T. F. Torrance: The Disturbing Divine Revelation

Reality and Evangelical Theology: A fresh and challenging approach to Christian revelation (The 1981 Payton Lectures) 

“…In all our response to God’s Word and formulation of divine Truth we are summoned to let God retain his own reality, majesty, and authority over against us.  In divine revelation we have to do with a Word of God which is what it is as Word of God in its own reality independent of our recognition of it, and we have to do with a Truth of God which is what it is as Truth of God before we come to know it to be true. “

“That means that in all our response to God’s self-revelation as is mediated to us in space and time through the Holy Scriptures we must seek to understand and interpret it in accordance with its intrinsic requirements and under the constraint of the truth which bears upon our minds in and through it, and not in accordance with the requirements of thought which we bring to it or under the constraint of rigid habits of belief which we retain at the back of our minds irrespective of what we may experience beyond ourselves.”

“Divine revelation which commands a response of this kind is very disturbing, for it uproots us from the comfortable certainty of our preconceptions and calls in question the mechanisms we constantly develop in order to give a firmness to our evangelical beliefs in themselves as beliefs, rather than in the objective ground to which as beliefs they are properly correlated and in reference to which they are always open to revision” (p. 13-14).

Though I’m not in agreement with Torrance on every point in this book [Reality and Evangelical Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1982)], he is challenging and thought-provoking, as you can tell from the above quote.

shane lems