The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and John Calvin

John Calvin

*I just found this post buried at another blog of mine. Which means that this will be like a new post since I wrote this one a few years ago, and it was, well, buried. The material in this post highlights the important role that the doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ has both formally (hermeneutically) and materially (theologically) for evangelical Calvinism. And it also illustrates how Calvin can be read resourcefully and constructively. 

I just finished reading a really provocative and intriguing essay by Ho-Jin Ahn in the Scottish Journal of Theology. In it he takes Oliver Crisp to task (at least at the ground clearing level) on Crisp’s argument that Christ could not have assumed a fallen sinful humanity in the incarnation; since according to Crisp (and the scholastic [speculative] tradition from which he argues), if Christ truly took on a depraved humanity, then he would have needed a Savior himself. Ahn helpfully relocates Crisp’s placement of this discussion from the Augustinian “original sin,” and moves it into the realm of christology (which is where this dialogue ought to take place!). Ahn, in the process of relocating this discussion, develops John Calvin’s understanding on this issue; Ahn looks, in a dialectical way, at Calvin’s commentaries and his Institute. In a nutshell, what Ahn concludes is that Calvin might ‘appear’ to hold to something like Crisp (that Christ assumed an unfallen human nature), but in the final analysis, and at an interpretive/functional level, Calvin thinks from a view that sees Christ entering into the depths of our fallen humanity and redeeming us from the inside out through his vicarious humanity for us. Here is Ahn’s conclusion:

[I]t is unreasonable for some theologians to argue for Christ’s unfallen humanity in the context of the doctrine of original sin because Christ himself overcame the power of sin and death in his fallen humanity. In the case of Calvin’s understanding of Christ’s humanity, we see that there is a tension between the nature and the state of Christ’s person. Calvin believes that Christ assumed our true humanity, lived a perfect life, and was sinless according to the Chalcedonian Definition. Thus, Calvin denies the fallenness of Christ’s humanity in order to preserve the doctrine of Christ’s perfect innocence. However, unlike others who are in favour of Christ’s unfallen humanity, Calvin forcefully affirms the vicarious humanity of Christ in our corrupted state. Calvin affirms that Christ had to suffer from our existential problems according to the narratives of the Gospels. Moreover, the mortal human nature which Christ assumed shows solidarity with sinners and the vicarious humanity of Christ pro nobis. If Calvin were to accept the idea of the fallen nature of Christ, his thoughts on Christ’s humanity for us would be more persuasive. Yet it is noted that Calvin’s theological logic is ‘anti-speculative’ in that he focuses on what Christ has done for us in his true humanity.

Nevertheless, Calvin argues that the body of Christ himself is the temple of God through which we can come to the throne of God’s grace. Although Christ assumed our mortal body controlled by the power of sin and death after the Fall, Christ sanctified the body in his own person as the Mediator between God and all the fallen humanity and decaying creation. Furthermore, the reconciliation with God is not just attributed to the crucifixion of Christ in an external and forensic way but to the perfectly holy life of Christ who assumed our mortal body as a saviour in an internal and ontological perspective. Calvin’ s biblical views on the mortal body and its sanctification through the whole life fully describes the paradoxical character of Christ’s mystical incarnation in which Christ became a true human being like one of us without becoming a fallen sinner. I conclude that, according to Calvin, the vicarious humanity of Christ means that for the sake of our salvation Christ assumed a mortal body like ours and lived a perfect life in our miserable state. Therefore, Christ’s fallen humanity for us is the guarantee of reconciliation. [Ho-Jin AhnSJT 65(2): 145–158 (2012) C Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 2012 doi:10.1017/S0036930612000026, Ahn’s bio/contact: Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Queens, Bayside, NY 11364, USA]

I concur with Ahn, and appreciate his insightful analysis on Calvin’s view of the vicarious humanity of Christ. Ahn would make a great Evangelical Calvinist; since the vicarious humanity of Christ is one of the touchstones of what it means to work within the mood of Evangelical Calvinism. It is this kind of Christ conditioned view of salvation that gets us into the trinitarian depth dimension of salvation that the classic forensic-juridical view of salvation simply cannot provide. Calvin is front and center for us, and shines brightest right here; that is when he emphasises the center of salvation in Christ.

The reality is, as Ahn develops in his essay, as Gregory of Nazianzus is oft quoted ‘the unredeemed is the unhealed’; and if Christ did not vicariously (participatorily-representatively) enter our fallen human state, then we are of all men most to be pitied. Alas, we remain in our sins, and we have no real hope or answer to our sin problem; which is a depraved heart toward God (who is salvation in his very life!). If Christ does not participate with us (fully), then we cannot participate with him fully in the divine plenitude of his shared life with the Father and Holy Spirit; in other words, we are not saved. This is why understanding and meditating on the vicarious humanity of Christ is so fundamental to the Christian’s life and spirituality; because it represents the very heart and deep caverns of the Gospel itself.


This entry was posted in Evangelical Calvinism, John Calvin, Vicarious Humanity. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and John Calvin

  1. Steve says:

    “If Christ does not participate with us (fully), then we cannot participate with him fully in the divine plenitude of his shared life with the Father and Holy Spirit; in other words, we are not saved”

    Within the context of your blog, this comment goes too far. There are many, from different theological backgrounds, who do not understand the incarnation the way Ahn does – in fact, probably most. However, they are saved because they have obeyed the gospel and have put their complete trust in the Triune God’s completed redemptive work in Christ. This reminds me of a comment I heard on the radio once where the guy said that unless you believe in and understand the trinity you can’t be saved – “understand the trinity”? I’m sure it says that in Scripture! I’m with Ahn, Torrance, et. al. on this issue for many reasons, but I can’t go so far as to say that if you are not, your Savior is inadequate.


  2. Bobby Grow says:

    I don’t understand, Steve. The statement you quote here identifies and attempts to articulate the presuppositions of the Gospel itself. Where in this statement did you get that I was suggesting that someone would have to have an understanding of all of this theological grammar in order to be “saved?” It seems as if you are imposing what you heard from someone else upon me.


  3. Bobby Grow says:

    But you are right in noticing that I do not believe things are relative, even if they are only provisional.

    But nowhere have I said that a Christian who disagrees with this is not “saved;” they are wrong 😉 , but that of course does not mean they aren’t saved!


  4. Bobby Grow says:

    In fact, as much as I have “critiqued” 5 point Calvinism and Covenant theology in the past here at the blog I have never ever contended that they aren’t my brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of them might claim that I am not theirs, but I don’t claim that about them; because I don’t believe that! I believe in a catholic Christianity wherein robust and vigorous debate and disagreement should be had, but I also believe that He who binds us together is able to transcend our squabbles, even if in the end he agrees more with me than them ;-).


