All posts in “Torrance”

The Problem with Apologetics (T. F. Torrance)

T. F. Torrance in Plain EnglishWhat follows is an excerpt from my new book, T. F. Torrance in Plain EnglishHere I draw out the implications of one of Torrance’s primary insights: kata physin, which simply means knowledge in accordance with the reality we come to know. This axiom is the subject of chapter two in my book, and this excerpt follows it in what I call a “sidebar,” which directly addresses the problem with apologetics. Sidebars such as this serve to draw out conclusions from major ideas, and they are therefore useful tools I implement in the book for clarifying ideas. Enjoy!

You can purchase T. F. Torrance in Plain English on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords ($9.99 eBook, $16.95 paperback).


Sidebar: Apologetics

(From T. F. Torrance in Plain English)

After discovering that Torrance’s theology engages natural science, many Christians today might wrongly imagine this means Torrance was an apologist. The truth, however, is that Torrance was actually quite critical of the task of apologetics, and this is the direct result of his dedication to the concept of kata physin. 

If true knowledge of God is knowledge in accordance with God’s nature, then apologetics is a false start because it applies a foreign rationality to God’s nature in the attempt to prove that God exists. By taking a foreign rationality and applying it to God, apologetics tries to prove God as if God were not God, as if God were a man or a star in the sky that might be proven through human rationality. Apologetics, therefore, abstracts God into a philosophical construct, which leads me to wonder: even if apologetics could “prove” God exists, which God would it prove? It is highly unlikely it would be the Christian God and Father of Jesus Christ, and so what then is the point of proving an empty, abstract deity, who is ultimately just a logical construction of our best thoughts?

Naturally, then, Torrance’s primary issue with apologetics is that it contradicts the fundamental axiom of his scientific theology, that true knowledge is knowledge in accordance with the nature of what we seek to know. Apologetics begins with what is rational to humans, and not that which is inherent to God’s own rationality as revealed in Jesus Christ. Human rationality must be disciplined by God’s rationality and not the reverse. God is not the object of human control; we are subject to God’s gracious will to reveal Godself. Torrance writes:

Thus the only kind of evidence for God that will satisfy us is one appropriate to divine nature, appropriate to one who is the ground of His own Being and the Source of all other being, to one whose Being is Spirit and whose nature is love… It is this profoundly simple fact, that knowledge of something and the demonstration of its reality must be in accordance with its nature, that lies behind the formation and deployment of the supreme instrument in all scientific knowledge, the appropriate question. (God and Rationality, 53)

For Torrance, apologetics is a false enterprise because it relies on asking the wrong kind of questions. It attempts to prove an abstract deity with a rationality alien to the given knowledge of God from the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. Where apologetics asks speculatively, “Does God exist?”, theology focuses on Jesus Christ as God’s self-revelation, as the only true point of contact between God and humanity. Theology asks, “Who is this God revealed in Jesus Christ?” The difference is drastic. There is no logical bridge from humanity up into the knowledge of God, yet God has established, in Jesus Christ, a point of contact through Whom we know God. Thus, it is only by God that we come to know God. Torrance writes:

I cannot test whether there is a bad smell about by my ear. I cannot verify the presence of a chemical element in some compound by religious experience. Nor can I demonstrate a proposition in astrophysics by some line of reasoning in aesthetics. All that would obviously be irrational, just as irrational as it would be to put God to the test in some sort of way in which we put nature to the test in carrying through a physical experiment or to demand of Him that He disclose His reality to us through a radar telescope. (Ibid., 93)

The core idea behind kata physin is the notion that every reality has its own intrinsic rationality to know it by. Apologetics ignores this fact by applying a humanistic, philosophical, or an abstractly logical rationality onto the being of God, thus essentially subjecting God to the provability of human hands. In this sense, Torrance might heartily agree with Bonhoeffer’s famous remark, “A God who could be proved by us would be an idol” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Volume 11, 260). When we attempt to prove God by a rationality alien to Godself, we ultimately produce a God fashioned after whichever rationality we implement; that is, God becomes an idol. Apologetics is a fundamentally flawed enterprise, since it fails to acknowledge God’s transcendent otherness. Torrance writes:

