Posts

Showing posts from December, 2008

TF Torrance contrasts Reformation and Westminster Theology

To cap off this TF Torrance month here at DET (maybe it will become annual, who knows), I wanted to put up a few paragraphs from TF where he compares and contrasts the theology found in the older reformation catechisms with that found within the Westminster catechisms. Bobby will appreciate this; maybe he hasn't read it it yet. Who knows. In any case, here it is:

Thomas F. Torrance, “Introduction” in The School of Faith: The Catechisms of the Reformed Church (Trans/Ed., Thomas F. Torrance; London: James Clarke & Co. Limited, 1959): xvii-xix.“(i) By keeping more close to a biblical mode of expression and to the Apostles’ Creed the older Catechisms were more universal in their teaching, more in harmony with the theology of the whole Catholic Church from the beginning and less marked by the idiosyncrasies of their producers.

“(ii) The Westminster Catechisms are markedly less Christological both in content and in outlook than their predecessors. [xvii] Thus in proportion they giv…

So, You Want to Read T. F. Torrance?

Image
This month has turned into something of a TF Torrance month, here at DET. We have especially been considering Torrance’s relationshipwith Barth, in conjunction with some thoughts that Ben Myerscirculated on the topic. More recently, George Hunsinger has weighed in. All this is very fitting since this month marks the one-year anniversary of Torrance’s death.

In furtherance of all this, I thought it fitting to add to my “So, You Want to Read…” series (already included in the series: Barth and Calvin) with an entry on TF Torrance. So, you want to read TF Torrance?

I have never read T.F. Torrance before. Which of his books should I read first?

Torrance’s oeuvre is quite large, and this can be intimidating when starting out with him. For my money, the most accessible place to begin – as well as perhaps the most significant place in terms of Torrance’s theology – is with his Christology. Two options present themselves in this realm.
The Mediation of Christ - For those who want to begin w…

Continuing the Conversation on TF Torrance and Barth

After I wrote my response to Ben Myers (Why I Think…Ben Myers Isn’t Quite Right About TF Torrance) and before I posted it, I sent it to a few friends so that they could help me catch typos and suggest improvements. As will come to no surprise to regular readers of DET, one of those friends was David Congdon (Fire and Rose). David and I have had numerous conversations in the past about how Torrance and Barth relate, and I was greatly desirous of his input. My hopes were not disappointed.

In the interest of continuing the conversation about Torrance and Barth, I have decided (with David’s permission) to post a very slightly redacted form of our e-mail exchange here on DET, in the hopes that it may help to clarify things further. So, without further ado, I leave you to the correspondence:

DWC to WTM, December 7th



1. All of this is helpful and well-done. The ending section on being a "Barthian" is probably the best, with the section on mediation a close second.

2. The weakest…

Why I Think…Ben Myers Isn’t Quite Right About TF Torrance

Ben Myers has lately put together a (short-ish) video for the Theology & Praxis group, entitled Why I Think TF Torrance is Not a Barthian. As I mentioned in my notes on that video, I naturally have an opinion about what Ben said in that I have spent a good deal of time reading both Barth and Torrance. The good people of Theology & Praxis have been gracious enough to include my response in their series.

Responding to Myers on Torrance

I want to say at the outset that, while Ben and I are by no means entirely in agreement about either Barth or Torrance, there are significant quadrants of agreement. For instance, I think that Ben’s essay on “The Stratification of Knowledge in the Thought of T. F. Torrance” (SJT 61.1, 1-15) does a fine job of treating some important aspects of Torrance’s epistemology. Furthermore, Ben rightly notes early on in his video that the relationship between Barth and Torrance can be hard to parse because Torrance seems to like to give the impression that …

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 5.12-14

1 Peter 5.12-14

[12] With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. [13] She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. [14] Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

==========================

COMMENTARY: And so we come to the end of 1 Peter. There is very little to say here about concluding salutations and benedictions, and Calvin deals with it in a page and a half of what is mostly repeating and elaborating what Peter himself says.

There is one interesting point, however. A feminine nominative appears in verse 13, denoted simply as ‘she’ in the TNIV translation given above. When I first glanced at this passage, I thought nothing of it. Then, I noticed that Calvin discusses it for about half of this concluding section. Apparently, this had generally been under…