For part one, see A New Catalyst for Change: Something is Different Now
For part two, see From Scripture to scripture: De-Divinizing Scripture
Part Three: Into the Heart of the Storm
The next major change I envision pertains to our core Christian theology: we will roll back the “permeative” theological tradition – i.e. the theology of deification, sanctification, or incarnation.
This is a huge change, and needs considerable explanation. But this will be at the revolutionary heart of Reformation 2.0, so bear with me.
What is the Permeative Tradition?
The permeative theological tradition is so pervasive that even professional theologians often do not realize that it is “a” position, or that there might be an alternative.
Permeative theologies think of God’s actions in the world as quasi-physical energies or forces that spread and “permeate” throughout the cosmos and human nature. Salvation is understood as a gradual process in which one is progressively infused with these divine energies/grace. In this view, the whole point of God’s actions is to slowly assimilate the world to God through the gradual working of God’s energies to transform the world into the divine. Generally the cosmos is conceived as a hierarchical spectrum of being, in which creation is meant to progress ever further towards the higher, more spiritual realms where the world finds it truest reality/being. The ethical life of humanity is also understood as on a spectrum, where sin has a quantitative character which can be gradually – and quite truly – purged and cured. The idea of a graded, gradual ascent is critical: one is always struggling to move up through higher levels of knowledge and ethical realization to realize one’s (true) divine life.