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Published in the Evangelical Quarterly, 73 no 1 Ja 2001, p 59-75.


Karl Barth is widely noted for his antipathy to all forms of natural theology. Indeed, the results of Barth’s Christocentricity have made his name synonymous with the negation of all divine revelation apart from Christ, the one Word of God. if this is so, then the theology of Thomas Torrance, as a highly significant development of Barth’s thought and as vitally concerned with proper natural theology (in dialogue with the physical sciences), becomes a questionable enterprise. This article examines this question and concludes that, while Torrance clearly goes beyond Barth, he is faithful to subthemes in Barth’s theology relating to ‘natural theology’, making explicit and bringing to prominence streams of Barthian thought often left unnoticed.