Nate's Reviews > One with God: Salvation as Deification and Justification

One with God by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
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's review
Sep 04, 09

bookshelves: theology, ecclesiology, orthodox
Read in September, 2009

This was an wonderfully helpful book, to say the least. It combined current Luther scholarship being done by the so-called "Finnish school", which shows that Luther's own view of justification was much closer to that of Catholics, and could even be reconciled with the predominately-Eastern Orthodox paradigm of deification. It just made too much sense. It seems that confessional Lutherans, and as a result many other Protestant groups, really overemphasized a forensic view of justification that ended up negating or minimizing the process of sanctification in the whole picture of salvation. The Orthodox have always seen them as two parts of a whole, or more accurately, as an irrelevant distinction. Catholics have had to be more nuanced vis-a-vis Protestant protests to their process view of justification. Karkkainen shows that many diverse groups of Christians, even free church pentecostals, in practice, share a lot more in common with their high-church estranged brethren. I learned so much about ecumenism and the benefit of dialogue between communions. It really showed a way forward and a model that many confessions can agree upon. Anybody who gets a gag reflex when someone says, "ecumenical" really needs to read this book and think hard about what presuppositions and biases inevitably come with being a member of a denomination, and try to reconcile that with John 17.
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