The transcendent rationality of God, however, is ultimate and as such can be known only out of itself. If God really is God He confronts us with absolute priority. In the nature of the case, He can be known only on the free ground of His own self-subsistent Being and through the shining of His own uncreated Light. The Truth of God cannot be demonstrated from other ground or derive support from lesser truths for He is the ultimate ground and support of them all… Knowledge of the ultimate rationality of God is reached at the point where our human reason becomes enlightened from beyond the limits of created rationality and where an infinite extension of intelligibility beyond ourselves is disclosed… (God and Rationality, 97)

We cannot illuminate God with human insights any more than we could brighten the moon with a flashlight. The doctrine of justification by grace alone should lead us to recognize God’s provability by grace alone. Works of the intellect cannot prove God without falling back into selfjustification. God is known when God’s uncreated light reaches us from beyond our humanity, enlightening our rationality with the divine rationality of God’s self-revelation. God alone proves Godself if God is proven at all, just as God alone reveals Godself if we have any true knowledge of God’s innermost being.

Finally, Torrance writes about the call for repentance as the call for a new kind of rationality. We are called to embrace God’s logic of God’s Self, not a human logic of God reduced down to our own terms. Repentance implies a turning away from our own rationality to embrace God’s inherent rationality. Thus, Torrance writes:

Michael Polanyi reminds us in his Gifford lectures that we cannot convince others by formal arguments, for so long as we argue within their framework, we can never induce them to abandon it… That applies to theological communication as much as scientific controversy, and yet this is precisely the erroneous line taken so often by apologetics, whether by the theologian or the preacher… The only proper road to take at that point is to persuade those operating from the other frame to look away at the realities we seek to indicate, and to persuade them to take, in face of it, the kind of ‘heuristic’ [personal] step forward which we always have to make in any genuine scientific discovery, for only then will they discern and know for themselves what we are speaking about. That is to say, in theological language, we have to bear witness to the divine Truth, and try to get from others a genuinely open hearing, but if they take the heuristic [personal] step which they must if they are really to know, it will involve on their part a self-critical act in reconstruction of their prior understanding, i.e., what the New Testament calls metanoia [repentance]. (Theology in Reconstruction, 27-8)

We should not attempt to make the process easy for unbelievers, in the sense that we have to down-play the biblical call to repentance. Instead, Torrance thinks we must give witness to the truth of the Gospel without dumbing it down by attempting to remove the inherent offense of the good news. Torrance writes:

That is the real difficulty about the Truth of God as it is in Jesus, not a difficulty about language or history in the last resort, but an offense which reaches its climax in the Cross… The last thing we must ever attempt to do is to eliminate the real difficulties that confront us in the nature of the Truth itself, and so try to make it easy for people to believe and understand—in so doing, we make it next to impossible for them… If there were no offense, we would find nothing new in the Scriptures, hear nothing we could not and have not already been able to tell ourselves. That which challenges us, which calls us in question, is the radically new, the element we are unable to assimilate into what we already know, without a logical reconstruction of all our preconceptions and a repentant re-thinking of what we already claim to know. But that is the element in the Scriptures which makes them the means of bringing the Good News—yet in the nature of the case it is Good News, not of some cheap grace that heals the hurts of God’s people too lightly, but of radical and complete reconciliation to God through the Cross of Jesus Christ. That is the only message that really strikes home to the human heart and meets at last the desperate plight of man. (Ibid., 29)

Torrance’s scientific axiom that we know in truth only in accordance with what we seek to know (kata physin) means the rejection of apologetics as a false start. His scientific theology does not fit within the modern Christian “culture war” against science, but it does offer us a helpful way forward that is faithful to the Gospel and its call for repentance. Instead of diluting the Gospel with reductionistic logic, with mere human sensibilities, we must bear witness to God’s own transcendent rationality and call men and women to repent and know God on God’s terms.

(From T. F. Torrance in Plain English, pages 61-66.)

You can purchase T. F. Torrance in Plain English on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords ($9.99 eBook, $16.95 paperback).

