Torrance: Christian God (One Being; Three Persons)

This covers much of the same ground as his earlier *The Trinitarian Faith,* though with some new material. Such material, however, does not replace The Trinitarian Faith and if money is a factor, then get TTF instead.

Torrance centers his argument around the homoousion. It guarantees how we understand the internal relations in the Trinity. Not only are the persons homoousion, but so are the relations. Only in Christ is God’s self-revelation identical with himself” (Torrance 1). In Christ God has communicated his Word to us and imparted his Spirit. God’s revelation of himself as Father, Son, and HS in the economy of salvation is grounded in and derived from the eternal being of God” (80).

Torrance makes several key, epistemological gains in this work. Knowledge of new realities calls for new ways of thinking–new concepts and new thought patterns (Contra Arianos, 1:23; 4:27; De Synodis 42). We interiorize what we seek to know and rely not just on external evidence (38). The object naturally integrates into us and we let it disclose its depths of meaning to us.

P1: Our conceptual statements must be open-ended and point beyond themselves.

Top Level: More refined scientific theory/Trinitarian relations in God

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Middle Level: Theory/ Economy of Christ
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Ground level: day to day experience/ Evangelical apprehension and experience

Each level is open to the others.  When we move from one level to another, we seek to order the basic concepts from the lower level to the higher.
Torrance has an illuminating discussion of the Divine Monarchy. The monarchy means there is a specific order to the divine Persons. It is the order manifested in the history and revealing of God’s saving acts (176). The Son is begotten of the Father, not the other way around. If one presses the cappadocian distinctions too far, then we are left with the claim that the person of the Father causes, deifies, and personalizes the Being of the Son, Spirit, and even Godhead!

We can say, however, that the monarchia of the Father is cause not of their being, but of their mode of enhypostatic differentiation (179). Torrance wants to see the monarchia referring to the Being of the Father, rather than strictly the Person. For him this points back to the intrinsic relations of the Being: The Being of the Father as Father means the Being of the Son of the Father.

Conclusion:

This is a good book, but it repeats a lot of material from his earlier work and the discussions aren’t always clearer

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