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Showing posts from January, 2018

Discipleship pathway: Belong, Believe, Become

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The following is an edited version of an excerpt from the introduction to a discipleship guidebook written by GCI pastor George Hart. A typical presentation of the gospel goes something like this: First behave (change the way you live; repent; act like you belong here). Then believe (change the way you think; have faith; believe like one of us). Then you can belong (because you have behaved and believed, God has forgiven you and made you his child. So now we welcome you to God’s family).  This typical presentation of the gospel raises some troubling questions:
How much must I change before I am acceptable, and thus can belong?Can I actually change that much?Is God’s love toward me unconditional or is it conditioned upon my behavior and belief?Can I be assured of my salvation? Is this presentation of the gospel accurate? The Trinitarian faith represented on this blog answers no---this presentation is about legalistic religion, not gospel. Legalistic religion teaches that outsiders are ac…

Torrance on the vicarious humanity of Christ

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This post continues a review of Alexandra Radcliff's book, The Claim of Humanity in Christ, Salvation and Sanctification in the Theology of T. F. and J. B. Torrance. For previous posts in this series, click a number: 1, 2, 4, 5, 67891011.

Last time we looked at what Torrance theology says about election, human freedom, hell and universalism. This time we'll look at a key precept of Torrance theology---the vicarious (substitutionary, representative) humanity of Jesus Christ, and how that precept informs our understanding of salvation and the atonement.

As Radcliff notes, for the Torrances, "God's unconditional, covenantal claiming of humanity in Christ is an ontological event" rather than an external one that is merely forensic (legal). Torrance theology views salvation as participatory, as"worked out in the very depths of Jesus' own vicarious humanity," which "transforms the very depths of our being" (p. 48, emphasis added). Radcl…