T. F. Torrance and Apostolic Succession


Kevin Chiarot, "T. F. Torrance and Apostolic Succession," Participatio 6, "T. F. Torrance and Ecclesiology" (2016): 112-150


Chiarot, Kevin. "T. F. Torrance and Apostolic Succession." Participatio 6, "T. F. Torrance and Ecclesiology" (2016): 112-150


This article seeks to set forth and explore the theological architecture of T. F. Torrance’s conception of the church’s life, ministry, orders, and continuity. Relying primarily on Torrance’s earlier work in the ecumenical movement, we seek to sketch his remarkably integrated, biblical-theological and, crucially, Christological, and thus eschatological, presentation. This will entail an account of the incarnate Christ crucified, now risen, ascended, and coming again, and of the church as the pneumatically formed body of this Christ. This structurally primitive frame creates the “time of the church” in which her relation to the apostolic foundation, her priestly ministry of Word and Sacrament, and her orders and continuity can be expounded. Out of this positive theology will emerge, at nearly every point, Torrance’s sharp critique of historically held notions of ecclesial continuity or apostolic succession.

T. F. Torrance and Ecclesiology

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