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Divine Interpretation by T.F. Torrance: a Review

Book: Divine Interpretation: Studies in Medieval and Modern Hermeneutics by Thomas F. Torrance (edited by Adam Nigh and Todd Speidell) (AMAZON LINK)

Publisher: Pickwick Publications (an imprint of Wipf&Stock) (PUBLISHERS LINK)

Overview: Released only this month, this collection of essays by Torrance is a valuable addition to his current body of work. While the two essays on Barth stood out as the high points of the book, each essay was a masterful piece of scholarship.


Undoubtably, the great benefit of this book is the republication of two important essays on Karl Barth written by Torrance and published in the now out of print (and therefore very costly) volume, Karl Barth: Biblical and Evangelical TheologianI’ve wanted to read this book for some time now, but the near $100 price tag has prohibited me from getting my hands on a copy.

The essays “Karl Barth and the Latin Heresy” and “Karl Barth, Theologian of the Word”, were naturally the high point of the book for me. Yesterday I posted an article examining several quotations from the first essay. Reading my article from yesterday will give you a taste of this essay, which you can do so by clicking here.

Continue Reading…

Fortress Press Kindle Sale (Barth, Moltmann, Bonhoeffer, and more)

Fortress Press is currently running their eBook sale on Amazon. Every year I have benefited tremendously from this sale and thought this year I should publish a list of some of the best titles up for grabs. Particularly notable books are marked with an asterisk (*). Enjoy!

**This sale is no longer current as of June 1, 2018. I will update for next year’s sale.**


Click here to see the full sale

Jürgen Moltmann

Primary sources:

The Crucified God — $6.99*

Collected Readings — $4.99

The Coming of God — $4.99*

The Trinity and the Kingdom — $4.99*

The Spirit of Life — $4.99*

The Way of Jesus Christ — $4.99

Ethics of Hope — $4.99

Jesus Christ for Today’s World — $4.99*

In the End—the Beginning — $4.99*

The Source of Life — $4.99

Experiences of God — $4.99

Sun of Righteousness Arise — $4.99

On Human Dignity — $4.99

The Future of Creation — $4.99

Passion for Life — $4.99

Science & Wisdom — $4.99

Secondary sources:

God Will be All in All (includes an essay from Moltmann) edited by Richard Bauckham — $4.99*

The Kingdom and the Power by Geiko Muller-Fahrenholz — $4.99

Don’t forget to check out my new book on Moltmann, Jürgen Moltmann in Plain English

 

Karl Barth

Primary sources:

The Call to Discipleship — $4.99

Karl Barth: Theologian of Freedom edited by Clifford Green (selections from Barth’s writing) — $4.99*

Secondary sources:

The Sign of the Gospel by W. Travis McMaken — $4.99*

Saving Karl Barth: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Preoccupation by Stephen Long — $4.99

Citizenship in Heaven and on Earth: Karl Barth’s Ethics by Alexander Massmann — $6.99

A Theology of the Third Article: Karl Barth and the Spirit of the Word by Aaron T. Smith — $4.99

Resurrected God: Karl Barth’s Trinitarian Theology of Easter by John L. Drury — $4.99

Triune Eternality: God’s Relationship to Time in the Theology of Karl Barth by Daniel M. Griswold — $6.99

The Spirit of God and the Christian Life: Reconstructing Karl Barth’s Pneumatology by JinHyok Kim — $4.99

Playful, Glad, and Free: Karl Barth and a Theology of Popular Culture by Jessica DeCou — $4.99

Also check out my book on Barth, Karl Barth in Plain English

 

Thomas F. Torrance

Secondary sources:

Theology in Transposition: A Constructive Appraisal of T.F. Torrance by Myk Habets — $4.99*

Also check out my book on Torrance, T. F. Torrance in Plain English

 

N.T. Wright

Primary sources:

Paul and the Faithfulness of God — $4.99*

The New Testament and the People of God — $4.99

Jesus and the Victory of God — $4.99

The Resurrection of the Son of God — $4.99

Christian Origins and the Question of God (complete series, four volumes) — $19.96

Paul and His Recent Interpreters — $6.99

Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 — $4.99

The Contemporary Quest for Jesus — $4.99

 

Friedrich Schleiermacher

Primary sources:

