Journal for Christian Theological Research


The existence of evil and suffering is one of the great challenges to belief in a good and all-powerful God. How can we believe in all honesty? Building upon Karl Barth's argument that providence should proceed from Christology, this article considers the biblical emphasis of what T.F. Torrance has called the vicarious humanity of Christ. This means that Christ in his humanity believes when we find it difficult, if not impossible, to believe, especially when it comes to facing human suffering. Jesus lived a life of perfect faith in, worship of, and service to the Father, even at the cross, yet still believed in the providence of God. His belief is not simply a model of faith, but it is also vicarious faith. He believed (and believes) for us, as our representative, and in our place, as our substitute. The Son believed in the providence of the Father, as difficult as that is to do in a world of evil and suffering, so that we might believe as well.