In this second volume on Christology entitled Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, Torrance picks up where he left off in Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ at Jesus' approach to the cross. In that volume Torrance's primary concern was to understand the significance of Christ in his person and life; or the just who it is that Christ claims to be.In Atonement Torrance builds on this prior work and wants to understand the work of Christ, along with its significance and consequences in light of who Christ is. Thus, the question for Torrance becomes, just what did Christ accomplish on the cross? And, why is "who he is" significant when we talk about his "work on the cross"?This is the major program in Torrance's work. He wants to show the theo-logical relationship between Incranation and Atonement, and then show how these doctrines influence and frame the early Christological and Soteriological confessions of the church.Torrance's Atonement along with its prequel Incarnation are sure to become standard readings in Christology, and in all fields immediately related to it. As lectures given to students, they show the creative energy, precise theological thinking, and deep devotion to Christ that Torrance was known for. While it will be some time before the impact of these two volumes impact can resonate, look for these works to have significant influence on theology in the years to come.
This companion volume to T. F. Torrance's Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ presents the material on the work of Christ, centered in the atonement, given originally in his lectures delivered to his students in Christian Dogmatics on Christology at New college, Edinburgh, from 1952-1978. Like the first volume, the original lecture material has been expertly edited by Robert Walker, complete with cross-reference to Torrance's other works. Readers will find this the most readable work of Torrance and, together with Incarnation, the closest to a systematic theology we have from this eminent theologian.
Thomas F. Torrance (19132007) occupied the chair of Christian dogmatics at the University of Edinburgh for twenty-seven years. He was the recipient of the Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in 1978, and he served as moderator of the Church of Scotland and coeditor of the He wrote extensively, contributing more than twenty major works of theology and hundreds of articles in a variety of languages.
Robert T. Walker has degrees in philosophy and theology from Edinburgh University, Scotland. As T. F. Torrance's nephew, Walker has gained an intimate understanding of Torrance's theology, studying under him and hearing these lectures given in person. He currently divides his time between teaching theology at Edinburgh University and teaching outdoor pursuits in Perthshire.
"This is a towering work that deserves to be read throughout the ecumenical churches, to whose renewal and imperative reunion it promises to make a vital contribution."
"Nowhere else in T. F. Torrance's writings will you find the kind of synthesis of the entire sweep of his dogmatics as you will find in Incarnation and its companion volume, Atonement. Everyone concerned with constructive systematic theology in general, or with Torrance's theology in particular, will want to acquire and read these books. They reveal the heart and soul of Torrance's theological vision."
"The posthumous publication of T. F. Torrance's New College lectures on soteriology is indeed an event. What is intended here is an account of the saving work of Christ which does justice to the full sweep of biblical testimony (Old Testament as well as New). What is achieved is something on the order of a model of models--an appropriation of the values resident in traditional ontological, forensic and moral models in an original synthesis that commands attention and respect. Torrance's stature as the leading Scottish theologian of the twentieth century will only be enhanced by these lectures, ably edited by Robert Walker."
"Good theologians can write learned books on the atonement. But it is a particular gift to write a learned book on the atonement that is also clear, accessible and passionate. T. F. Torrance's Atonement has these qualities and more. The book is deeply rooted in Scripture and in Christian tradition, and it consistently points the way to Christian living and ministry. This is a book that will be formative for seminary students and pastors, as well as all who seek to understand more richly the core of the faith."
"In this indispensable volume of rare insight and erudition, Thomas F. Torrance demonstrates once again why he is esteemed as one of the leading theologians of the twentieth century. Weaving together Old and New Testament conceptions, Torrance here lucidly, profoundly, thoroughly and compellingly explains how and why Christ's atoning death can be understood only soteriologically (not logically) on the ground of the incarnation, resurrection and ascension of Jesus himself. Throughout this book, Torrance powerfully conveys the meaning and significance of the deep mystery of Christ's death on the cross as an act of God, fulfilling the covenant both from the side of God for us and from the human side toward God in the person of his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, by carefully connecting Christ's own self-understanding and activity with the activity of the Spirit sent by the Father and Son to guide the church in Word and sacrament until he returns. All who are interested in serious theology today should read this book."
"An invaluable resource for students of Torrance, and a highly stimulating resource for all interested in Christian theology. It will be hard to come away from this book without a feeling of having been enriched and challenged."
"Continuing the exploration of the mystery of the Son of God begun in Incarnation, Torrance turns his attention in this second volume to the work of the incarnate Savior, with the purposiveness, analytical penetration and spiritual lucidity which mark him out as one of the most weighty dogmaticians of the modern Reformed tradition."
"A worthy sequel to Torrance's magisterial lectures on the incarnation, this book takes us through a series of major themes in Christian theology with immense authority and clarity. Detailed exegetical study of the biblical meanings of substitution, clear teaching on the centrality of the resurrection and the church in a theology of redemption, and fresh thinking about the relation of divine and human agency in the writing of Scripture--these are just some of the treasures to be found here."
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