The claim of humanity in Christ : salvation and sanctification in the theology of T.F. and J.B. Torrance
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This thesis critically engages with the Torrances’ claim that all of humanity is in Christ. It explores how God has claimed humanity in salvation and the claim that He has placed upon humanity in sanctification. It argues that this claim upon humanity is not a cumbersome one, for God’s radically objective act of salvation is the basis for the subjective outworking of the Christian life. As we freely participate by the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s filial relationship with the Father, we grow into the ontological reality of who we are in Christ. Part One critically examines how the salvation wrought for us by the triune God of grace is filial, ontological and objective. It challenges soteriologies that have an overarching federal or external framework which lead to people being thrown back upon their own subjective endeavours to gain salvation. Part Two extends the implications of the Torrances’ soteriology to the outworking of our sanctification. It roots sanctification objectively with justification in Christ, challenging the belief that, having been justified by God, it is now our part to work out our own sanctification; Affirming humanity’s new eschatological orientation in the risen humanity of Christ, it argues for confidence in the nature of our humanity and in the outworking of sanctification. Thus it challenges external paradigms that can only offer a poor perspective on humanity and demand our own ineffectual efforts. It presents the outworking of sanctification in dynamic, relational terms, rather than static, moralistic terms, as the free gift of participating by the Spirit in the Son’s intimate communion with the Father.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy