After contrasting two LDS views of eternal progression Aaron Shafovaloff chides, "If only Mormonism had a prophet to clear up this mess!" He then declares:
The Christian view of eternal progression is easy to describe. We will ever-increasingly grow in the knowledge and power of God for all eternity. And no, that isn't simply just a long amount of time with an ending point. It's for eternity. Christians essentially believe in a true eternal progression more than traditional Mormons do. We will never get to the point where we can say we have fully appropriated and received the entirety of our inheritance in Christ. (emphasis mine)A little research will show that to the contrary, Christians have widely disagreed over the doctrine of theosis (becoming God). Beginning with early Christian theologians, St. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, “God became human so humans would become gods." And St. Maximus the Confessor exhorted, "let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods." During the Reformation, Martin Luther understood justification to mean theosis. John Calvin and Lancelot Andrewes viewed the process of salvation and sanctification to be a divinization of man. Wesleyan Protestantism developed the notion that ""that man in this present life can acquire so great and such a degree of perfection that he will be rendered inwardly sinless, and that he will not be able to advance farther in grace," and this was declared a heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. To this day, there are widely divergent views among the many Christian churches. (see this, for example.) Aaron's "easy to describe" Christian view is in fact simply one opinion among many.
Scripture is not crystal clear regarding whether man can become a god, but there are many intimations. 1 John 3:2 tells us that we shall be like him. Romans 8:16-17 states that children of God are his heirs, to be glorified as Christ was. Verse 29 of the same chapter further explains how the saints become conformed to the image of the Son, so that Christ is the firstborn among many justified and glorified brethren. In Phillippians 2:5-6 we are told that we should have the mind of Christ, who, being in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be equal with God.
Though the Savior did not quail at the thought of being equal with God, apparently human beings do. Despite the writings of Biblical theologians and Church fathers, many Christians such as Aaron equivocate by saying that the saints will never receive their promised inheritance (see above). And what he doesn't realize is that Mormons do the same. LDS authorities are quick to explain that although we may become exalted and attain to all the power, authority, knowledge, wisdom and might that a god may possess, we are yet eternally subservient to our Heavenly Father. He created us, and any works we might do bring further glory to Him. (see the comments to my last post, which were awesome!)
Thus I stand by my earlier statement that Mormons and Christians have very similar positions on eternal progression. We both have scriptural traditions promising us "all that the Father hath." Both groups have leaders in our respective religious traditions who teach us that we are sons of God and have the divine potential to be gods ourselves. Yet we also have some differences of opinion among ourselves as to how and to the extent that this will be accomplished.
It seems that Aaron would hold Mormons to a higher standard, since we claim a prophetic voice, to be consistent in our explanations of whether God himself is still progressing. I would have to agree with him on this point. Many Latter-day Saints have experienced ambiguity when faced with the problem that earlier prophets do not always agree doctrinally with those who come later. This cannot fully be explained by saying that different prophets speak for different times. In this case, the nature of God should not change between the time of Brigham Young and Thomas S. Monson. Most of us are inclined to view prophets as mortal men, who search out religious truths line upon line, sometimes making mistakes which are later corrected. But this does weaken the claim to prophetic leadership.