T. F. Torrance as Missional Theologian
Christ has ascended. Yet his work continues.
Much has been made of a "missional" view of the church in recent theological literature, but largely overlooked in this discussion has been the contribution that T. F. Torrance, the late Church of Scotland minister and theologian, can make to this discussion. Addressing this lacuna, theologian and pastor Joseph Sherrard considers how Torrance's theology can inform the church's understanding of its ministry and mission—in particular, his appeal to the church's participation in the ascended Christ's threefold office as king, prophet, and priest.
Through the ministry of the church, Christ is still at work.
"T. F. Torrance's theology is currently attracting a growing volume of literature, and rightly so. This book makes a major contribution to that corpus. Intellectually rigorous and highly readable, the study Sherrard has given us shows well how the implications of Torrance's work extend much further than we might initially think. Highly recommended."
"Reflecting upon the recent turn to missional theology, Sherrard brings to the discussion the resources of Christian dogmatics, mediated through the work of T. F. Torrance. The practical and evangelical aspects of Torrance's work have often been overlooked. Sherrard corrects this imbalance and shows how a well-considered systematic theology has a lot to offer the missional conversation. Theologians have always thought they had something worthwhile to offer the church, and Sherrard shows this to be the case by drawing out of Torrance's corpus the red thread of missional theology. This is a theological manifesto, of sorts, for missional theology, and one which retrieves Torrance as a missional theologian par excellence. This work will have wide appeal across denominational and theological divides."
"Missional theology can benefit from engaging the work of the Reformed theologian Thomas F. Torrance, and the theology of Torrance demands perceptive analysis. Joseph Sherrard serves us well by providing both for the introduction of Torrance to missional thought and then also a critical examination of ways in which Torrance's theology should be refined. In so doing, a host of key ideas are put to work in the missional conversation, including the ascension, the threefold office of Christ and the church's participation therein, and apostolicity. Sherrard moves the missional conversation quite a way forward by beginning the examination several theological steps back, not simply with church and mission but ultimately with the triune God of the gospel. Conversant with cultural and churchly trends, patient in its exposition, critical without being censorious, biblical and historical in its orientation, Reformed and yet appreciatively catholic, this is a wise book and a great guide for thinking about mission in theological terms."
"Throughout T. F. Torrance's corpus, he draws on the resources of systematic theology to inform the church's mission. Employing Torrance as a neglected conversation partner in missional theology, Joseph Sherrard encourages us to faithfully reconnect theology and mission, holding together the God who acts with the church's witness in this world. From the Trinity to the munus triplex of Christ, from the Lord's Supper to the church's relations to the state, Sherrard helps us see how Torrance's objective realism provides an abundance of fresh insight for the life and mission of the church. Since we are far too often tempted to reduce missional theology to mere sociological observation, this is a timely and needed work."
"Joseph H. Sherrard's T. F. Torrance as Missional Theologian delivers on its title's promise. By engaging one of the late-twentieth-century's leading theologians, Dr. Sherrard not only fills a lacuna in missional theology but also presents a compelling reading of Torrance's entire theological project. Sherrard demonstrates that Torrance's corpus can be read in light of his deep-seated and long-standing missional concern to evangelize the entire culture. This fine study will naturally be of interest to theologians and students of Torrance. But it will also be of value to pastor theologians and other thoughtful practitioners who want better to understand the theological dimensions of the church's mission in the world—and God's work in that mission. Highly recommended!"
"Anyone who wants to think intentionally and theologically about the present and future work of the church will find this work to be an asset. Sherrard brings Torrance, the missional church movement, and Jesus' threefold office as prophet, priest, and king into dynamic conversation, all with an eye toward effective ministry in a post-Christian world."
Foreword by Alan Torrance
Introduction: T. F. Torrance as a Missional Theologian
1. Dualism and the Doctrine of God: T. F. Torrance's Trinitarian Theology and the Gospel Within Western Culture
2. The Lord of Mission: The Threefold Office and Ascension of Jesus Christ
3. The Mission of the Body of Christ: Ecclesiology, Mission, and the Deposit of Faith
4. The Ministry of the Ascended Lord: The Church's Participation in Christ's Kingly Office
5. The Ministry of the Ascended Lord: The Church's Participation in Christ's Prophetic and Priestly Offices