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Theology in Scotland vol. XVI special issue

Special issue In Memoriam the Very Rev. Professor Thomas F. Torrance

A skirmish in the early reception of Karl Barth in Scotland: The exchange between Thomas F. Torrance and Brand Blanshard

Edited by the Very Revd Prof Iain Torrance (President and Professor of Patristics at Princeton Theological Seminary) and Morag Torrance (Editorial Assistant for the Scottish Journal of Theology)

With an introduction by Iain Torrance, this paper reproduces a series of letters in The Scotsman newspaper between T. F. Torrance and the distinguished American philosopher Brand Blanshard. This (at times highly contentious) exchange was occasioned by views expressed by Blanshard in his 1952 Gifford Lectures on Barth and Brunner and what he called their ‘theology of crisis’. The letters give a fascinating insight into the way this new theology was perceived in the English-speaking world at the time.

The shape of Torrance theology

Revd Prof Andrew Purves (Professor of Reformed Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

For Andrew Purves, ‘shape’ is too static a concept to delineate the theology of T. F. Torrance. Rather, his is a theology on the move, based as it is on knowledge of God in, through, and as Jesus Christ. His paper explores the Christological nature of Torrance’s kinetic theology focussing on the homoousial relationship between Christ and the Father; the relationship between the incarnation and the atonement; and the two-fold ministry of Jesus Christ, ministering the things of God to humankind and the things of humankind to God.

Worship as thanksgiving: The offering of life

Dr Sandra Fach (Chaplain for the Buxton Campus, University of Derby)

Sandra Fach contributes a fresh reading of T. F. Torrance’s renowned essay “The Mind of Christ in Worship: The Problem of Apollinarianism in the Liturgy”. As well as providing an insight into Torrance’s theology of worship, particularly the idea of worship as thanksgiving, she also explores his emphasis on Christ’s mediatorial role with particular reference to two other Scottish theologians, William Milligan and John McLeod Campbell.

Theological Science in retrospect

The Right Revd Dr Peter Forster (Bishop of Chester)

Re-reading T. F. Torrance’s Theological Science with the experience gained from thirty-five years in Christian ministry, Peter Forster finds a practical simplicity at the core of this famously difficult work. His paper explores specific aspects of Torrance’s understanding of the relation between theology and modern science, remarkable not only for its pioneering achievement but also for the fact that it came from the very heart of his own Christian conviction and experience.

The Torrance dogmatics lectures


Incarnation and Atonement: An overview

Robert T. Walker (editor of the two volume edition of T. F. Torrance’s dogmatics lectures)

The recent publication of Torrance’s dogmatics lectures, given to students at New College in the University of Edinburgh from 1952 to 1978, have provided us with a way into his theology that is both accessible and profound. These two papers by Robert Walker outline the nature, aim and character of the lectures and pick out some of the main themes from them in order to give a wider overview of some of their most fundamental and distinctive concepts.

The realist and onto-relational frame of T. F. Torrance’s Incarnational and Trinitarian theology

Revd Dr Gary Deddo (Senior Editor for Acquisitions at InterVarsity Press)

It is almost a truism to say that Torrance’s theology is incarnational and Trinitarian, so central were these two foci to his entire theological work. What is perhaps not as readily recognized is that this incarnational and Trinitarian theology takes place within a surrounding two-dimensional framework that can be identified as realist and onto-relational. Gary Deddo argues that these two aspects are essential to understanding Torrance’s framework for pursuing the theological task. After exploring these themes theologically he considers their implications for practical theology and for Christian ministry.

Thomas F. Torrance: Reflections of a former student

Revd Colin Williamson

Conformed to the truth

Revd Eddie Simpson

T. F. Torrance: Reflections of a parish minister

Revd David J Randall

Three of T. F. Torrance’s former New College students provide reminiscences that demonstrate the lucid intelligibility and lasting influence of his dogmatics lectures, as well as the deep impression he made on them personally.

Three reflections

Rev Professor C. E. B. Cranfield (Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Durham)

Professor Cranfield contributes three short biblical reflections: considering points of contact between the parable of the Good Samaritan and an incident recorded in 2 Chronicles; some points of issue with Francis Watson’s Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith; and thoughts on ‘the works of the law’ in Romans 3:20, and on Romans, rather than Galatians, being the best way into a study of Paul’s theology.

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