Theo-logic and Scripture’s Teaching in Dialectic

What is theo-logic? And how does dialectic and the teaching of Scripture relate to theo-logic as a regulative mechanism? Now there are a couple of questions that I am sure you have been pondering lately (ha!).

dialecticalbarthThe way I understand theo-logic is that it is what we end up with when we follow the inner-logical trajectory provided by whatever theological topic we are considering, and endeavoring to follow through, as it gives itself and imposes itself upon us through the inner integrity of its own reality. So for example; the so called homoousion is the result of theo-logic. That Jesus the eternal Son of God is consubstantial with the Father [and the Holy Spirit], of the same substance, leads to certain and subsequent theo-logical conclusions. One might be that humanity itself is implicated and grounded to be what it is by the grace of God exemplified by the hypostatic union of his divine being with human being in the singular person, Jesus the Christ. And as such, any attempt to develop a purported theological anthropology must then work from this theo-logic and its implicates. So “our” humanity cannot be thought of as an abstract from Christ’s vicarious humanity for us; instead, we must think our humanity into and from His — and thus what is true by His humanity by nature, becomes true of ours by the recreative work of the Holy Spirit; our lives can only echo what is given in and through his humanity —God’s humanity— for us (pro nobis). So, this represents a theo-logic.

But what happens if a theo-logic gets delimited by the teaching of Scripture? What happens if Scripture seems to contradict what we deem as the required theo-logic; then what gives? For example, another example might be that God is love, and thus some construal of the theo-logic here (like by P.T. Forsyth or J. A. T. Robinson et al) would require that this then must finally mean, that in some sense, Love Wins!, and all people will indeed and actually be reconciled, salvifically, to God. But what if Scripture states over and over again, that people will inevitably and eternally end up in a place known as hell? What is going to give at this point? Do we interpret the Scripture on this in light of the theo-logic and our construal of that, that God is love; or do we just follow the prima facie and purportedly straightforward reading and teaching of Scripture and Jesus that some people (most) will end up in eternal conscious torment?

These are not easy waters to navigate. I have not. But this is why I take a dialectic approach, in a dialogical form. I am not simply appealing to mystery, but instead am willing to hold certain things as both true, and not necessarily trying to scholastically bring it all together. That said, I usually privilege the teaching of Scripture (if it is on sound exegetical bases, per my perception) as the delimiter, and I often will defer the trad of the church in particular cases.

Just thinking out loud. Thanks.

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3 Responses to Theo-logic and Scripture’s Teaching in Dialectic

  1. Brian Weed says:

    Hey Bobby, I found your blog looking for resources on Torrance. I appreciate the resource it’s become for me. It’s in my feed now!

    I’m doubly interested because of your involvement in Calvary. I do have some Torrance-related questions, and no one else I know to bounce them off of. Would you be willing to start a conversation off-line?


  2. Bobby Grow says:

    Hi Brian,



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