© 2021 KEITH ALLEN Contact Me


We are gifted a holistic life in Jesus. Christ is our life because a full life in Christ is not a fitful attempt to be like Christ or appropriate His person. Christ our life is the state of being in which we are one with Christ by at-one-ment and incarnation.


Myk Habets observes that, “Roger Newell presents two competing models of atonement, the ‘subject-centred appropriation model’ and the ‘object-centred participation model’. The latter is associated with Thomas and James Torrance and the Scottish tradition generally. In endorsing this model Newell argues that it offers us a ‘response to Christ’s victory which is not cast in terms of our appropriating the benefits of Christ’s victory through moral effort..’ What we have in its place is ‘an interior portrait of our participation through the koinonia of the Spirit in the one true man who has experienced the agonising conflict between sin and love.’” (1)


Of the two models the first depends on us and the second consists of our appropriating that which is ours in Christ. The first is what is commonly described as the ‘keeping close to Jesus’ model that is actually a ‘Jesus version’ of legalism. The second is participation by the Believer in the vicarious humanity of Jesus. It’s a state of being that is more than a verbal claim to belong to the Body of Christ. This is the state in which Christ becomes us because we have eaten His flesh and drunk His blood in the Spirit by faith.


Habets continues, “Torrance asserts in unequivocal terms that human beings remain human beings, even in theosis*, and it is in the resurrection of the man Jesus Christ, the man in whom our nature is assumed and healed, that redemption is achieved and set forth. ‘It is thus the resurrection of our human nature in Christ into communion with the life of God that is the end and goal of atonement.” (2)

We have a communion with God that is much more than ticking boxes and citing proof texts. We have a union with God that is the maturation of the self as a son of God in union with the Spirit, Jesus and our Father. “In Torrance’s words, ‘resurrection as redemption means the restoration of man in all the fullness of his humanity, for it is redemption out of corruption and the lapse toward annihilation into the new being and new life of the new creation.’ In christ our life we do not exchange our humanity for some holy Joe abstraction of the law. We become more human, and more alive as sons of God who grow in their humanity and grace in the image of Jesus Christ.

(1) *Humans can have oneness with God and become like God.

(2) Habets Myk, Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance. P 127.

(3) Ibid. p 128.