  5. Steve says:

    Maybe I should have said “Within the context of this post” instead of “blog” because it is true that, in general, you’ve never denied salvation to those who disagree with you. Back to the issue.

    ” In it he (Ahn) takes Oliver Crisp to task (at least at the ground clearing level) on Crisp’s argument that Christ could not have assumed a fallen sinful humanity in the incarnation;”. This is the context. A wedge is driven between Ahn and Crisp (on this issue). With the statement “If Christ does not participate with us (fully), then we cannot participate with him fully in the divine plenitude of his shared life with the Father and Holy Spirit; in other words, we are not saved”, the implication is that Crisp’s Savior is not participating fully with us and therefore he is not saved. This is why I thought the statement went too far. Outside of the context, Crisp would probably fully agree with your statement but apply his understanding of the incarnation.

    “I believe in a catholic Christianity wherein robust and vigorous debate and disagreement should be had, but I also believe that He who binds us together is able to transcend our squabbles, even if in the end he agrees more with me than them” – If all had this attitude throughout the long history of the church, it would be a much better witness and read!


  6. Bobby Grow says:

    Well, Steve, you are stretching things. I see this as a matter of debate. I’m actually friends with Crisp.

    And the point, again, is that I am articulating the implications of the incarnation as I see it, just as Crisp does with his view. And you are right to notice that this is a significant critique, but the logical conclusion isn’t that if someone disagrees with the fallen humanity thesis that they are not saved; instead the implication is that their view is defunct, and yet they are still saved because of the mercy and grace of God.


  7. Bobby Grow says:

    Just as Gregory of Nazianzus says “the unassumed is the unhealed.”

    If we follow your logic, then yes, I would be taking the position that not a single classical Arminian, classical Calvinists etc are saved because they all hold to the forensic framing of the atonement and not the ontological view. But the critique, while seriously important (for a Christian spirituality) is a material (second order) critique and not a formal (first order) one relative to who God in Christ is; in other words what he has done for us in salvation is not contingent upon our ability to understand or grasp it fully. I mean nobody can really do that; there is some level of mystery.

    But yes, I still believe that if someone rejects the ontological theory of the atonement in favor of the forensic that they operating from a defunct model of salvation that will place unnecessary burden on them in their spirituality (if they internalize their view, which most don’t); and will create a context where performance quid pro quo Christian living is attempted (the Puritans are the case study on this). By the way, this is the premise of my critique in those Kevin DeYoung posts.


  8. Bill says:

    Bobby, I just finished reading The Mediation of Christ by Thomas Torrance. I am shocked at the conclusions that Torrance arrives at. And it’s all due to him thinking Christ had a fallen nature. The consequence of this doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ are horrendous. Torrance talks about vicarious faith, vicarious repentance, vicarious baptism etc. This is completely non biblical. Torrance completely forgets that Christ is the Savior, not the one being saved. Christ’s faith in God is never vicarious, Christ’s repentance can never be vicarious, Christ’s faith can never be vicarious. This is because Christ had no conscience of sin, he had no fallen nature, he had a sinless human nature unlike us who have a sinful human nature. The faith of Christ in God the Father is unlike our faith in Christ, Christ’s faith is never vicarious. For starters Christ never had to repent of sin because he was sinless, he was tempted but without sin, so Christ never repented of his sin, Chris never had faith in God atoning for his sin because Christ was sinless, and Christ was never baptized for the remission of sins because he had no sin to be forgiven. There is nothing vicarious in the humanity of Christ. Christ’s active obedience to the father is totally different from what our active obedience is , Christ was no required to repent and believe for the forgiveness of sin, but we sinful man are required to do it. I am going to leave it at this, but both Barth and Torrance failed to distinguish that Christ’s human nature was sinless, he did not have a sinful nature as we do. This is why Torrance teaches that Christ sanctified the sinful nature of man, set it apart as holy, nothing could be further from the truth Christ actually came to kill the fallen nature, not to sanctify it (romans 6 and galatians 5 and other passages talk about our fallen nature, the flesh being nailed to the cross instead of sanctified as Torrance teaches).


  9. Bill says:

    Torrance even teaches that Christ partook in the Lord’s Supper vicariously for us ! Unbelievable somebody can teach this. Christ in the Lord’s Supper establishes the New Testament in his blood that is shed for us. Nothing vicarious about this, Christ is the Savior of Mankind, we are the ones being saved. Christ is giving his body and blood for us, we are receiving. Christ did not eat the Lord’s Supper the way we do, he had the Lord’s Supper as the giver of salvation, we have the Lord’s Supper as the receivers of salvation. Yet Torrance teaches that Christ had the Lord’s Supper in a vicarious manner for us since we can not partake in the Sacrament perfectly as Christ did. First off we participate in the sacrament the opposite way that Christ participated. Even in his human nature, Christ was God, and he gave his body and blood for us. We do not give our body and blood, but receive his body and blood. The vicarious humanity of Christ is a false doctrine that Calvin never taught. It is a neo orthodox doctrine of Barth and Torrance.


  10. Bobby Grow says:

    Way too simple, Bill!

    Neo-orthodox; that’s cheap! What do you even understand that to mean?


  11. Bill says:

    Bobby, my comment related to the vicarious humanity of Christ and specifically Christ having a fallen nature. When I read the book “The Mediation of Christ”, it took a me a bit to notice with the doctrine, but I summarized it on my two posts above.

    As for other mistakes that Barth and Torrance make, I can’t point out a few more. Although I initially didn’t intend to but since you asked, I will point out other serious foundational issues that render their theology unorthodox instead of neo orthodox.

