Review: T.F. Torrance: Atonement, The Person and Work of Christ

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T.F. Torrance is one of the most readable Reformed scholars who brings to to the table Christian Tradition, conservative scholarship, and rich theological insight and relates the deep things of God with clarity, warmth, and easy so that whether you are an experienced theologian or a lay reader, he doesn’t disappoint. Critiquing Torrance is like critiquing Calvin or Wesley; however, I want to present a view of his second volume.

Posthumously compiled by his nephew, Robert T. Walker, the reader now has access to two compendiums of Torrance’s theology. His first volume, on the Incarnation, serves as a stepping stone to the delivering of the theology of the Atonement. Both are rich and well presented, tackling two of the most beloved and debated dogmatic points in Christianity.

The reader is not simply told what to believe, but taken through a journey of Atonement, beginning with the Old Testament and examining the event with the Hebrews. He explores the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, touching on the sacraments, eschatology, and the knowledge of God through the Son. The atonement in the New Testament is handled in his superb style, extending his work on the Incarnation into the community of Christ, the one Church of God in Jesus Christ. Masterfully written, and divided into easily readable sections, the volume contains much of the lacking theological speculation and hard work which the broader Church needs today. Torrance pulls no punches, tackling hyper-Calvinism, universalism, and Arminianism without ad hominems, straw mans or other personal jabs. Instead, he lays out their position and responds with at theological answer.

If a one reads Torrance objectively, the deep beauty of his picture of the Grace of God and the marvelous saving work of Jesus Christ comes through as does his own love for these subjects. It is not merely for the Reformed, but so too for all Christians for which Torrance has devoted his theological life to.

I would like to thank IVP-Academic for this review copy.

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