The Sovereign Creator


Thomas F. Torrance, "The Sovereign Creator," in The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996), 203-234; #1996-595i


Torrance, Thomas F. "The Sovereign Creator." In The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons, 203-234. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996; #1996-595i

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• Introduction: Belief in God as the Sovereign Creator is couched within our understanding of the saving love of the Triune God (pp. 203-204).

1. The Almighty Father (pp. 204-221)
(a) God is always Father, not always Creator (pp. 207-209)
(b) It is as Father that God is Creator, not vice versa (pp. 209-212)
(1) The Activity of God the Father (pp. 212-213)
(2) The Activity of God the Son (pp. 213-216)
    • The Incarnation (pp. 214-215)
    • The death of Christ (p. 215)
    • The Resurrection of Christ (pp. 215-216)
(3)  The Activity of God the Holy Spirit

2. Divine Providence (pp. 221-234)
• Human existence and history are not separable from the material universe.
• By its very nature, moral or natural evil is essentially anarchic.
• By its very nature evil has a kind of impossible, though a deadly real, existence.



“In the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed which gives expression to the basic doctrinal content of divine revelation, belief in God as the Sovereign Creator is presented within a trinitarian structure: one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible, one Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things were made, and the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of life. Integrated with these three statements there are clauses about the saving incarnation of the Son of God, his crucifixion, resurrection, and final advent, while clauses on the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come are included in the third article on the Holy Spirit. This signifies to us that the doctrine of the Creator belongs to the heart and substance of the Gospel, so that belief in him is appropriately formulated within the evangelical interrelations of the economic Trinity. While the concept of God as the Creator of the universe derived originally from the Old Testament revelation and had been developed by Judaism, it was radicalised through the New Testament teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ as the Word of God by whom all things that came into being have been created, from whom they derive their intelligible and lawful order, and through whom and in whom the whole universe of visible and invisible realities consists or is held together. In Jesus Christ the Lord God has himself become man, and the Creator of all things has himself become a creature, without of course ceasing to be God the Creator, and therefore interacts creatively with the world not just from without but from within. And so it is in Christ that we creatures may meet with the Creator face to face, and it is in and through his life and work within the creation, not least through his redemptive triumph over all evil and darkness in his resurrection from the grave, that we may really understand something of the wonderful nature and work of the Creator himself, as it would be quite impossible otherwise. Moreover, since it is in the life and work of Jesus Christ that God has been manifested to us in his reality as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our knowledge of the Sovereign Creator may not be abstracted from the incarnate power of the saving love of the triune God mediated to us and activated among us in salvation history or from the creative power of the Holy Spirit poured out upon all flesh who sheds abroad that love of God in our hearts.” (pp. 203-204)