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