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Torrance: knowing God according to his nature

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This series explores T.F. Torrance in Plain English in which author Stephen D. Morrison unpacks nine key ideas in Thomas F. (T. F.) Torrance's Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology. For other posts in this series, click a number: 1, 3456.  

Last time we looked at T.F.'s theological method, which yields what he calls a scientific theology. This post looks at a fundamental precept of that method: We know God truly only when we know him in accordance with his nature (thus scientifically).

For T. F., knowledge in any field of inquiry (be it a natural science or Christian theology) is true only to the extent that it accords with the actual nature of the reality it seeks to describe. Borrowing a phrase from Greek, T. F. calls such knowledge kata physin (κατα φυσιν)---knowledge that is according to nature. As Morrison notes, "Behind kata physin is the notion that every reality has its own intrinsic rationality to know it by" (p. 63). Accordingly, T. F.'s theologica…

Torrance: a scientific theology

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This series explores T.F. Torrance in Plain English in which author Stephen D. Morrison unpacks nine key ideas in Thomas F. (T. F.) Torrance's Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2, 3456.  

This blog frequently explores the writings of Trinitarian theologian Thomas F. (T.F.) Torrance. Some complain that T.F. is hard to understand and I felt that way when I started reading him about 12 years ago. No question, Torrance is challenging to read---particularly at first. There are a couple of reasons: First, in most of his books he writes as a theologian to other theologians using technical theological terms. Second, T.F. explains ideas and concepts that run against the grain of everyday experience, asking us to look at reality (God in particular) in new (even radically new) ways.

Over the years in this blog, I've tried to put T.F.'s teachings into common language. I've also recommended books by authors who have sought t…