The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God in the Theology of T. F. Torrance

Footnote

C. Baxter Kruger, "The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God in the Theology of T. F. Torrance: Sharing in the Son's Communion with the Father in the Spirit," Scottish Journal of Theology 43 (1990): 366-389

Bibliography

Kruger, C. Baxter. "The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God in the Theology of T. F. Torrance: Sharing in the Son's Communion with the Father in the Spirit." Scottish Journal of Theology 43 (1990): 366-389

Abstract

The late Professor H. R. Mackintosh wrote: ‘All religious knowledge of God, wherever existing, comes by revelation; otherwise we should be committed to the incredible position that man can know God without His willing to be known.’1 This statement brings to light the obvious point that revelation and knowledge of God are of the same piece. Revelation and knowledge of God necessarily belong to one another. It would be as ‘incredible’ for a work on ‘knowledge of God’ to fail to discuss revelation at some point or in some way as it would be for a work on ‘atonement’ to fail to discuss reconciliation. It is not incredible, however, to find an absence of a discussion of atonement or reconciliation, soteriology or union with Christ in works on ‘knowledge of God’. Revelation and ‘knowledge of God’ are for the most part separated from works on atonement and reconciliation. The outstanding characteristic of Professor T. F. Torrance's doctrine of the knowledge of God is that it does not separate revelation and reconciliation. These two are held together in God's work in Israel and in the Person and work of Christ and consequently in our knowing God. As a result, soteriology and epistemology, salvation and knowledge of God are inseparable in Torrance's theology. As our Lord himself said,‘… this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.’2 Among other things this means that Torrance's doctrine of the knowledge of God does not stand as an isolated doctrine at the beginning of his thought cut off from the rest of his theology.

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