creation, incarnation & dualism

T. F. Torrance, a modern theological heavyweight, lays great emphasis upon the Incarnation—God become man—as the key to Christian theology. Torrance asserts that true Christian theology, to be correct, cannot distinguish between God’s act and God’s person. His act and person are identical! To distinguish the two leads to a dangerous dualism that is one of Christian theology’s worst and most frequent and prevalent error. Torrance writes that even though creation is an act of God, it doesn’t convey his person because it is distinct from God. He created it to be distinct from him. Romans emphasizes that even though we can detect God in creation, we cannot know him. It is because it is distinct from his person. Torrance writes:

“It therefore follows that ‘nothing but God Himself in Person will suffice to bridge the gulf between man and God.’ Creation and providence alike are to be seen as acts of God in which ‘God does not actually convey Himself’”.

I do not pretend to understand this fully, but I know it is important and needs to be understood. I think Torrance is right—we have been seriously infected with Christianity’s worst error: dualism. More to come.

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  • Wendy

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say on this subject.

  • Fred

    Hmmm…my first thought is that this is wrong. God DOES convey himself through providence and creation. It seems that to argue OTHERWISE is dualism.

    Maybe I’ll think about it some more…

  • Wendy: do stay tuned. I honestly feel this in an important issue! In fact, it centers on the divinity of Christ.
    Fred: God does convey himself through creation, but not PERSONALLY. You are conveyed through your children (if you have children). But you are not conveyed PERSONALLY through them. I can get very accurate ideas about what you may be like through your kids, but I can never KNOW you personally through your kids.

  • Fred

    Okay, you added “personally”; the original quote doesn’t say that.

  • Fred: “it doesn’t convey his person” I think means “personally”. That’s what I meant by it. thanks.