    1) Christ had a fallen sinful nature. I already elaborated on this point so will not add more, other than say if you have a false notion of the Person of Jesus Christ and what a sinful nature means your whole theology will be flawed.
    2) Barth and Torrance deny the historical Adam and the fall. If there is no fall, there is a host of issues that arise. And again if you deny the historic Adam your whole theology of sin and how it entered the world and redemption will be flawed.
    3) Barth and Torrance deny the historic events in the bible. They call them saga, and they state that there is plenty of saga in the bible. Not just the historical Adam is denied.
    4) Their epistemology denies logic and reason as a valid scientific method. God uses and created logic and reason. Yes, because of the fall human reasoning is flawed because of the sinful nature of man in its motivation. But this is not a problem with logic and reason, but a problem with man who fails to use logic and reason properly.
    5) Barth and Torrance rely on existentialism, a pagan philosophy that rebel against western christianity. Jean Paul Sartre is the most famous atheist in the 20th century and was an existentialist philosopher. Torrance’s book the mediation of Christ makes it clear how he was influenced by Sartre’s atheism. His attack on western philosophy, the greeks, and dualism is vintage Sartre. He mentions that christians were made schizoids as a result of greek dualism. This is exactly what Sartre said about christians that they were schizoids that preached one thing and did another (like Paul in Romans 7). A lot of existentialist psychologists affirmed that christianity leads to schizophrenia and christians are mentally ill.
    6) Barth and Torrance deny the inerrancy of scripture, and this makes the bible unreliable. One example obviously is what I addressed earlier about saga instead of historic events plaguing the bible.
    7) Scripture is clear in Romans 1 and also Paul in some of his sermons in Greece in the book of Acts as well as the Psalms and Hebrews, that God reveals himself in creation God’s work of Creation is a Revelation of God, not just his work of Redemption in Christ, Hebrews 11:3 : “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God., so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible ” Not just faith in Christ does the bible demand , but faith God the creator, his creation is obvious says Romans 1. Barth and Torrance on the contrary deny natural revelation and God’s evident creation. Both were evolutionists that deny the creative work of God, this is why they deny the historic Adam and many other supernatural events in the bible which they call saga.

    Based on all the above the theologies of Barth and Torrance are not orthodox and not only depart from traditional christianity, but are on par with the liberal theologies that Barth and Torrance claim to have stood against. I personally think both Barth and Torrance are heretic.


  12. Bill says:

    But I have to say Bobby that of all the theological errors of Barth and Torrance, the biggest one refers to the vicarious humanity of Christ., that Christ had a fallen nature. The implications of this mistake are the most serious. Because I noticed when I read Torrance book that the gospel is to believe that if don’t repent perfectly or believe perfectly, Christ has repented and believed for me. There is a vicarious repentance and faith taught by Torrance. This is false teaching that will send many to hell. Because Christ never repented, God does not repent of anything. This is why the gospel call commands all men to repent and believe. Those that don’t shall be condemned. Christ did not the repenting for us, Christ had nothing to repent from, he obeyed the will of the Father perfectly. Christ did not believe in an atonement for His own sins either. So there is no vicarious repentance and faith that the bible teaches. The atonement never atoned for the sin of unbelief, God deals with the sin of unbelief at the new birth, in regeneration. God does not pardon unbelief but removes it, we are given the gift of faith that saves us. But this is our faith, not Christ’s faith in the father, is our trust that for the sake of Christ our sins were forgiven at Calvary. God creates a new heart and replaces the heart of stone by a heart of flesh Ezekiel 36:26. This is something that happens when we come to faith, not something that happened 2000 years ago. Torrance teaches in his book the Mediation of Christ that his new birth took place 2000 years ago with Christ’s resurrection. His repentance took place when Christ repented. This is false doctrine that will send many to hell. Christ never repented and believed vicariously, if we (not Christ) believe we shall be saved, if we do not believe we shall be condemned.

    Thomas Torrance is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, one of the most dangerous false teachers clothed in the name of Christ.


  13. Bobby Grow says:

    Bill, when I get to my computer I’ll give a full response.


  14. Bobby Grow says:

    Just to be clear, Bill, you got all of your insight on Barth and Torrance from reading Torrance’s The Mediation of Christ? Really?

    All that you are doing is repeating simplistic caricatures. And when you tip you critique with the idea that what TFT taught will lead many to hell, you are starting to sound really really Fundy! Interestingly, Fundy thinking has its own philosophical/metaphysical baggage (like substance metaphysics etc. which classically — the view you seem to take — if understood accurately leads to semi-Pelagianism when applied to salvation etc.).

    But I am having a hard time taking anything you wrote seriously, Bill! It is all caricature, stuff you must have read on Wikipedia. You didn’t get all of this by simply reading TFT’s Mediation. And you haven’t critically engaged with how TFT and Barth approach the ‘Fallen Humanity’ of Christ whatsoever; you haven’t read, apparently (and you haven’t if all you’ve read is Mediation) how Torrance appeals to the sanctification of the Holy Spirit in regard to the vicarious humanity of Christ; which means that TFT and Barth believe that Christ, of course never sinned.

    You have not grasped the ontological theory of the atonement, and how central that is to TFT’s (and Barth’s) construal of things; which particularly for TFT is tied into a doctrine on the Primacy of Christ (which is highly Patristic on the orthodox side of things).

    This is only my initial response. I will have a lengthy and full response later today, hopefully.

    I will just say though that your charges are unfounded, and based, again, on complete caricature and misunderstanding (i.e. presumption). And your understanding of what Neo-Orthodoxy is is also errant!


  15. Bill says:

    Hi Bobby, i arrived at those conclusions not only from reading the Mediation of Christ. All I said is that I just finished reading that book and drew conclusions about the vicarious humanity of Christ from that book. I have read other books on neo orthodoxy, from Barth I have read Dogmatics in Outline and The Humanity of God. This latter book also includes two other lectures that Barth gave, so it’s really three books in one. I also read part of Church Dogmatics on google books. I have read writings from Barth on the internet as well. The conclusions that I drew are my own conclusions, and were not taken from anybody else. I drew my conclusions from reading Barth and Torrance myself.

    Interesting you think I am a fundamentalist or semi pelagian. I am not. I would consider myself a 4 point calvinist, that supports hypothetical universalism. I like Augustine, Prosper of Acquitaine, Luther, Calvin, Ursinus, Bullinger, the whole Heidelberg Catechism, John Davenant, James Ussher, John Preston.


  16. Bobby Grow says:

    The fundy point is in reference to your accusation that Torrance is sending people to hell essentially.

    But you’re reading and accusations are simply ridiculous.


  17. Bobby Grow says:


    Many people would consider the fact that you admire these particular people as proof of your fundyism. But in a way that is beside the point. Some people consider me a fundy because I’m not radical enough, just somewhat radical relative to them.

    I’m contemplating whether or not I should devote time to knocking down each of your charges towards Barth and Torrance. I’m not sure it will be a good use of time.

    If you know anything about my blog and edited book though you should know that the accusations you have made against TFT and Barth will be considered rubbish (which they are). And again, they are of the kind of rubbish that I’m not sure they are worth responding to; like it is hard to take what you have asserted seriously, because what you wrote illustrates that you haven’t really grasped or wrestled with the depth of what TFT and Barth are about. And you don’t seem to get the distinct theory of revelation informing their respective theologies etc.


  18. Bill says:

    Your choice. i drew some conclusions that I don’t believe any Barthian can answer. Except by calling others fundamentalists. This just shows that the barthians and Torrance guys that claim to be tolerant are more intolerant than the fundies. I call them liberal fundamentalists.


