Andrew B. Torrance, "John Calvin and James B. Torrance's Evangelical Vision of Repentance," Participatio Supplemental Volume 3, "A Theological Tribute to James B. Torrance" (2014): 126-147.
Torrance, Andrew B. "John Calvin and James B. Torrance's Evangelical Vision of Repentance." Participatio Supplemental Volume 3, "A Theological Tribute to James B. Torrance" (2014): 126-147.
Reprinted as #2016-ABT-1.
At the heart of James B. Torrance’s theological project was a concern to demonstrate the importance of an evangelical account of repentance, over against a legal account. This was a concern that he inherited from John Calvin, who stood as the greatest theological influence on Torrance. Out of his respect for Calvin, Torrance did not seek to commandeer Calvin’s work on this topic for his own project. Rather, he sought to communicate Calvin’s own vision of evangelical repentance to a new generation. Accordingly, this essay will primarily devote itself to exploring Calvin’s position. Before so doing, however, I shall provide a brief analysis of the distinction between the “covenant God” and “contract God,” which underlays Torrance’s emphasis on Calvin’s distinction between legal and evangelical repentance. Also, following our exploration of Calvin, I shall look briefly at Torrance's own account of evangelical repentance, as it followed Calvin’s trajectory.