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Showing posts from February, 2015

Torrance on the church and its mission

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We now continue our review of Communion with the Triune God where Dick Eugenio examines TF Torrance's trinitarian understanding of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Last time we looked at TF's understanding of the role of the Spirit in salvation. Now we'll look at his view of the Spirit's work related to the church and its mission. For the other posts in this series, click on a number: 12345678911.

TF often noted that the goal of salvation is participation in the life and love of the Trinity. The Spirit's distinctive role is to facilitate this participation (Gk. koinonia, also meaning sharing, fellowship and communion). The Spirit does this work by coming into us, then opening us out to God, thus enabling us to commune with the triune God. TF elaborates:
As the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell in one another, so God is in us by the indwelling of the Spirit and by participation of the Spirit we are in God, and thus our being in the Father i…

Torrance on the Holy Spirit

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This post continues our look at Communion with the Triune God in which Dick Eugenio examines Thomas F (TF) Torrance's trinitarian understanding of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). In previous posts we looked at TF's understanding of the role of Jesus and of the Father. Now we'll look at what TF says about the role of God the Holy Spirit. For the other posts in this series, click on a number: 123456781011.


Though TF rarely addressed the Holy Spirit in a systematic (stand-alone) way, he often touched on the person and work of the Spirit while discussing that of the Father and the Son. This approach was consistent with his Trinitarian, Christocentric emphasis as illustrated in this statement from TF:
There is no separate activity of the Holy Spirit in revelation or salvation in addition to or independent of the activity of Christ, for what he does is to empower and actualize the words and works of Christ in our midst as the words and works of the Fat…

Getting Real: a sermon for Transfiguration Sunday

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In the traditional Christian worship calendar, February 15, 2015 is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday. Following is a sermon written for that day. It addresses the stunning reality of Jesus and our life in him.
Introduction
There come times when we peer through the fog of unreality into the stunning light of reality, and as a result, everything changes. So it was for Peter, James and John—three young disciples of Jesus: Mark 9:2-9 2  After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7 Then a cloud appeared and e…

The love of the Father

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This post continues our look at the book Communion with the Triune God in which Dick Eugenio examines Thomas F (TF) Torrance's trinitarian understanding of soteriology. In previous posts we looked at TF's understanding of Jesus' role in our salvation. Now we'll look at the Father's role. For the other posts in this series, click on a number: 123456791011.

It's sad, but true: God the Father often is viewed as an angry judge whose principal concern is legal justice. From that perspective, salvation is about being rescued from the Father's "just wrath" against sinners. This idea, or something akin to it, underlies many forms of the Christian doctrine of salvation (soteriology), particularly ones grounded in what is referred to as the penal-substutionary theory of the Atonement (see, for example, the cartoon on the Patheos blog).

This perspective on salvation "paints" on the face of God the Father an angry image which TF ve…