Happy 100th birthday, David W. Torrance!

June 22, 2024

We are delighted to offer congratulations to the Rev. David W. Torrance on his 100th birthday.

David Torrance, 1982
Photo: David W. Torrance, in Chengdu, 2012. Image courtesy Torrance family.

David Torrance was born in Chengdu in the Sichuan province of western China on 22nd June, 1924, as the youngest of the six children of the missionaries Thomas and Annie Torrance, the younger brother of T.F. and J.B. Torrance. Returning with the family to Scotland in 1927, he attended school there, enlisting in the British army in 1942, completing his first year at Edinburgh University before being sent to India where he served till the end of the war.

Called to the ministry, he completed his Arts degree, followed by Divinity at New College, University of Edinburgh, where his brother, Tom, had been appointed the Professor of Ecclesiastical History and became Professor of Christian Dogmatics. Like both his brothers, David Torrance graduated as the top student at the college and took a year of postgraduate studies in Basel under Karl Barth and Oscar Cullmann. The call to evangelism and to parish ministry led him, however, to take the parish of Livingston, east of Edinburgh, then Summerhill parish in Aberdeen, and finally the parish of Earlston, south of Edinburgh in the countryside of the Scottish Borders. David Torrance edited an edition of Calvin’s Commentaries jointly with his brother, Tom. He also edited a volume of papers, The Witness of the Jews to God (1982). In 2015, he published The Reluctant Minister, his lively memoirs of his life and ministry.

Known to some members of the T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship through his participation together with his son in the retreats at Firbush in the Scottish Highlands, David Torrance suffered the loss of his son, also the Rev. David Torrance but 40 years younger, in October 2023. With little over a month to go to his hundredth, David Torrance remains a regular walker and has lost none of his marbles or theological acuteness. His daily faithfulness in pastoral prayer, his ability to reminisce about his family’s memories of life in China, about his years at university and in the army, about the Tell Scotland missions and about pastoral ministry, to discuss modern problems, and above all live in the joy of the resurrection are an inspiration to us all.

On behalf of all the Torrance Fellowship,
Gary Deddo, Myk Habets, Paul Molnar, Jerome Van Kuiken, Brent Purkaple
(Current Executive Board members)


  1. David W. Torrance. The Reluctant Minister#2015-DWT-2.
  2. David W. Torrance, ed., The Witness of the Jews to God (Edinburgh: Handsel Press, 1982); #1982-DWT-1.
  3. John Calvin, Calvin's New Testament Commentaries, ed. Thomas F. Torrance and David W. Torrance (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1959-1965; Edinburgh: The St. Andrew Press, 1972; Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1959-1972), 12 vols.; #1959-TFT-DWT-1.
  4. DWT bibliography
  5. Interview with Todd Speidell: Participatio page; (PDF direct link)
  6. DWT oral history (coming soon)



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