Friedrich Schleiermacher (Making Modern Theology) (selected writings) — $4.99*

Secondary sources:

Deus Providebit: Calvin, Schleiermacher, and Barth on the Providence of God by Sung-Sup Kim — $4.99

Embodied Grace: Christ, History, and the Reign of God in Schleiermacher’s Dogmatics by Kevin M. Vander Schel — $4.99

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Primary sources:

Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible — $2.99*

The Bonhoeffer Reader ed by Clifford Green and Michael DeJonge — $4.99

Discipleship — $4.99

Creation and Fall — $4.99

Ethics — $4.99*

The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer — $4.99

Life Together — $4.99

Letters and Papers from Prison — $4.99*

Act and Being — $4.99

 

Rudolf Bultmann

Primary sources:

New Testament & Mythology — $4.99

Rudolf Bultmann (Making of Modern Theology) (selected writings) — $4.99

 

Making of Modern Theology Series

G.W.F. Hegel — $4.99

Gustavo Gutierrez — $4.99

Reinhold Niebuhr — $4.99

Dietrich Bonhoeffer — $4.99

 

Kathryn Tanner

Primary sources:

Economy of Grace — $4.99

Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology — $4.99

Spirit in the Cities: Searching for Soul in the Urban Landscape (editor) — $4.99

Secondary sources:

The Gift of Theology: The Contribution of Kathryn Tanner ed. by Rosemary P. Carbine and P. Koster — $6.99

 

Robert W. Jenson

Primary sources:

Christian Dogmatics vol. 1 — $4.99

Christian Dogmatics vol. 2 — $4.99

Secondary sources:

Dogmatic Aesthetics: A Theology of Beauty in Dialogue with Robert W. Jenson by Stephen John Wright— $4.99

 

Dorothee Soelle

Primary sources:

The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance — $4.99*

Suffering — $4.99

Theology for Skeptics — $4.99

 

Other notable books

Systematic Theology: Volume 1, the Doctrine of God by Katherine Sonderegger — $6.99*

Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way by Walter Wink — $4.99*

The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann — $4.99

Disruptive Grace by Walter Bruegemann — $4.99

Texts Under Negotiation: The Bible and Postmodern Imagination by Walter Brueggemann — $4.99

Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed by John B. Cobb — $3.99

Douglas John Hall: Collected Works — $4.99

 

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The Gospel According to Thomas F. Torrance

thomastorranceAdvent began this past Sunday, November the 27th, and it makes the celebration of Christ’s incarnation, the arrival of the God who loved the world so much that He gave Himself to us by becoming a man in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of advent and in the joy of the gospel here’s a quote from Thomas F. Torrance on what the gospel means:

“We preach and teach the Gospel evangelically, then, in such a way as this: God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualized his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. From beginning to end what Jesus Christ has done for you he has done not only as God but as man. He has acted in your place in the whole range of your human life and activity, including your personal decisions, and your responses to God’s love, and even your acts of faith. He has believed for you, fulfilled your human response to God, even made your personal decision for you, so that he acknowledges you before God as one who has already responded to God in Him, who has already believed in God through him, and whose personal decision is already implicated in Christ’s self-offering to the Father, in all of which he has been fully and completely accepted by the Father, so that in Jesus Christ you are already accepted by him. Therefore, renounce yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

“To preach the Gospel of the unconditional grace of God in that unconditional way is to set before people the astonishingly good news of what God has freely provided for us in the vicarious humanity of Jesus. To repent and believe in Jesus Christ and commit myself to him on that basis means that I do not need to look over my shoulder all the time to see whether I have really given myself personally to him, whether I really believe and trust him, whether my faith is at all adequate, for in faith it is not upon my faith, my believing or my personal commitment that I rely, but solely upon what Jesus Christ has done for me, in my place and on my behalf, and what he is and always will be as he stands in for me before the face of the Father. That means that I am completely liberated from all ulterior motives in believing or following Jesus Christ, for on the ground of his vicarious human response for me, I am free for spontaneous joyful response and worship and service as I could not otherwise be.” 1

This comes from Torrance’s brilliant and short book The Mediation of ChristIn our last article I recommended this book, alongside several others, as great books you can read during Advent this year. You can find the full list of books here. I will continue to post quotes from these books and share Incarnation/Advent related thoughts until Christmas, so stay tuned!

