Tuesday, October 07, 2008


To respond to Dustin's comment on the previous post, here are some references to participation that I've gleaned from Torrance--on knowledge of God, conversion, and the church:
Regarding knowledge of God, “we know that we cannot attribute it to ourselves and know that we can only say something of how it arises by referring beyond ourselves to God's acts upon us—i.e. though it is our knowledge of Him, it is explicable only from the side of God as freely given participation in His self-knowledge. The epistemological relevance of the Holy Spirit lies in the dynamic and transformal aspects of this knowledge.” God and Rationality, 166.

He says that “in and through the Holy Spirit . . . God imparts himself to us in Christ in such a way as to lift us up to share in the Communion of Life and Love which God is in his own eternal Being.” He continues, “It is as Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit mutually mediate one another to us that our knowing of God is not confined to the objectified form of his self-revelation and self-communication but in and through it is made to terminate upon the transcendent Reality of God the Father.” Reality and Scientific Theology, 186.

“Human society cannot be transmuted into an authentic community of personal being merely through a redisposition of its diseased in-turned structures, for that cannot offset the steady disintegration and fragmentation that result from the conflict of group-egoisms so evident in our modern world. It is the conviction of the Christian faith that such a transmutation can take place only through the reconciliation of people with God and with one another and through a healing of personal and inter-personal structures in their ontological depths through participation in the creative source and fullness of personal being in the Communion of the Holy Trinity. Human beings need to be turned inside out in a profound inversion of their self-centredness and to be anchored in a transcendent centre of Love in God if they are to be persons freely open to one another and the universe which God has created.” Ibid., 197.

He talks about a “two-way movement in the realizing of divine revelation: from God to us and from us to God.” The church is “the Body of Christ, entrusted with the Word of God and commissioned to bear witness to the unique self-revelation of God to humankind as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The very existence and continuity of the church are thus inseparably bound up with the triune self-revealing and self-naming of God sealed upon it and all its constituent members in holy baptism.” For the church, then, “It is with this knowledge of God mediated to us in history through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments that we may now participate in the two-way movement from God to humankind and from humankind to God and thus continue to be in dialogue with him.” The church is “a community of reciprocity between humankind and himself, within which he continues to speak to us and make himself known.” “The Christian Apprehension of God the Father,” in Speaking the Christian God: The Holy Trinity and the Challenge of Feminism, ed. Kimel, 122-23.

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