Thumping the Table


Kenneth Roy, "Thumping the Table: Very Rev. Thomas F. Torrance," in Conversations in a Small Country: Scottish Interviews (Ayr, Scotland: Carrick Publishing, 1989), 115-121


Roy, Kenneth. "Thumping the Table: Very Rev. Thomas F. Torrance." In Conversations in a Small Country: Scottish Interviews, 115-121. Ayr, Scotland: Carrick Publishing, 1989

Publication life cycle / General notes

A short but insightful interview with TFT by noted Scottish journalist Kenneth Roy (obituary). In the book, Roy interviews 23 Scottish figures, asking them all major questions about their lives and beliefs. From the cover: "Conversations in a Small Country ranges broadly across the spectrum of Scottish life. There is entertainer Rikki Fulton revealing the neurosis of the comic and the nature of his dreams... theologian James Whyte taking issue with Margaret Thatcher's reading of the Bible... the owner of Rangers Football Club boasting that he is 'smarter than the average bear'... lawyer Joseph Beltrami confessing why he found murder trials exciting... Challenging and provocative, the book is full of unusual insights into some of Scotland's best known people."

The title of the interview with TFT comes from this passage (p. 117): 
KR: "Do you think faith is a gift?"
TFT: "I think faith is quite natural. When you're brought up in it, as I was, it becomes very deeply instinctive. I have never had -- people think this is crazy -- I have never had any doubts."
KR: "No crisis of faith at all? No difficulty?"
TFT: "Absolutely certain, always," he insisted, smiling serenely. Then he thumped the flat of his hand on the table beside him. "Just as certain as that table." It was a solid piece of furniture, and held steady against the theologian's blow. "You don't have any doubts about your own existence or the realities around you. God's just like that."