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Notes:

  1. The Mediation of Christ, Thomas F. Torrance 1992, pp 94-5

Thomas F. Torrance on Preaching Christ Today

thomastorranceSeveral months ago I finished reading Thomas F. Torrance’s short book Preaching Christ Today. For anyone who’s never read Thomas Torrance, and perhaps feels too daunted by his academic strength, you should read this book. It is an excellent introduction to some of his most significant contributions to theology, and it highlights quite well why I love reading his work: T.F. Torrance is a scientific thinker because he is an evangelical thinker. He writes with this end in mind, to preach the gospel, to evangelize the world even in the discipline of modern science (which is often wrongly seen as an antithesis to theology). I have a lot of respect for what Torrance has done for theology, not only for the church but for my life personally. It was in Torrance that I first encountered an understanding of God that shattered all  my images of him, revealing himself to be a God of infinite grace and love. So without a doubt, this short book is an inspiring read as well. Just as Barth’s sermons to prisoners at Basel, Deliverance to the Captives, is a great starting point for his theology, so this book is great for Torrance. Today I wanted to put together several great quotes from the book that I enjoyed. (All quotes are from the 1994 Eerdmans edition.)

Quotes:

“This is the end to which my own life has been dedicated. What I have been trying to do is to show how the gospel can be taught and preached in ways that are faithful to the apostolic faith as it was brought to authoritative expression in the Nicene Creed, and at the same time may be taught and preached today in ways that can be expressed and appreciated within the scientific understanding of the created universe upon which God has impressed his Word and which under God was have been able to develop in modern times. Far from being hostile to one another, Christian theology and natural science are complementary to one another.” (Preface, vii)

“The real Jesus of history is the Christ who cannot be separated from his saving acts, for his person and his work are one, Christ clothed with his gospel of saving grace. The so-called Jesus of history shorn of theological truth is an abstraction invented by a pseudo-scientific method.” (P. 9)

“What overwhelms me is the sheer humanness of Jesus, Jesus as the baby at Bethlehem, Jesus sitting tired and thirsty at the well outside Samaria, Jesus exhausted by the crowds, Jesus recuperating his strength through sleep at the back of a ship of Galilee…for that precisely is God with us and one of us, God as ‘the wailing infant’ in Bethlehem, as Hilary wrote, God sharing our weakness and exhaustion, God sharing our hunger, thirst, tears, pain, and death… He does not override our humanity but completes, perfects, and establishes it.” (p. 13)

“In giving his own dear Son to die for us in atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, God has revealed that he loves us more than he loves himself.” (p. 28)

“In him we believe that God himself has come into the midst of our human agony and our abominable wickedness and violence in order to take all our guilt and our just judgement on himself. That is for us the meaning of the cross. If I did not believe in the cross, I could not believe in God. The cross means that, while there is no explanation of evil, God himself has come into the midst of it in order to take it upon himself, to triumph over it and deliver us from it.” (p. 29)

“Faith in Christ involves a polar relation between the faith of Christ and our faith, in which our faith is laid hold of, enveloped, and upheld in his unswerving faithfulness.” (p. 31)

“In far too much preaching of Christ the ultimate responsibility is taken off the shoulders of the Lamb of God and put upon the shoulders of the poor sinner, and he knows well in his heart that he cannot cope with it.” (p. 35)

“During those years what imprinted itself upon my mind above all was the discovery of the deepest cry of the human heart: Is God really like Jesus? This came home to me very sharply one day on a battle field in Italy, when a fearfully wounded young lad, who was only nineteen and had but half an hour to live, said to me, ‘Padre, is God really like Jesus?’ I assured him as he lay upon the ground with his life ebbing away that God is indeed really like Jesus, and that there is no unknown God behind the back of Jesus for us to fear, to see the Lord Jesus is to see the very face of God.” (p. 55)

That last quote always gets to me! This is why I read theology and attempt what little I can to write it, because the world needs to know this simple truth. God really is like Jesus! And few theologians have shown this fact better than Thomas F. Torrance.

