The Place of Jesus Christ in Worship

The Rev J B Torrance, MA, BD, Lecturer in Divinity and Dogmatics, New College, University of Edinburgh

J B Torrance offers a comprehensive theology of worship which focuses up on the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ who calls the people of God to be a royal priesthood, whereby we identify with Christ and participate in the ministry of intercession and offer spiritual sacrifices. Within this approach; Jesus is identified as ‘the One True Worshipper’ whose worship is mediatory, thereby enabling us to worship by grace in and through his worship. In seeking to answer the question: ‘What then is Christian Worship?’ Torrance contends that: ‘In her worship, the Church recapitulates the History of Salvation…Worship is the Epiphany of the Church…The Church in her worship foreshadows the Judgement and the Renewal of the world.’ Thus, the language of worship has a ‘three-fold reference’. 1) A reference which ‘factual’ and ‘denotative’, with respect to the Trinity. 2) A reference which is ‘formal, coherent, connotative [and] syntactical’, with respect to the choice of language in worship. A reference which is ‘subjective [and] existential’, with respect to the expression of the ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ in the worship of the Church. Torrance’s theology is particularly dependent upon the Biblical theology expressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Volume 40 1970, p41