Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TF Torrance on Justification and Orthodoxy

Thomas F. Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ (Robert T. walker, ed.; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic and Paternoster, 2009): 105.

“Justification is God’s word of truth and its revelation is truth. This word justification does not have to do simply with righteous living but with righteous understanding, for righteousness is God’s right or truth as well as his holiness and involves knowing as well as doing, and thus to do righteousness is the same as to do truth. (Compare Jesus’ statement, ‘you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.’) The revelation of righteousness is the word that puts us in the truth and as such tells us that we are in un-truth. Justification says “let God be true, but every man a liar’, as Paul puts it with reference to Psalm 51. This word of justification which puts us in the truth denies all self-justification and denominates it lying, or un-truth. If God’s justification of the ungodly means that no one can boast of their own righteousness, then it also means that no one dares to boast of their own orthodoxy, for to claim orthodoxy is to claim to be in the right, to be in the truth; it is a boasting of the right, whereas in point of fact justification by putting us in the truth, reveals that we are in the wrong, in un-truth.”
You have by now discovered that the title of this post was a bit tongue-in-cheek. So many discussions, and even arguments, have been going on lately in English-speaking and specifically North American theology that I think what Torrance has to say here is very timely.

4 comments:

Chris TerryNelson said...

I'm lookin' at you, Piper! :-)

Bobby Grow said...

Very timely, I only wish the "Reformed Orthodox" would read and appreciate this; but then I guess they wouldn't be "RO" if they did.

W. Travis McMaken said...

I'm taking a page out of Jesus' book: You said it, not me!

Todd said...

reminds me of Jesus thanking his Father that he had "hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children...(MATT 11:27:) "All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Does orthodoxy mean "right glory?"
Truth is a Person--in companionship--specifically, the Son in communion with the Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.