Thomas F. Torrance, "Foreword," in The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988), 1-11; #1988-489a


Torrance, Thomas F. "Foreword." In The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church, 1-11. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988; #1988-489a

Publication life cycle / General notes

Dated 1987.

Series name (click to see more)
Publisher (click to see more)

“When I was invited by Dr James I. McCord, then President of Princeton Theological Seminary, to deliver the Warfield Lectures for 1981, it seemed right to devote them to the theology of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed formulated sixteen hundred years earlier in 381 A.D. This Creed was developed in two stages, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 when the basic work was done, and at the Council of Constantinople in 381 when it was enlarged to cope with fuller understanding of evangelical issues clarified in the fifty years following Nicaea.

The principal themes I chose for these lectures were: the knowledge of God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible, the Lord Jesus Christ his incarnate Son and his saving work for mankind, the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of Life who proceeds from the Father, and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. My intention was to offer an interpretation of them in the light of the Church fathers who had been most deeply involved in the elucidation of ‘the evangelical and apostolic faith’ during the fourth century, in the hope that it might form a useful hand-book for students. In the course of preparing it for publication I re-read the works of the great fathers for each chapter, finding that the book had to be rather larger than I had planned, both in order to do justice to their theology and to provide ample evidence for my attempt to offer a full and consistent presentation of it. There is some overlap in the material content of different chapters, together with repetition of argument and citation, which I found to be convenient as well as inevitable in an integrated presentation of successive themes, for in the coherent character of Nicene theology each doctrine is implicated in and deeply affects the others. The first and last chapters have been added, to present the general perspective of faith and devotion within which all Nicene and Constantinopolitan theology must surely be understood, and to give definite expression to the trinitarian convictions of the Church that had been implicit in its faith from the beginning but became more and more explicit with the clarification of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the course of theological debate preceding and during the Council of Constantinople.” (pp. 1-2)