T. F. Torrance, Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ, by Thomas F. Torrance

This book was prepared for publication by Torrance’s nephew, Robert T. Walker, who studied under Torrance for some years.   His knowledge of the fathers is incredible, and knowledge of some Greek would be helpful, but not necessary.  His insights into the theology of the Incarnation are very keen, indeed, and he deals with every conceivable concept of the Incarnation, including such esoteric aspects as the coinherence or perichosis of the Trinity.

Here is a major issue in Christology today.  Where does one begin his study of Christ?  John (1:1-14) begins with the Holy Trinity and comes down to the Son in His incarnation.  This leads rightly to the idea that the Christ is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God and man in one person.  If one begins with a man, Jesus, and seeks to work backward, one never quite gets to the incarnation of God.  This latter position is typically liberal.  There is a third position today, which is Barthian, and Torrance is Barthian, though perhaps mildly so in this book, though much more so in his work Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ.   Barth begins with the Incarnation, and strongly believes that the Christ is God, so much so, that at times the Father and Holy Spirit fade into the background.  We end up with a functional unitarianism with this view of Barth.  It is a very competent work.  However, he is Barthian, leaning toward universalism, though it is not clear.

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