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The "how" of salvation

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This post continues our look at Dick Eugenio's book, Communion with the Triune God. This time we'll see how T.F. Torrance addresses the "how" of salvation. For the other posts in this series, click on a number: 124567891011.

As Eugenio notes, Thomas F. (TF) Torrance's favored word for salvation is reconciliation. Rather than being about forensic justice, TF sees salvation as about the restoration of relationship--an end result that has it's genesis in God's own tri-personal being. As TF is fond of saying, God does what God is. In his view, to correctly understand salvation we must begin with God's being before considering his doing (including how God saves). This theological discipline helps us grasp a stunning truth---God saves, not in an external, mechanical way, but in an intimate, personal way that expresses his own relational being (being-in-relationship). As the apostle John put it with simplicity and power: "God is love&q…

Salvation--God became man

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This is the second of 11 posts, for the other posts in this series, click on a number: 1, 34567891011.

Dick Eugenio, in Communion with the Triune God, the Trinitarian Soteriology of T.F. Torrancehighlight's Thomas F. (T.F.) Torrance's understanding that what God does for our salvation is grounded in and flows from who God is in the person of the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ.

For Torrance, it's vital that our doctrine of salvation (soteriology) begin with the being of God in Christ before we address the doing (act) of God in Christ.This theological discipline is vital because a common mistake is to conclude that salvation is merely an instrumental action that Christ accomplished apart from his intrinsic being. In battling this dualism, which splits God's being from his doing, T.F. emphasized that "the identify of the Savior as God-man is essential in understanding his unique role in the whole drama of salvation" (Communion with the Triu…

Trinitarian theology: an overview

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Last time we looked at T.F. Torrance's trinitarian doctrine of salvation (soteriology) as summarized and analyzed by Dick Eugenio. This time we'll look at a summary of GCI's Trinitarian, incarnational theology (with its perspective on soteriology) by Michael Morrison who serves as Dean of Faculty and a professor at Grace Communion Seminary, and as an editor for GCI publications. This post reproduces an article posted on GCI's website.

I. Introduction: why we need to learn this
A. Stating the topic
We say that we have a “Trinitarian theology.” However, lots of churches accept the doctrine of the Trinity, and their theology is at least somewhat Trinitarian, but we emphasize the Trinity more than most churches do. Sometimes we say that we have a Trinitarian Incarnational theology, or a Trinitarian Christ-centered theology. None of these are completely distinctive terms, but they do mention some of the emphases that we have.

We call our theology Trinitarian because the doc…

A trinitarian doctrine of salvation

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This is the first of 11 posts, for the other posts in this series, click on a number: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

In the book Communion with the Triune God, Dick Eugenio examines T.F. Torrance's trinitarian perspective on the doctrine of salvation (soteriology). Though Torrance never wrote systematically on this topic, he addressed it frequently and Eugenio has helpfully compiled and analyzed that material.

When addressing soteriology, Torrance carefully connected the doctrine of salvation with that of the Trinity. For Torrance, failing to do so would be tantamount to separating God's doing (act) from God's being, thus setting up a dualism that leads to what Torrance called the "Latin heresy" (click here and here for related articles). This dualism leads to the false view that salvation is merely something God does (through an external transaction), not what God is.

That "God does what God is" (and vice versa) should, theefore, be understood as a fu…