I was pleased to find these words in a book I purchased today, “Torrance ‘seems to be a theologian who actually knows the Trinity itself and writes out of his life with God—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’.” (1)
Knowing God makes us alive. Not religiously but as a human being who is a son of God living out their identity with purpose and joy. Such knowing is not knowing about God. But if we are enjoying the ‘knowing of God’ that is a ‘knowing of being’ which is oneness with God – we will know God as God is and know about Him accurately.
JESUS THE SOURCE OF ONENESS
Torrance was not a mystic but there is a principle here. Very close friendships with anyone are possible with persons from across all walks of life who relate to a personal Jesus rather than a Jesus insulated from themselves by the law and religion.
A lived and personal union with God unites people with the God-self, the revelation of Himself and of who we are in God. It’s what we call ‘walking in the light.’
An attachment to anything not Christ in the belief that this is life-giving insulates us from God. It denies the ‘knowing’ of God and the self that is implied in marriage.. ‘And he knew his wife.’ The archetype of oneness in marriage is the oneness in uniqueness of the trinity.
We have been made one with God. This is the inheritance of the cross. The oneness that is ours is what the trinity have – union with each other without losing the identity of each. This is why hidden in Christ we are who we are in spirit and in truth. There’s no separation in Christ Jesus. This is why we must not create it out of religion. Oneness with God is never oneness with Christianity. It’s your naked union with God that makes you alive.
The law and legalism has a malevolent ability to insulate persons from God, from themselves and from each other. A sub-set of the knowledge of good and evil - it was instigated to suffocate the image of God, by the father of lies. Satan offered a fake spirituality on the basis of a lie about Father and a lie about Adam and Eve. Father was infinitely love and trustworthiness and the Pair were already ‘as God’s’ having been birthed by God as sons and daughters of God.
TRUTH AS US
The proper core of all spirituality and living robustly in the world is UNION WITH GOD. God reveals Himself in His daughters and sons. We can get to be a false life in a version of the lie or we can come alive as sons in spirit and in truth when Christ is our life.
Torrance’s insights are apostolic and revelatory. As a reviewer suggests, Torrance’s spiritual discernment and theological insight comes from fellowship with the trinity, a very sharp mind and the humility to be informed by others, particularly the Church Fathers. Torrance’s understanding came not from some partisan gospel or a supposed nineteenth century prophetic revelation - but from the Bible, from the indwelling Christ and familiarity with the Eastern Orthodox and Reformed Protestant traditions.
NOT ON SAND
Torrance was greatly indebted to the house built on rock that is the solidity of the church fathers and the Nicaean Creed.
“It was always evident to his studentsthat Torrance’s greatest loyalty was to Athanasius. He did in fact have differences with his other two main mentors, Calvin and Barth (although, out of immense respect perhaps, these were not made evident), but it is doubtful whether he had any disagreement at all with Athanasius! The homoousion* of the Nicene Creed, which Athanasius defended contra mundum, was the “lynchpin” of the Christian faith without which the gospel collapsed into incoherence.” (2) * Jesus Christ is one with Father God and is God even as Father and Holy Spirit are God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.