  19. Bobby Grow says:

    I haven’t even responded to you yet, Bill!

    You made strong unsupportable claims about Torrance and Barth; naive ones. Your conclusions are facile and easy to answer, just not sure they are really worth the effort though.


  20. Bobby Grow says:

    And I explained to you how I was using Fundy. When you assert things about TFT’s teaching and hell; that sounds very Fundy. You never demonstrated by the way how those teachings would lead someone to hell — see, facile.


  21. Bill says:

    Sorry Bobby, I can’t force you to reply. That’s your choice. Don’t get too hanged up on my comment about leading people to hell. All I meant is that there is hardly any call to repentance and faith in Christ. Believing that Christ did your believing for you and repenting for you, that’s what I meant is bad teaching and will lead people to hell. There is a complete lack of understanding from Torrance and Barth that man needs to be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven, needs to repent and believe. The atonement of Christ 2000 years ago profits nothing unless it prompts people to repent of their sin. Today most would be bored to death by Torrance and Barth, and wonder what this guys mean. And telling the unbeliever that Christ has already repented and believed for him is just letting them in their sin to perish. Is a bizarre way of preaching the gospel, it is not how the apostles preached it in the book of Acts, is not what the gospels teach, is not what the epistles mention. We need to address unregenerate sinners for what they are, men that are perishing in need of a Savior. Instead Torrance and Barth addressed them as redeemed in Christ even before they have believed in Christ. Galatians 2:16 teaches that we believe in order that we will be justified. Barth and Torrance are asking people to believe that they are already justified, it’s a big difference. Scripture commands every man to repent of their sin and believe so that they will be justified, not because they already are justified. What we need to tell sinners is that they are perishing on their way to hell, not that Christ has already rescued them 2000 years. The latter is not the gospel, there is no unbeliever that has ever been justified or sanctified. The objective work of Christ 2000 years ago did not result in anybody being saved, otherwise Christ would not have told Nicodemus the unless a man be born again he will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Sinful man needs to be shown for the state in which it is, that is dead in trespasses and sin, not redeemed in Christ. The atonement needs to be applied through faith in conversion, until such time sinful man remains an enemy of God and awaiting a judgment that will surely condemn him.


  22. Bill says:

    Basically Barth and Torrance have collapsed the work of salvation that happens when God creates faith, and they have moved it back 2000 years ago. Although full satisfaction for the law of works was made by Christ, this satisfaction must be received, it’s conditional on faith. The salvation of souls occurs at the time the sinner comes to faith, this is the doctrine of justification by faith that the Reformers understood so well. Justification did not happen 2000 years ago. This vicarious humanity of Christ is at the root of the problem. What Christ did is the foundation, he’s the first one to rise from the dead. But it’s not a vicarious resurrection. Christ was first Paul teaches, then it will be us, when we are glorified with new bodies. Man needs to be converted to be saved, and each man God will raise from the dead at the Resurrection. But those that die in unbelief will perish at the judgment seat of Christ. And believing the gospel as I said is not believing that we’ve been declared righteous in Christ and are justified already. We do not receive a justification already accomplished by Christ. As I quoted GAlatians 2:16 , we believe in order that we may be justified. We are justified once and it is by faith, nobody was justified at the resurrection of Christ.


  23. Bill says:

    Romans 8:30 , whom he predestined he called, whom he called he justified, whom he justified he glorified. Paul is addressing believers there, he’s talking about the justification of believers which occurs after the effectual call when they come to faith, and not at the time of the atonement. Not a single sinner was saved when Christ was raised from the dead. The atonement needs to be applied by faith and at the time the sinner comes to faith he’s born again, regenerated. Again Romans 8:30. This is what all the Reformers taught, and Barth and Torrance have departed from this teaching, and instead move the salvation of sinners into the atonement.


  24. Bobby Grow says:

    And this is where you just don’t understand Barth and Torrance who are most Reformed at this very juncture.


  25. Bill says:

    Explain that to me so that I can understand.


  26. Bobby Grow says:

    Nope, you are wrong!

    Plus you speak of faith as if it is a “thing” a created quality. This is not biblical but instead an imposition of substance metaphysics upon the Gospel. You need to take the log out of your own eye first. Plus you presume too much; you aren’t evidencing a real understanding of what Barth and Torrance think or teach.

    What does Torrance teach on active and passive obedience of Christ? I bet you don’t know. You don’t, if you did you wouldn’t keep making these charges that are ridiculous.

    And by the way Torrance holds to a carnal union and spiritual union; did you know that? Did you also know that Torrance holds to the ontological theory of the atonement; do you even know what that is? How about an anthropology? Torrance with the patristics believes that Christ is the imago Dei (Col 1:15) and that we are images of the image; which leads to his Reformed doctrine of theosis? Have you heard of that? I didn’t think so.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, Bill.


  27. Bobby Grow says:

    My motivation to explain anything to you is almost nil.

    I have a post on the translation of Galatians 2:20 which demonstrates that the proper translation is the subjective genetive of the faith of Christ: in other words the vicarious humanity of Christ. Plus there are multiple Pauline passages that refer to the atonement objectively in the perfect tense which completely undercuts your assertions about salvation in the past.


  28. Bill says:

    OK, can you put the link to your post on Galatians 2:20 so I can read it. And not to be prejudiced but again based on the brief summary you are going back to the faith of Christ, instead of our faith in Christ that God gives us at our conversion. This is not what Calvin and the Reformers taught. And also let me add from reading Torrance, it appears clearly that for Torrance man is united to Christ in the Incarnation that took place 2000 years ago. In the union of the human and the divine in the Person of Jesus Christ. Again this is totally to what Calvin and the Reformers taught that we are united to Christ through faith, our faith in Christ, when we believe that God is propitious to us for Christ’;s sake. You see for Calvin every man is born a sinner from his mother womb, we are conceived in Adam in the flesh. Nobody is united to Christ until the time at which they come to faith. While for Torrance and Barth the whole human race is in Christ, based on the objective work of Christ, whether they know it or not. For Calvin only those that know they are in Christ (those that have faith) and those alone are in Christ, the rest of mankind is in Adam. For Calvin most of mankind dies in Adam, only God’s remnant of believers die in Christ. For Barth and Torrance the whole human race is in Christ, the whole human race is forgiven. For Calvin only believers are forgiven, only the few men that profess Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This is why Barth and Torrance are in my opinion heretic.


