I suspect that Paul is not indebted to either tradition for his experience and understanding of participation. Paul’s participation in Christ is fundamentally narrative, kinetic, and missional by virtue of being a sharing in the story and reality of God’s self-giving love displayed especially in Christ’s incarnation and death. Thus participation is neither an end in itself nor static, both of which may be more appropriately attributed to certain philosophical traditions.
11) Could you comment on the timing of justification? It seems that you describe justification as a process in distinction to those who make it more an ‘already’ kind of thing, which could make some Protestants a little uncomfortable.
I am not sure I would describe justification as a process as much as it is a mode of existence that has an initial point and an eschatological culminating point. That’s somewhat similar to Tom Wright’s idea of justification having two moments. I would also stress the time between the two as part of justification. The justified live a life of justice, not as some supplement to justification understood as a finished reality, but as the embodiment of justification itself.
Here’s a relevant quote from chapter two:
What justification by co-crucifixion will imply, however, and not surprisingly, is that a theological rift between justification and sanctification is impossible, because the same Spirit effects both initial and ongoing co-crucifixion with Christ among believers, a lifelong experience of cruciformity or, in light of chapter one, theoformity—theosis.
If that makes Protestants uncomfortable, so be it!—and blame Paul, not me. He’s the one who won’t limit “”just-“ (dik-) language to some past event. In Christ we become the justice of God. That’s justification! That’s theosis!
Thanks again, Ben!
Thanks to you, Mike.