The concept of the vicarious humanity of Christ in the theology of Thomas Forsyth Torrance
This study is an attempt to show that the heart of Torrance's theology is the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ. It is this vicarious humanity understood in the light of the incarnation of the Word that prescribes to Christian theology "both its matter and its content". Because God in his lordly freedom has chosen the way of the incarnation, Jesus Christ the incarnate Word is the one and only ontological ground of our being reconciled to God, our knowing of him, and our response to him. Against the dualist framework of much of modern christology which tries to distinguish between a Chirst of faith and a Jesus of history, Torrance emphasises a unitary approach which takes together both the theological Jesus and the historical Jesus in order that we may truly understand' him out of his own intrinsic significance. This unitary approach is indebted to the Judaeo-Christian tradition of the Scriptures. Indeed, any understanding of Jesus Christ is bound to be a distortion when severed from the witness of the Jews and of the apostles. Above all, Israel the Jews constitute the pre-history of the incarnation and Christ the Jew their Texos, Furthermore, the unitary approach implies that we have to take the very-God and very-man of Christ seriously in his one incarnate reality. In this God-man Jesus Christ, we have a true Mediator between God and man. Because Jesus Christ is [text unavailable] with the Father, he does not simply communicate something of God but is himself the self-communication of God, he is not merely the way to salvation but is the Life and the Resurrection. On the other hand, because Jesus Christ is truly man, he assumes our adamic nature unto himself, sanctifies and restores it in himself so that we may now be lifted up in the Spirit and participate in his new humanity. To truly adhere to the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ as the ontological ground of our faith is to really believe in the sheer Grace of God. Furthermore, this applies not only to our knowledge of God and our redemption in him, but applies as much to our very Christian living and response to God. We can have no faith, no conversion, no worship that is acceptable in the sight of the Father except when our response is graciously gathered up by Christ, the substitutionary and representative Man, in his one and only vicarious Response to God.