Gary W. Deddo, "T. F. Torrance on the Realist Reconfiguring of Theological and Biblical Studies to be Co-Servants of the Word of God," Participatio 8 (2020): 1-30; #2020-GWD-2
Deddo, Gary W. "T. F. Torrance on the Realist Reconfiguring of Theological and Biblical Studies to be Co-Servants of the Word of God." Participatio 8 (2020): 1-30; #2020-GWD-2
Thomas F. Torrance regarded as valid both the disciplines of biblical studies and theological studies. Although needing to be properly distinguished, he believed they could both contribute “hand in hand” to the life, ministry and mission of the church. However, he also saw a need to critique the approach, assumptions and methods often used in our contemporary churches and schools for educating and forming both biblical scholars and theologians in their vocations. His assessment was that they both were largely not conducted with the “realism” that a proper study requires if it is to contribute to knowing the God revealed in Jesus Christ according to Scripture and building up the church. But they are largely beholden to rather deistic, nominalistic and dualist assumptions. These assumptions are not neutral or scientific, but at odds with the biblical texts being studied and the “ultimate beliefs” pervading the entire economy of revelation. The result has been that these disciplines are inhibited from cooperatively working together and that their conclusions have been thereby distorted, confused and confusing. Only a proper non-deistic, non-dualist, realism demanded by the Object of study, the Reality to which the biblical texts refer, should and could bring these two disciplines together. This essay surveys Torrance’s double critique and summarizes his alternative approach, assumptions and methodology for biblical studies and the theological interpretation of Scripture.