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T. F. Torrance on the Passible Impassibility of God

thomastorranceT. F. Torrance writes in dialogue with Jurgen Moltmann, towards the end of his (incredible!) work, The Christian Doctrine of God: One God Three Persons (LINK), on the tough issue of God’s Impassibility (which simply means the inability of God to suffer). In the light of the incarnation and the crucifixion of Christ, how can one still say that God is impassible?

Jurgen Moltmann claims that this is impossible, writing that an impassible God is a “demon”. 1 But classically, especially in western theology, the impassibility of God is one of the primary attributes of Gods nature.

I have often been interested in the sort of dialogue that T. F. Torrance has had with other theologians, especially with Jurgen Moltmann. Both men have tremendously impacted my spiritual and theological perspectives. Torrance’s nuanced understanding of the impassibility of the passible God is one that I found interesting when I read it, because it gives a balanced perspective on the issue. The following quotes are from the final chapter in The Christian Doctrine of God. 

Torrance begins following Cyril of Alexandria in saying that God suffered impassibly in the death of Christ, therefore calling the impassible passibility of God a paradox.

“The emphasis tended to be laid sometimes on one side of the paradox, and sometimes on the other, but Cyril was always concern not to detract either from the integrity of human nature or from the integrity of divine nature. On the one hand the notion of divine passibility would appear to call in question the steadfastness or immutability of God in face of the pressure of outside forces upon him as if he could be moved by what is other than God. On the other hand the notion of divine impassibility would evidently exclude the possibility of any real movement of God in a loving and vicarious self-identification with us in the incarnation and redemption which would posit a deep gulf between God as he is in himself and God as he is towards us. On the other hand, therefore, we cannot but hold that God is impassible in the sense that he remains eternally and changelessly the same, but on the other hand, we cannot but hold that God is passible in that what he is not by nature he became in taking upon himself ‘the form of a servant’. He became one of us and one with us in Jesus Christ within the conditions and limits of our creaturely human existence and experience in space and time, although without in any way ceasing to be God who is transcendent over all space and time. That is surely how we must think of the passibility and impassibility of God: their conjunction is as incomprehensible as the mode of the union of God and man in Christ. Just as in creation and incarnation God acted in entirely new ways while remaining unchanged in his divine nature, just as he became man without ceasing to be God and became creature without ceasing to be creator, so he became passible without ceasing to be impassible in another sense.” 2

So it seems that for Torrance the paradox of Gods impassible passibility is similar to the dual nature of Christ as wholly God and wholly man. Just as Jesus Christ is fully God and man in one person, while taking up our human flesh He remains divine, so God has become passible in Jesus Christ, while remaining eternally impassible. He therefore has assumed both natures. He has at once truly reached the human race, while nevertheless remaining truly God as He is in His eternity, unchanged and self-moved.

Torrance continues on to say the following:

“We must be quite definite about the fact that in the Lord Jesus Christ God Himself has penetrated  into our suffering, our hurt, our violence, our sinful alienated humanity, our guilty condition under judgement, and even into our dereliction. ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Behind that cry of Jesus on the Cross there is a mysterious movement in the divine Trunity, a counterpoint between the pathos in the crucified Jesus and the pathos in God. The cry of Jesus in dereliction was followed by another cry, ‘Father into they hands I commend my spirit.’ There on the cross at the deepest point of our relations with God in judgement and suffering the incarnate Son of God penetrated into our pathos in such a profoundly redemptive way that in the very heart of it all, he brought his eternal serenity to bear transformingly upon our passion. Thus we cannot but say that in Christ God both suffered and did not suffer: through the eternal tranquillity of his divine impassibility he took upon himself our passibility and redeemed it.” 3

For Torrance, Jesus Christ became passible in order to redeem our our suffering with his impassibility, just as Jesus Christ at once came to redeem our fallen humanity by become sin for our sakes. If “the unassumed is the unredeemed” then this must be the case not only for our fallen humanity, but also for our suffering as human beings. God assumes in order to redeem. Therefore, Christ became passible, while at once remaining impassible. But nevertheless, He truly became passible just as He truly became man.

Notes:

  1. see The Crucified God (LINK)
  2. P. 250
  3. P. 251