Some recent conversations around the theme of theosis have directed me to Michael Gorman’s book Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul’s Narrative Soteriology. Gorman’s thesis about theosis runs something like this: i) Jesus is a crucified or cruciform Lord; ii) to be Lord is to be God; ii) therefore, God is also cruciform; iv) believers participate in the crucified Lord; v) therefore, believers participate in God; vi) which is theosis. Here’s his definition: “Theosis is transformative participation in the kenotic, cruciform character of God through Spirit-enabled conformity to the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected/glorified Christ” (Kindle loc. 82).
The first chapter is an analysis of the “Christ-hymn” of Philippians 2:6-11 as a foundation for the model. I’ve highlighted here three stages in the argument and have suggested why I don’t think it works very well.