  29. Bill says:

    OK, I get it that Galatians 2:20 speaks about our faith in Christ, Paul talks about his own faith, but of course he attributes it to Christ living in him. The holy spirit creates and sustains faith. But you see you go further and assert that it’s the faith of Christ, and you add the vicarious humanity of Christ. Totally disagree, in this case when Paul says Christ lives in him, he refers to the holy spirit pointing to Christ.- John 14:26 . But the problem is you seem to say it is the faith of the humanity of Christ ? That is totally unbiblical. First off Christ is both human and divine, two natures in one person. You can’t separate the humanity from the divine, so to say that the faith of the humanity of Christ is the faith of Galatians 2:20 is heretic in my view. Christ lives in us in the Spirit, not in its humanity. And the faith we have is a gift of the holy spirit, not the vicarious human faith of Christ. Which by the way it totally takes out the divine nature of Christ away. We should never speak of Christ as human, he’s always fully human and fully God.


  30. Bobby Grow says:

    Bill, this is going nowhere! I’ve read plenty plenty of Calvin etc. I don’t really care to engage with you any further at all. If you want to look at the millions of posts I have on all of this (on Calvin Barth and Torrance) you are welcome to. But as far as I can tell you have no real basis for believing Barth and Torrance are heretics, anymore than you are.


  31. Bobby Grow says:

    It is a matter of Greek grammar; you reject it all you like, but it is what it is. Plus you haven’t owned your own metaphysical baggage so at this point you are being disingenuous.


  32. Bill says:

    But forget about it, let’s assume you are referring to the faith of the Son of God, the faith of Christ (both his human and divine nature) acting vicariously for man. Still I would disagree because as I said it’s the holy spirit pointing to Christ, yes Christ lives in me through the spirit John 14:26 . And if we say that the holy spirit created that faith at conversion and sustains it during my christian life then I’m fine with it. The spirit lives in us and intercedes for us, points us to Christ, tells us how to pray etc. So yes everything gift I have is from God, I can’t boast, because i received from God. Faith being one of the chief gifts, and the spirit gives many other gifts, different gifts to different christians as Paul explains in his letter to the Corinthians and other letters as well. So if you say that faith in Christ is the gift of the holy spirit I agree 100 %. if you say it is the faith of the vicarious humanity of Christ I have a serious problem with it, because Christ in me as I said refers to the holy spirit that indwells me pointing towards the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ lives in me by faith (not the faith of the Incarnate Christ but my own faith in the Incarnate Christ), this faith is created and sustained by the holy spirit who points me to Christ and reminds me of his person and work.


  33. Bill says:

    OK you wrote a couple of posts while I was typing my last one that I missed. That’s fine you don’t want to engage. I brought up like too many points to prove Barth and Torrance are heretic. So from denying the inerrancy of scripture, to denying the historic Adam and the fall, Christ having a fallen nature, denial of natural revelation etc. I rest my case, you chose to counter none of them. I’m fine with it. Case closed. And I wish you the best with your blog and in your christian life. Also when I speak about heretic teachings, I do not necessarily mean these guys are not christians. i don’t know frankly, I have my doubts, but at the same time I have to give Barth and Torrance the benefit of the doubt. Only God knows their heart. Their theology or better said their head is messed up, but if their heart is right with God and if they have the gift of the holy spirit they are christian. As a matter of charity I owe them the benefit of the doubt, so I will never say Barth and Torrance aren’t christian. But I will affirm their theology is heresy and I’m confident I proved my point. You think I proved nothing, I’m fine with it. We agree to disagree, and call it a day. Best of luck with your blog and in your christian life. God bless.


  34. Bill says:

    OK, just read it
    Too many exegetical problems as I’ve pointed out in my last post, but even worse. Because Robert Walker that you quote says it’s the human faith of Christ the faith of Galatians 2:20. Awful exegesis, not only that but it takes the divine nature away from Christ, and talks about a human faith of Christ. To make matters worse if it is the faith of Christ, what is the object of that faith ? God the Father ? Or Christ himself ? if it’s God the Father then we are saved by faith in God the Father instead of Faith in Christ as scripture teaches. If it’s Christ it would be the faith of Christ that Christ has in himself, he would be the object of his own faith. Either way awful exegesis, as I said Christ lives in us by faith, our faith with Christ as the object. This is the only faith that justifies, which is created and sustained by the holy ghost, he holy ghost points as to Christ as the object of our faith.

    Let’s leave it at that I do not expect a reply but just wanted to let you know I found and read your blog article you had recommended and have issues with it which I just outlined.


  35. Bill says:

    And as I have also explained in an earlier post it’s impossible that it would be the faith of Christ, because Christ never believed that his sins were forgiven at the atonement. Christ was sinless and his faith can never save us. Because Christ was sinless he didn’t have faith in the forgiveness of his own sins. This is the whole problem with the vicarious humanity of Christ. Just like liberalism, they think that Christ was a man like us. For the liberal Christ is a moral example, for Torrance and Barth Christ can do what we have to do vicariously. Again Christ is not like us, he can not repent of sin, he can not trust in a Savior, Christ is the Savior himself. This is pure liberalism, where the humanity of Christ is compared to our humanity, what we are expected to do, repent and believe Christ can never do for us. Pefect obedience to the works of the law Christ can do and we can not do, repentance and faith is the opposite we can do (by the grace of regeneration) but Christ can never do because he was sinless.


  36. Bobby Grow says:


    You didn’t interact with the premiere NT Greek Grammarian of our day in that post, Daniel Wallace. This quote (and Wallace has no meat in the game on this either way, and yet this is his conclusion, with many other prominent NT Greek grammarians and commentators such as J. Louis Martyn, NT Wright, et al see Martyn’s commentary). But here is the quote from Wallace on this issue substantiating the old King James translation of Galatians 2:20 (which is just one example) as the subjective genetive:

    1) On behalf of the objective gen. view, it is argued that pistis in the NT takes an objective gen. when both nouns are anarthrous; it takes a subjective gen. when both are articular. In response, the data need to be skewed in order for this to have any weight: most of the examples have a possessive pronoun for the gen., which almost always requires the head noun to have an article. Further, all of the pistis Christou texts are in prepositional phrases (where the object of the preposition, in this case pistis, is typically anarthrous). Prepositional phrases tend to omit the article, even when the object of the preposition is definite. The grammatical arguement for the objective gen., then, has little to commend it.

