Friday, March 10, 2017

The Christian Doctrine of God, 1 Being 3 Persons, Torrance #5

Today is the final post discussing the very insightful and almost devotional, theology, The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons, by Thomas F. Torrance. I know this was a very heavy book to work through, but this is a key point in the current theological environment and I thought it to be important. I am concerned that the American church is sacrificing the historic understanding of the Trinity to push lesser important theological agendas. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

The chapter ends with Torrance's discussion of God's Providence. His main point must be understood in terms of God revealing Himself through Christ in the incarnation and cross and resurrection events. That is, God's sovereignty must be studied in terms of God establishing personal relationship with His people and with His creation. It must also be understood in terms of the force of evil within creation. Evil exists out of its rebellion. God neither created or permitted it. He forbids it. God gives his people freedom and forgiveness which he also offers to the universe. And yet, God also is always intimately and immanently involved with them. The angels announce God's acts which bring the spiritual and physical together.

In Jesus the Lord God Almighty has come among us to exercise his sovereign power within the frail conditions of our mortal life. This is for us an altogether incomprehensible, inexpressible act of God’s power within the parameters of our little and contingent existence in space and time. Here there is revealed the nature of the sovereignty of God incarnate in Jesus Christ—unbounded omnipotence clothed in creaturely littleness and human weakness. 221–222

We believe that just as he made the crucifixion of Jesus, the wickedest act of evil ever perpetrated, to serve his supreme purpose of love and redemption, so by the same Cross he will make the very worst things that can happen to us in the history of the world actually serve the design of his wisdom and the purpose of his grace. Divine providence is correlative to the Cross, and the obverse of divine redemption. 228

As Creator and Redeemer, God alone holds the key to the mystery of the ongoing created order. We must think of its history as one in which God’s unlimited freedom intersects with and overlaps with the relative independent reality and contingent and limited freedom of the world, in such a way as to make all that happens serve the purpose of his love and reflect his divine glory. 233

The final chapter deals with the unchangeableness of God. God is unchangeable and impassable, but in a dynamic sense. God is always free to create, express love and enter relationship. There was a “time” before God became Creator or human. Instead of being changed by our time bound limitations in relationship with us, He drew us in to his relationships with in the Trinity.

In Jesus Christ God has become what he never was before, a human being, the Creator has become a creature, and the eternal has become time, all that he may share what we are and have become in order to share with us what he is in his eternal Life and Love and ever will be. 241

God’s love knows no why beyond itself—there is no reason for God’s love apart from his love. God loves us because he loves, because his loving is the primary act of his Being, because his loving is his very Being. 244

That ultimate ground is the eternal Love that God is. The Gospel does not rest simply on the fact that God loves us, but on the fact that he loves us with the very same Love which he is in the eternal Communion of Love which God is in his Triune Being. 253

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