The Soteriological Suspension of the Ethical in the Theology of T. F. Torrance


Todd H. Speidell, "The Soteriological Suspension of the Ethical in the Theology of T. F. Torrance," Participatio 5, "The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and Ethics" (2015): 56-90


Speidell, Todd H. "The Soteriological Suspension of the Ethical in the Theology of T. F. Torrance." Participatio 5, "The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and Ethics" (2015): 56-90


T. F. Torrance, contrary to his critics who claim he “neglected ethics,” intentionally suspended autonomous ethics as a human attempt to justify ourselves through moral law, effort, and virtue. His critics miss that he did implicitly include a trinitarian-incarnational ethic of grace throughout his entire theological and scientifc corpus. He also explicitly articulated a Christian ethic based on Christ’s atoning work in our place and on our behalf. Finally, he did occasionally address concrete moral issues, and I will include as evidence his views on women in ministry, God-language, abortion, telling and doing the truth, and juridical law in light of modern physical law. His critics have failed to perceive his theological ethic as integral to his entire work, which proclaims the personalizing and humanizing mediation of Christ in all realms of life — including not only the private or personal dimension of human life but also the social, historical, and political structures of human society and even of the cosmos itself. Torrance’s critics themselves, in short, have neglected the central role in Torrance’s theology of a Christian ethic rooted in God’s grace, which encompasses, sustains, and transforms the entire human and created order.

The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and Ethics

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