PT Forsyth in Japan: フォーサイス神学概論―十字架の神学

It’s very exciting to see Hiroshi Ōmiya’s edition and translation of Justice the True and Only Mercy: Essays on the Life and Theology of Peter Taylor Forsyth (originally edited by Trevor Hart), which includes an additional essay by Jim Gordon. The presence of this volume recalls a small but unabated interest among Japanese theologians in Forsyth’s work. This interest stretches back to at least the time of the Great War and is represented, for example, in the work of people like Hiromichi Kozaki and Takakura Tokutaro, and in the Forsyth Society (Tokyo) who published 35 volumes of studies on Forsyth’s theology between 1932 and 1935, and in Ōmiya Hiroshi’s biography on Forsyth published as Fōsaisu Shohan (Hito to shisō shirīzu; Tōkyō: Nihon Kirisuto Kyōdan Shuppanbu, 1965), and in published essays by Masaichi Takemori (‘Scottish Theology and the Church and Theology in Japan’, Theological Studies in Japan 14 (1975), pp. 16–17, 161–77) and Yutaka Morishima (‘God’s Holiness in P.T. Forsyth: through influence [sic] of R.W. Dale’, Theological Studies in Japan 46 (2007), pp. 101–18). Also, I understand that Kaneko Keiichi, of Rikkyo University (Tokyo), is currently supervising a doctoral dissertation on Forsyth. (BTW. If any readers of Per Crucem ad Lucem know anything about this latter project, or the contact details of the student and/or supervisor, I’d really appreciate knowing more about this.)

I hope at some stage to post more about the reception of Forsyth’s theology in Japan; it’s a fascinating story. But for now, I simply wanted to draw attention to this new volume – Hiroshi Ōmiya, ed., Fōsaisu shingaku gairon: jūjika no shingaku (Tōkyō: Kyōbunkan, 2011); ISBN: 9784764273283 – and to congratulate Hiroshi, Jim and Trevor on its appearance.


  1. Grand! Indeed R.W. (Robert William) Dale, 1829-1895 affected many British theolog’s with his work on the Atonement, as Forsyth. But my fav here is James Denney!

    Btw, have you read Dr. Scott Lidgett? Note his book: The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement. He starts with the Satisfaction Theory, but really insists that “the ethical content of the sufferings looms larger than the suffering itself”. But certainly the great effect in the Atonement is the “Person” of Christ Himself, so we must not loose the old dcotrine of Satisfaction! Just my thought anyway.

    I hope Trevor Hart is doing well!


  2. Robert, I was introduced to Scott Lidgett’s work many years ago (incidentally, it was by someone who was doing doctoral work on Denney) and have been much blessed by his thought. Have you read his book The Fatherhood of God? There’s also Alan Turberfield’s very comprehensive biography on Lidgett. I enjoyed it immensely.


  3. Jason,

    I was looking feverishly for my copy of John Scott Lidgett’s bio, by Turberfield! Epworth Press as I remember? It must be in England? As too my copies of ‘God in Christ’ and ‘Son and Salvation’, by Lidgett, besides ‘The Fatherhood of God’. Yes, Lidgett starts with the Fatherhood of God, but he is still affected by Dale’s work, and can admit that God’s “hostility to our sin has received adequate expression in the death of Christ”. I am looking at some of my older notes from years back in my reading. One can see Lidgett’s problem with admitting to some ground in the penal aspect! But we also must appreciate his honest struggle, and all else too that he has written on this great subject & mystery!


  4. Jason: Sangster might have been one the greatest more evangelical type English or British Methodist preachers in the 20th century! Note his efforts at Westminster Cental Hall, onetime “cathedral” like of Methodism, in the 40’s and 50’s.


  5. Thank you Dr Goroncy for this site – I’m a great fan of P T Forsyth – and thank you Fr Robert for the link to Sangster. I had heard his name before, but didn’t know how he invested his life and how God refined him: I am humbled.
    Dr Goroncy, I provided a link to your site in a short piece I wrote after reading Forsyth’s Socialism, the Church, and the Poor:
    If you can point me to anything about the social conditions and theological/intellectual/political milieu of the time and what prompted Forsyth to write (1908), I would be much obliged.


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