    2) On behalf of the subjective gen. view, it is argued that “Pistis followed by the personal genetive is quite rare; but when it does appear it is almost always followed by the non-objective genetive. . . .” This has much more going for it, but still involves some weaknesses. These are two or three clear instances of pistis + objective personal gen. in the NT (Mark 11:22; Jas 2:1; Rev 2:13), as well as two clear instance involving an impersonal gen. noun (Col 2:12; 2 Thess 2:13). Nevertheless, the predominant usage in the NT is with a subjective gen. Practically speaking, if the subjective gen. view is correct, these texts (whether pistis is translated “faith” or “faithfulness”) argue against “an implicitly docetic Christology.” Further, the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb pisteuw rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful. Although the issue is not to be solved via grammar, on balance grammatical considerations seem to be in favor of the subjective gen. view. (Daniel B. Wallace, “Greek Grammar Beyond The Basics,” 115-16)

    Just because this does not jive with your metaphysics and exegetical conclusions does not make it unsound. So far you have not even demonstrated that you are aware of your own informing theology and commitments; the ones that serve as the basis for your exegetical conclusions.

    You’ll have to read TFT’s Incarnation & Atonement (two volumes). The Mediation while good, will not cut it if you are going to really grasp where TFT is coming from. Plus, many classically Reformed theologians (such as William B. Evans) of today are highly appreciative of TFT’s stuff (even if TFT is critical of the foundations of classical theism and Reformed theology/Federal Theology).

    But you are gliding too quickly, and it seems you have already concluded something about Torrance and Barth w/o actually having spending the necessary requisite time.

    This commentary


  37. Bill says:

    Thanks Bobby for recommending the book Incarnation and Atonement. But you know I thought this further, is there any passage of scripture that said Christ had faith ? Did Christ live by faith ? I don’t think so. I believe Christ did not have faith in God, because he was God. God can not have faith in himself. You see, I can’t find anywhere in the gospels where it is taught that Christ lived by faith. Christ performed all the miracles by the power of God, he didn’t need to have faith. Christ demanded faith in God from his followers, but he didn’t have faith himself. He knew he was God with certainty, he had seen the Father. But the definition of faith in the book of Hebrews 11:! is
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” But Christ saw the Father and he obviously saw himself, so Christ had no faith in God. Because faith is evidence of things not seen but Christ saw the father. So Christ had no faith in the Father, He and the Father were one. Faith is something that fallen humans have, once we are risen with new bodies we will not have faith either because at that time we will see the Father. So Galatians 2:20 can never refer to the faith of Christ because Christ had no faith in God, he was God. Now when his disciples couldn’t do something, he would tell them that they had little faith, but when Christ performed miracles himself he never did them by faith, he did them by the power of God. Faith is only a requirement for fallen human beings, but Christ had no need for faith and he had no faith. Neither before nor during the Incarnation or now that he’s ascended to heaven Christ never had faith.


  38. Bill says:

    Just found a catholic link further to my last post. Thomas Aquinas and the church all through history taught that Jesus had no faith in the Father. Jesus had no faith in God whatsoever. So there you have it another heresy of Torrance, in his book the mediation of Christ, he talks about Christ’s perfect faith in the father. while historic christianity teaches Jesus had no faith


  39. Bobby Grow says:

    You aren’t getting it, Bill. You are special pleading, naively referring to your own metaphysic when coming to the Bible, and appealing to a kind of solo scriptura. You aren’t grasping what the doctrine of the vicarious humanity is; you aren understanding what the unio personalis is in the hypostatic Union of Christ; you aren’t getting the idea of mediated humanity; you aren’t getting the idea that Jesus as the image of God is the ontic ground of all humanity; you aren’t getting the radical implications of a Barthian election; and so you just aren’t getting it. You continue to make these facile biblicist appeals, and yet you are unable to self-critically grasp that you also hold to a metaphysic that is not “biblical” and thus you read the Bible uncritically evidenced by your continued mantra of “that’s not what the Bible says” when you should be saying that’s not what my theological commitments say.

    This is done.


  40. Bobby Grow says:

    On your logic and the way you appeal to scripture we would never be able to arrive at the grammar of the Trinity, because based on your way of appeal to the Bible the “Trinity” is not in the Bible either.

    Okay, that’s my last word with you on this.


  41. Bill says:

    The refutation of your interpretation of Galatians 5:20 from here

    There is a rumor that Christ needed to have faith in God like we have faith.

    The rumors are false.

    The Lord Jesus Christ did not need an ounce of faith in God. He was God.

    Faith is what men possess when they hear the word of truth and believe it (Rom 10:17). Faith is not needed by the one man who is the Truth (John 14:6).

    Men must have faith in the truth, but Christ was the truth.

    Before men hear the truth and believe it, they do not have faith, and do not know the truth.

    When people require Christ to have faith (faith and faithfulness are not the same) they are diminishing the truth found in Christ.

    There was never a time when Jesus was not full of truth (John 1:14). Truth came by Jesus not to him like it did other men (John 1:17).

    Christ did not need faith. Christ is the object of faith (John 14:1).

    Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). There are plenty of things men do not see. That is why they need faith to believe them.

    There is nothing the Word cannot see (Heb 4:13; 1 Cor 4:5).

    Christ did not need faith in anything. He knew the truth, was the truth, and performed according to the truth.

    Faith of Christ vs. Faith in Christ

    The idea of Christ having faith comes from the phrase in the Bible “the faith of Christ”.

    The phrase “faith of Christ” does not describe the faith that Christ had in God. The meaning of the phrase is found in Phil 3:9:

    “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” – Phil 3:9
    The faith of Christ is what God made available for justification: righteousness by faith (Rom 3:22).

    The faith of Christ is different than having faith in Christ.

    Faith in Christ describes a person who hears the gospel and believes it. They have faith in Christ unto salvation.

    It finds meaning in verses like Eph 1:13:

    “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” – Eph 1:13
    After they heard about the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith, they put their faith in Christ.

    The faith of Christ and having faith in Christ are different. Passages like Rom 3:22 and Gal 2:16 make this clear, but neither phrase describes Christ putting faith in the truth like we must. He was the truth.

    I put my faith in the Lord who does not need faith in the truth or in God, because he was both.

    Christ did not need faith. Men do.


  42. Bobby Grow says:

    Your error leads from Docetism, Bill. Remember we affirm they the Son was both God and human. Your whole premise presumes that he was really just God and that his humanity was swallowed up.

    You need to have a bigger appreciation for the role mediation. The early Christians did, they called it theosis.


  43. Bobby Grow says:

    And that article is so cheesy and simplistic it isn’t worthwhile.

    This is exactly what you are missing. Torrance isn’t saying that the Son needs faith to be the Son Torrance (along with Athanasius) are saying that in Christ’s humanity he did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. And thus with his life as the ontological ground of all of humanity, all of humanity has the capacity (because of Christ’s humanity for us) to have faith and trust in Godself all the way down. Torrance isn’t saying that we have no personal responsibility instead he his noting that we do and that because God is love we can actually respond, and need to, because Christ first responded for us when we couldn’t (which emphasizes total depravity). You’re way off in your understanding Bill, and you are actually arguing not against Torrance but a caricature and straw man of your own making!


