Why I Think T. F. Torrance is not a Barthian by Dr Ben Myers

November 13, 2008

2 Responses to “Why I Think T. F. Torrance is not a Barthian by Dr Ben Myers”

  1. Hi Ben, a huge thanks for putting this together in and amongst your travels. I must say that it is good to engage with someone who has gone further in their thinking and can make these distinctions. I am a Torrance fan and so I tend to be knowledgeable enough to be a devotee but not knowledgeable enough to make clear contrasts. Thank you once again for being able to provide some direction. You came across very well in your talk, so well done. I loved your term “anthropological transubstantiation” and I can see your point and even say I observe that there is a “cosmological” transubstantiation in Torrance.

    I found myself agreeing with your emphasise on Barth and yet wondering about your comments on the Heavenly Mediation, as you would expect from a Torrance fan. I found myself agreeing for there certainly is a different grammar coming from Barth and Torrance. I think that they would give different answers to the question of why did God become man?

    I have done some skimming of Burgess to bring me up to speed on Barth’s view of the ascension. But in regard to your comments on the Christ event as non-mediating, I agree, but I think Torrance would too, that the Christ event was not mediating in the sense of being a second party or merely a messenger of salvation. He is truly and fully the salvation event as truly God and truly human. Torrance’s emphasise on mediation is in the realised ‘union between’ or ‘adoption of’ humanity into the Trinitarian life God, which takes place in the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension. This mediation embraces a Trinitarian paradigm or relationship as opposed to a dualism. I think, this was at the heart of Torrance’s critique of Barth’s view of the ascension, is this correct?

    I must confess that before reading Torrance the ascension seemed a very abstract/platonic doctrine. But, if I listened correctly, you seemed to describe Torrance’s “heavenly mediation” in these terms. Can you make further comment on Torrance’s heavenly mediation as being a platonic concept?

  2. Thanks to everyone involved for doing this. I can’t wait to watch the presentation!


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