Showing posts from January, 2021

Christian ethics (part 3): filial

This post continues a series exploring  Fully Human in Christ: The Incarnation as the End of Christian Ethics  by Todd Speidell. For other posts in the series, click a number:  1 ,  2 , 4 ,  5 .   Last time , we noted how Thomas F. Torrance (TFT) grounds his ethics on the foundation of Christ--both who he is, and what he has done, is doing and will yet do to bring about the ultimate goal of ethics, which is to fully realize what already is accomplished in Christ--reconciliation between God and humans, between humans, and between humans and all of creation. A fully Christian ethic is thus not about doing what merely seems morally good, but to participate, by the Spirit, in what Jesus is doing to heal and so transform the world.  The Way of Joy  by Greg Olsen (used with artist's permission) In order to live out TFT's Christ-centered, participatory ethic, the question we need to ask is not, "What would Jesus do?" but "What is Jesus now doing, and how may I participa

On a trinitarian approach to liturgy

(Note: this post draws from The Trinitarian DNA of Christian Worship, an essay by John D. Witvliet.) If the corporate worship of the church was grounded fully in and shaped by the doctrine of the Trinity, what would it look like? This post addresses that question, beginning with this definition of Christian worship from Thomas F. (T. F.) Torrance: In our worship the Holy Spirit comes forth from God, uniting us to the response and obedience and faith and prayer of Jesus, and returns to God, raising us up in Jesus to participate in the worship of heaven and in the eternal communion of the Holy Trinity. For T.F., it's important to understand that Christian worship has  two directional movements:  1) God's coming to the church, and 2) the church's response to God. Both movements involve the action of each member of the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. The agents that enable God's coming to us and our response back to God are not less than divine persons, whose work can be t

Christian ethics (part 2): our new life in Christ

This post continues a series exploring the book Fully Human in Christ: The Incarnation as the End of Christian Ethics  by Todd Speidell. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1 , 3 , 4 ,  5 .   Last time , as we began this series, we noted how the ethic set forth by Thomas F. Torrance (TFT) is fundamentally theological , but to say that is not to say that his ethic is "otherworldly"--disconnected from the world in which we live with its ethical challenges. TFT's theological ethic is not passive for it's about our active participation, through the Spirit, in what Jesus is now doing in our world. But note that this participation is in union with Jesus--he (and not someone or something else) is at the center and in the lead. At a time in our culture when there is renewed interest and emphasis on ethics (social ethics, in particular), it's important that we examine our approach to ethics and ask, is it truly Christian? Todd Speidell   A filial ethic of reconc