  44. Bill says:

    Even in his incarnation Christ was God in the flesh. He was God that came in form of man, but he was always God. But Christ never assumed the fallen nature of man, even when he was man he did not have a sinful or adamic nature. This is not docetism, this is what traditional historic chrsitianity, whether reformed, arminian, lutheran, roman catholic, or orthodox. A Christ with a fallen nature is the problem of the theology of Barth and Torrance. Don’t try to charge all of christianity with docetism, when Barth and Torrance should be charged with the heresy of humanizing Gold instead of teaching that God is holy and with a sinless nature, both his human and divine nature are not fallen like man’s nature. Christ was like man except that he didn’t have a sinful or fallen nature.


  45. Bill says:

    Because a sinful or fallen nature can do nothing but sin and needs redemption. Christ had no fallen nature, was in no need of redemption. He was the Redeemer.The more I think about this doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ, the more heretic I find it.


  46. Bill says:

    But be that as it may, I now realize I haven’t pointed out one other big heresy. Universal election. Orthodox christianity always taught the narrow way. Few are saved, and they are called the elect or the church. it is not all of Israel as Torrance teaches in his little book the mediation of Christ, but the children of the promise as Paul mentions in Romans 9:8, Galatians 4:28, Hebrews 9:15, Romans 8:30 .The doctrine of election is the gospel according to Barth and Torrance, well guess what Barth and Torrance got it wrong. So wrong that a kid in kindergarden can notice, it took a couple of sentences in this post to prove the whole doctrine of election of Barth and Torrance wrong.


  47. Bill says:

    it does not matter whether roman catholic, arminian, lutheran, eastern orthodox, calvinist they all deny the universal election of all men. Orthodox christianity may disagree whether election is conditional or unconditional but they all agree that only the church, the body of believers in Christ are the elect as I proved from scripture in my last short post. Barth and Torrance are heterodox or heretic how you prefer as it regards the doctrine of election. Barth and Torrance are alone with no support from historic orthodox christianity and no support from scripture as I quoted in my short post just before this one, universal election is just a fancy of their imagination.


  48. Bobby Grow says:

    Bill, you haven’t proven anything other than that you don’t understand Barth and Torrance.

    Orthodox Christianity never has known of the kind of election you hold to in its post Reformed scholastic form. Bill you should just stop.


  49. Bobby Grow says:

    Eh, you don’t know the history obviously. You haven’t proven anything from scripture … this is all getting silly at this point, Bill.

    And I still haven’t even really taken you to task.


  50. Bill says:

    The elect are those few men that enter through the narrow way. This is not reformed scholasticism. Lutheranism teaches particular unconditional election. Arminius teaches a particular conditional election (the elect are those that God foresees will have faith). No orthodox christian theologian ever taught universal election. The elect are a small number of men, not the whole human race according to historic orthodox christianity. Universal election is a 20th century innovation from Barth and destroys the exclusivity of the gospel. The elect are those that are effectually called and none other, very few men out of the vast mass of sinners are chosen, many are called but few are chosen like Romans 9:8, Galatians 4:28, Hebrews 9:15, Romans 8:30 .


  51. Bill says:

    And that’s the key the exclusivity of the gospel, the unconditional promises of the gospel are for believers only. Like John 3:16 , Mark 16:16 , Romans:8:1 , Romans 8:28 , 2 Corinthians 2:16 , John 1:12 . And so many other passages, the whole bible is an unconditional promise of salvation to the believer, a promise of damnation to the unbeliever, or put it another way when the gospel is preached to the whole world it is conditional on faith. There are no unconditional promises of salvation in the bible that cover every single man, because God never promised unconditional salvation to every man, otherwise he would have saved them. But God promised unconditional salvation to very few men ( Matthew 7:14 ), promised damnation to the majority of mankind ( Matthew 7:13 ) .


  52. Bill says:

    God has married his church (the few men out of the whole human race that believe in Jesus Christ). God has no relationship with the rest of the world. He offers the forgiveness of sin to all men, but only forgives those that believe in His name. This is why the gospel can be compared to marriage, the relationship of Christ and his church to the husband and wife. Even though the call of the gospel is universal to all men, salvation does not happen until man accepts the the offer of the gospel. Let me elaborate below.

    Let’s say a wealthy prince that owns the whole country sees a a destitute woman on the street that has nothing, she’s ugly, old, broke, sick, and ready to die. And he tells her I will marry you. And you will get all my wealth, and not only that I will rejuvenate you and you shall never die. When the prince tells the woman I will marry you, and promises her I will marry you, I ask has the marriage taken place ? No. Has the prince made to the woman an unconditional promise of marriage ? Yes. But until the woman says yes she’s not his bride. The same thing with the call of the gospel, it promises the forgiveness of sin (I will marry you), but sins are not forgiven until man accepts the promise (the destitute woman says yes to the marriage offer). So the forgiveness of sin take place at the point a man comes to faith and not at the atonement, so the sins of most men are not forgiven. He that believes will be saved, he that doesn’t believe will be damned. Very few men have their sins forgiven because very few men believe the gospel. The atonement work of Christ is God revealing to all men that he will forgive their sins, it is the promise of the gospel, but he has not forgiven the sins of anybody. God says I will marry you to the whole world. But the woman does not become his bride until she says yes. So at that point in time the forgiveness of sin takes place.

    Another example would be the purchase of a house. The buyier (God) makes an unconditional offer (not subject to financing approval, not subject to a home inspection, there are no conditions attached) to buy a house, not only that but God also makes a down payment for the full value of the house ! Now has the house been purchased ? No, but an unconditional offer with a full down payment has been made. The money still belongs to the buyer (God) until the seller accepts the offer and transfers possession of the house to the buyer. The same thing is with the atonement, although God made payment and full satisfaction for the sins of all mankind, this payment is still with God and the money has not been transferred to any man. Only when man believes the gospel he receives the payment from God. But there is no transfer of money, there is no payment for sin, until man believes. The atonement is just like the down payment for a house, the seller does not receive his money until he transfers possession of the house, the sinner does not receive forgiveness of sin until he accepts the offer of the gospel. Not even the sins of the elect are paid until the elect accept the offer of the gospel by faith, only at that time are they reconciled to God and their sins forgiven. This is the article of justification by faith that orthodox christianity affirms. Barth and Torrance teach a forgiveness of sin that took place universally for all men 2000 years ago, this is not the gospel, the gospel is to preach the promise of the remission of sins to all men promiscuously but the gospel is not to preach that the remission of sins has already been accomplished. The seller does not get his money (the downpayment God made at the atoning sacrifice of his son) until he repents (transfers his house and gives possession of it to God).


