Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Torrance on Knowing God

In my excitement that the new 2nd volume of T. F. Torrance's posthumously published lectures on Christology, Atonement, will be out soon (in the UK - I think its already out in the US), I'm re-reading the 1st volume which came out last year, Incarnation. Here is a choice selection to mull while I procrastinate in responding to Andy in the International Hot Tub:
We must learn here to think with God always in the centre. God speaks in such a way as not to be brought under our rubrics and estimates. He meets us as the Lord. He saves us and we know we are in his presence. Here our knowledge of God, our theological judgments are not self-centered, but are called out of us as matters of acknowledgement and obedience. We are confronted with the majesty of God and surrender ourselves to him in adoration and devotion. That is why faith insists that what believers do is to let themselves be told by the Word, by Christ himself, allow themselves to be determined by Christ who confronts us in his word, and acts upon us – so that the judgments of faith are not those which believers make according to what they already know, but those which are formed in them as they are obedient to what is presented to them. God summons us, and we obey. He authenticates himself to us and we acknowledge him. He confronts us with a divine act of majesty which creates and forms in us a perception appropriate to what he is, and we are controlled by it. He establishes himself in our human knowing in a way according to his nature, and does not allow our knowing of him to be halted by our normal limitation and capacities – for he upholds us from below and enables us to know what is beyond our natural capacities, and what we acknowledge is an act of adoration and glorification of God. But it is as sinners that we encounter Christ, and as sinners that we are summoned to hear his word and to yield to it the obedience of our minds, so that when we know and obey him, that is a reversal of our disobedience, and involves a decision against ourselves, contrary to our self-will. (35-36)

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