Ray S. Anderson, "The Practical Theology of Thomas F. Torrance," Participatio 1, "The Theological Significance and Legacy of Thomas F. Torrance" (2009): 49-65.
Anderson, Ray S. "The Practical Theology of Thomas F. Torrance." Participatio 1, "The Theological Significance and Legacy of Thomas F. Torrance" (2009): 49-65.
I suggest in this paper that, despite the often rather obscure syntax and concepts in his writing, the theology of Thomas Torrance was deeply rooted in the church, its ministry and its mission in the world. Following a brief survey of the discipline of practical theology from Schleiermacher (17691864) to the late twentieth century, where a dualism between theory and practice was assumed, I argue that a new kind of practical theology emerged that involved a dynamic process of reflective, critical inquiry into the praxis of the church in the world and God's purposes for humanity, carried out in the light of Christian Scripture and tradition and in critical dialogue with other sources of knowledge. It is in this sense that Thomas Torrance can be understood as a practical theologian offering a nondualistic and praxis-oriented theology based on the self-revealing God in Jesus Christ. The paper concludes with the missiological implications of Torrance’s theology. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, says Torrance, not only constituted the “rebirth” of the church as the people of God but also called forth and empowered the church to be the continuing ministry of Christ in the world through the ministry of the church in the world and to the world.