  53. Bill says:

    So we can fairly say that salvation is unconditional, the forgiveness of sin is unconditional. Like an unconditional marriage offer from a man to a destitute woman, or an unconditional offer to purchase a home. There are no conditions for both parites, God doesn’t need to meet any conditions and man doesn’t need to meet any conditions. With that said the contract requires to be agreed to or signed by two parties. God as sealed this contract with the blood of his son. It is now up to man to accept the contract. If man rejects the blood of the covenant he will be damned. So salvation (like a marriage or the sale of a house) depends on the bride accepting or the seller accepting the unconditional offer of the buyer. So the offer of salvation or the forgiveness of sin is waiting for man’s acceptance to become a binding contract. There is no remission of sin outside of faith, outside of man saying yes, the atonement death of Christ offers the remission of sins freely to all mankind but it does not remit the sins of any until man accepts the offer.


  54. Bill says:

    And we can easily see how all the errors are related to the doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ, including universal election. The covenant of grace as understood by Barth and Torrance is that Christ as the representative of the human grace satisfied all of the requirements of the covenant. But as I proved he has not. A covenant has two signatories, Christ’s shed blood is God’s signature, now sinful man has to sign the covenant and do what Christ never did for man, repent and believe. The classic Reformers understood this very well, they knew Christ never satisfied on behalf of mankind the covenant grace. Christ was not a representative of humanity that acted vicariously and relieved ,man of all responsibility. The covenant of grace for the reformers had the following to aspects:

    1) God’s atoning sacrifice
    2) Mans’ receiving Christ by faith. The effectual call.

    Because only few men out of the whole human race are effectually called, the covenant of grace although offered to all men (the death of Christ is sufficient for all,,promises pardon for the sins of all mankind) is only accepted by faith by very few men (the death of Christ is efficient for the small number of the elect alone, very few men are effectually called by God through the preaching of the gospel). Many are called but few are cholen (elected). Although Christ died for all men, very few men believe it. John 5:24 , teaches that when a man believes in Christ the has passed from death unto life, i.e. when the sinner is effectually called and believes the gospel. This is the covenant of grace, which demands faith. So Christ has not done it all, Chris has not satisfied vicariously at his atoning death for all sins of all men. The condition of unbelief needs to be removed by the effectual call, salvation needs to be received. Calvinism teaches that Christ satisfied the law of works, so that no works are required for salvation. But Christ has not satisfied for the Law of Faith. Romans 3:27 talks about the difference between the Law of Works which Christ satisfied fully for man so that no man should boast, and the Law of Faith which Christ has not satisfied for man and man needs to still satisfy but can never boast. Faith is the essential element and the obedience of faith is required of man, Christ has not vicariously repented and believed for man.

    Barth and Torrance completely misunderstood the covenant of grace and taught that Christ as a representative of mankind vicariously satisfied the covenant of grace. No, Christ did not satisfy, he established the covenant, the New Testament that requires two signatories. Christ has signed by his own blood, now man needs to sign by his own faith (be effectually called) in order to be justified.

    Does Christ save as Barth and Torrance teach ? No, if we don’t have faith. Does food save a man from starvation ? No if he does not eat it. But the natural man knows that he needs food, so he will never starve. But the natural man does not know that the gospel saves him, he does not understand the things of the spirit 1 Corinthians 2:14, so even though Christ is preached to him he does not believe it. So without faith he perishes in unbelief. Like a man who refuses to eat food will starve to death, so a man who refuses to eat the bread of life dies eternally. So Christ does not save contrary to what Barth and Torrance teach, his atoning death does not save, unless man believes it in faith. Christ did not vicariously atoned for the sin of unbelief, the doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ is a false doctrine. And this is the same conclusion that I proved earlier in a different way, that Chris never had faith and because he was sinless he never repented, so Christ did not satisfy for the obedience of faith at Calvary. This is the application of the atonement which is necessary for salvation and God satisfies for man at the effectual call, but did not satisfy at Calvary. it belongs to the doctrine of regeneration and or justification by faith. Again the covenant of grace has two aspects as I mentioned and explained:

    1) the atoning work of Christ at Calvary
    2) the effectual call, the new birth or regeneration

    And although Christ satisfied for the first fully by obeying the law of works and shedding his blood for all mankind, very few are effectually called, only those predestined in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, the elect are very few men out of the whole mass of sinners, a small percentage of the whole human race are the elect. Barth and Torrance had a completely messed up understanding of the covenant of grace and election.

    I have now completely dismantled with scripture the philosophy of man, the thinking of Karl Barth and Thomas Torrance. They never checked their philosophy with scripture and didn’t believe in the inerrancy of scripture. Their teaching is nothing else than repackaged humanism with Christ added to it. That said I am not passing judgment as to their salvation, they may have trusted in Christ for salvation and be in heaven now, only God knows. But their theological wreck will lead many men to damnation.


  55. Bill says:

    And it is also possible, though I do not affirm it, that Barth and Torrance trusted that Christ did things that Christ never did. So if Barth and Torrance did not repent, and trusted in Christ’s repentance, then they have perished. But I don’t know their hearts, so I will never affirm this. Their heart may have been right with God, while their head (their theology) wrong, but in that case they would still be saved. But a lot of things, which I mentioned in my posts raise doubts, just too much false doctrine that does not match scripture.


  56. Bill says:

    And there is another thing that I forgot, Barth and Torrance do not divide the word of God properly. They do not preach Law and Gospel. The law is included in the gospel but never preached separate from the gospel in order that sinners would be made aware of their lost condition. Don’t get me wrong they do preach the law but only as part of the gospel and after they preach the gospel. This is a serious doctrinal error as well, since man is born in Adam and under the law and condemned, this needs to be preached first. So that man is aware of his lost condition. Christ did not come to save those that do not need a physician. I am going to leave it at this, maybe I need to write a book about Barth ! There is so much bad teaching that it takes too long, and when you think you have them all, you realize you missed another heresy. But anyhow, look at the epistle of the Romans and the order, Paul starts with the Law in Romans 1 and 2, then justification in chapters 3, 4, and 5, and then sanctification in chapter 6. But the right order of doctrine is to preach the Law as Paul does first to leave every sinner condemned by it and to show the condition the sinner is in and his desperate need for redemption. Barth is to blame for the soft preaching on sin in churches that have embraced his doctrine, like some of the liberal presbyterian synods in the US>


  57. Bobby Grow says:

    What a waste of time, Bill.


Comments are closed.