Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory ChristologyJesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology
Edited by Fred Sanders & Klaus Issler
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A provocative look at a complex aspect of our faith: the fact that the Savior who died on the cross is also the eternal Second Person of the Trinity. Approaching post-Chalcedonian Christology from a variety of disciplines---historical, philosophical, systematic, and practical---six highly regarded theologians emphasize the importance of keeping a Trinitarian perspective.
     

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Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective

Fred Sanders

 

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

 

I’m an evangelical systematic theologian whose specialty is the doctrine of the Trinity.  I’m also a published cartoonist.

 

2. How did you become interested in writing?

 

It’s a natural outlet for my teaching ministry; I’m a better writer than I am a public speaker.

 

3. What compelled you to write a book on this subject?

 

I noticed an exciting interdisciplinary dialogue was going on, and I wanted to get involved with it and do what I could to help.  With good research going on in philosophical theology and patristics, I saw that it was time for somebody to pull it all together and sketch out the big picture in a way accessible to a seminary-level audience.

 

4. What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?

 

Jesus can only be understood in the context of the doctrine of the Trinity.  The Christian perspective is that the true Jesus is one of the Trinity. 

 

5. Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?

 

For the evangelicals who read the book, I want them to see how enriching it is to engage the great tradition of Christian theology, especially the classic writers and councils as serious dialogue partners.  For readers who don’t identify as evangelicals, I hope they see what evangelicals can bring to the table from their own resources: our traditional emphasis on personal encounter with Jesus, the long story arc from pre-existence through discipleship to eschatology.

 

6. Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?

 

Well, I enjoyed writing my introduction after reading all the chapters by the other authors, but that’s really just a way of saying that I like the way the chapters all go together.

 

7. What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?

 

The way it’s focused on a single idea but approaches it from the various disciplines: biblical, historical, philosophical, practical, and systematic.  Each author is a good model of how to do responsible work in his discipline.

 

 

8. How does the book intertwine with God¹s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?

 

My job is to increase the odds on the doctrine of the Trinity among evangelicals.  I am always on the lookout for ways to point out to my fellow evangelicals that the doctrine of the Trinity is lurking in the background of all their most cherished beliefs and practices.  If I can show that the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial equipment for understanding Jesus and his work, I know that evangelicals will sit up and pay attention to a doctrine they have not always given enough attention to.

 


9. Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?

 

Currently: I Cor 2:10, “These things have been revealed to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”  I think Paul is not talking about heaven or about special mystical experiences here, but about the knowledge of God in the gospel.   The fact that this knowledge comes to us from the heart of the Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit underlines how true and trustworthy it is.

 

10. Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?

 

There are many influences further back, but for the past few years the much-neglected Adolph Saphir has been a steady influence on me.  I can’t write like him, but the solid doctrinal basis and the devotional impact that he combines in his writings (such as The Hidden Life and Christ Crucified) make him a model for me.

 

11. When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

 

Art museums and travel are hobbies.  I have a fun-loving wife and we homeschool two kids, so it doesn’t take much for us to figure out an educational adventure of some kind (train stations, light houses, air shows, etc.).  I read a lot and love used book stores.