Spotlighting Martin Davis, and His Mini-Essay on Thomas Torrance’s Theology
March 14, 2012
You all need to check out a fellow Torrancean’s summarizing post on Thomas Torrance’s theology. Martin Davis, like me, is doing research for his PhD on Torrance’s theology. Let me share the piece from his mini-essay that stands out for me (as it pertains to my research on the vicarious humanity of Christ):
An additional corollary to Torrance’s doctrine of the hypostatic union is his doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ. Emphasising the humanward-Godward aspect of the unitary movement of atoning reconciliation, this doctrine asserts that, as God and man joined in hypostatic union, Jesus acts from within the depths of the fallen humanity he assumed in the incarnation to offer to the Father the perfect response of faith and obedience on behalf of, and in place of, all. This vicarious response includes not only Jesus’ passive obedience on the cross but also the entirety of his active obedience offered to the Father throughout the whole course of his life. The key to this doctrine is found in Galatians 2:20, where Torrance translates pistis christou as a subjective genitive to assert that we live by the faith “of” Jesus Christ. This passage functions in a hermeneutical manner to provide a significant point of access for understanding Torrance’s theological vision of conversion, worship and prayer, the sacraments, and evangelism. In all these important aspects of discipleship, Jesus acts as both representative and substitute, offering to the Father perfect faith, obedience, worship, and prayer on behalf of, and in place of, all. Jesus’ response on our behalf, however, does not undermine our own response, but, rather, undergirds it as he takes our feeble efforts and unites them with his own self-offering to the Father. The sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist are visible forms of the Church’s participation in the self-offering and ongoing priesthood of Jesus Christ. Each sacrament finds its meaning, not in the rite itself, but in the objective reality underlying it, that is, the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ and his self-offering to the Father. When the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ is emphasised in preaching the Gospel, evangelism becomes an invitation for hearers to become what they are, that is, to participate actively in the reality of the salvation that is already theirs in Jesus Christ. [Martin Davis]
Here is the full essay, here. Please go read it, it will only take you 10 minutes, and it might save you and I heart-ache down the road; it ought to take some of the mystification out of my own posts for you. Beyond that it will demonstrate that Bobby Grow is not the only crazy Torrancean out in the world (particularly the theo-blogosphere). Now go read!