When the Nicene Creed affirms that the eternal Son of God “for us and for our salvation came down from heaven,” it asserts that God Himself is actively present within the space and time of our world. The philosophical problems that this involves are bound up with Christian theology, and form the subject of this book.
Professor Torrance begins with a critique of modern Protestant thinking, and proceeds to examine the place of spatial and temporal elements in basic theological concepts. He then offers a positive account of the relation of the incarnation to space and time. While related to the work of the great theologians of the past, this study is also supremely relevant to theological thinking in this age of science.
“Thus it is the faith and understanding of the Christian Church that in Jesus Christ God Himself in His own Being has come into our world and is actively present as personal Agent within our physical and historical existence. As both God of God and Man of man Jesus Christ is the actual Mediator between God and man and man and God in all things, even in regard to space-time relations. He constitutes in Himself the rational and personal Medium in whom God meets man in his creaturely reality and brings man without, having to leave his creaturely reality, into communion with Himself.” (Page 52)
“The incarnation means that He by whom all things are comprehended and contained by assuming a body made room for Himself in our physical existence, yet without being contained, confined or circumscribed in place as in a vessel. He was wholly present in the body and yet wholly present everywhere, for He became man without ceasing to be God.” (Page 13)
“Anselm, Duns Scotus, Pascal and Karl Barth. This is the view that the structures of space and time are created forms of rationality to be distinguished from the eternal rationality of God.” (Pages 64–65)
“to examine the place of spatial and temporal ingredients in basic theological concepts and statements” (Page v)
“The coming of the Son of God into space and time may be regarded as His entry into a finite receptacle” (Page 62)