Thoughts on Remergence by Alyssa Coffin.
In my earlier days as a Christian, I would often hear sanctification described as an art metaphor: I was a block of stone and God was chipping away everything that didn’t look like Christ. As if we were all merely passive rocks, and our differing shapes and sizes made no difference — each and every sculpture had to be identical.¹
I also heard salvation described as the “good” flip side of demonic possession — we were to be “possessed” by God’s spirit.
These metaphors seem to reduce humans to raw materials; or broken and faulty devices which can only be “fixed” by remaking/remolding them according to the Platonic blueprint². Very either/or.
Instead, it seems to me that the true image/incarnation of Christ is in infinite expressions of beauty. Both/and. Everyone and everything is gloriously beautiful, but also often twisted and poisoned.
In this view, sanctification is pruning and healing, to better bring out the unique beauty that is Christ incarnate. Unique and diverse, not a single Platonic “perfect” expression. A divine wholeness that incorporates weakness and imperfections.
As Richard Rohr says, “God loves all things by becoming them.” The incarnation wasn’t a one-and-done thing. Christ is creating everything.
And Christ in everything is creating you.³
¹ I actually think this can be a decent metaphor, but we have a tendency to take our metaphors too far and too literally.
² Christian thought has been significantly influenced by Ancient Greek philosophy. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but we do need to be aware of pitfalls in taking it too far.
³The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr