Salvation--God became man
Dick Eugenio, in Communion with the Triune God, the Trinitarian Soteriology of T.F. Torrance, highlight'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.
In seeking to explain soteriology, Torrance emphasized the importance of grounding the doctrine of salvation in the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. These core doctrines of the Christian faith tell us that the tri-personal God (Trinity), in the person of the eternal Son of God, became human (Incarnation). In Jesus, God became man.
|Jesus Goes Up Alone Onto a Mountain to Pray
by James Tissot
Used with Permission: Brooklyn Museum
The incarnation was not the bringing into being of a created intermediary between God and man, but the incarnating of God in such a way that in Jesus Christ he is both God and man in the fullest and most proper sense. The incarnation is to be understood then, as a real becoming on the part of God, in which God comes as man and acts as man, all for our sake--from beginning to end God the Son acts among us in a human way (loc 1271).Eugenio comments:
[Torrance's] affirmation that Jesus Christ is not just God in humanity, but God as human, implies a rejection of the idea that the humanity of Christ was merely instrumental in the hands of God. While maintaining this, Torrance also emphasizes the originality and newness of the incarnation: "In the incarnation of the Son something new has taken place in God. This, however, does not only refer to the virgin birth, or to the fact that God became human. Rather, the whole life of the incarnate Son is new to God, including being in creaturely space and time, experiencing human emotions and needs..." The rationale Torrance provides for his new becoming in the life of the eternal God has to do with his theology of vicarious redemption. Quoting Athanasius, "He was not man previously, but he became man for our sake." And precisely because God himself became human, he himself is the agent of reconciliation (loc 1285)....
In so far as redemption requires both God's initiative and humanity's response, both are seen to have been accomplished by the one God-man, Jesus Christ (loc 1298).We are indebted to Torrance for helping us recapture a fundamental truth of the Christian faith: Salvation is not merely what God does, but who God actually is in the person of the eternal Son of God who became man, our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Christmas hymn urges, "O, come let us adore him!"