Although the doctrine of eternal generation has been affirmed by theologians of nearly every ecclesiastical tradition since the fourth century, it has fallen on hard times among evangelical theologians since the nineteenth century. The doctrine has been a structural element in two larger doctrinal complexes: Christology and the Trinity. The neglect of the doctrine of eternal generation represents a great loss for constructive evangelical Trinitarian theology.
Retrieving the doctrine of eternal generation for contemporary evangelical theology calls for a multifaceted approach. Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses (1) the hermeneutical logic and biblical bases of the doctrine of eternal generation; (2) key historical figures and moments in the development of the doctrine of eternal generation; and (3) the broad dogmatic significance of the doctrine of eternal generation for theology. The book addresses both the common modern objections to the doctrine of eternal generation and presents the productive import of the doctrine for 21st century evangelical theology. Contributors include Michael Allen, Lewis Ayres, D.A. Carson, Oliver Crisp, and more.
In contemporary Trinitarian theology, conservative Christians have all too often been moving in one of two directions: either inadvertently undermining the full divinity of the Son—thereby turning Christianity into a unitarianism—or inadvertently distinguishing the divine persons in ways that are logically tritheistic. In response, Swain and Sanders have put together an important and profound volume whose timing simply could not be better.
—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
The creedal doctrine that the Son of God was ‘begotten of the Father before all worlds’ is a notion that is often misunderstood or else maligned by many contemporary theologians. In this context, Swain and Sanders have brought together an impressive collection of essays from across the theological disciplines in order to elucidate and defend this linchpin Trinitarian doctrine. The book’s coherence lies not only in the sum of its parts but also in the synthetic nature of its individual chapters. This is retrieval theology at its best—careful in its treatment of the historical sources and relevant in its theological import.
—R. Lucas Stamps, assistant professor of Christian studies, Anderson University
Retrieval is an important part of the task systematic theology faces today. In Retrieving Eternal Generation, Scott Swain and Fred Sanders, along with their fellow contributors, render a great service to the church and theology. In the midst of a fierce and sometimes confused debate over the doctrine of the Trinity, this excellent collection of essays provides a careful biblical, historical, and conceptual analysis that helps uncover the profound richness of the classic understanding of the Son’s eternal generation from the Father. Retrieving Eternal Generation brings together some of the best of biblical, patristic, and doctrinal theology in a convincing case for a doctrine that is unjustly accused of being overly metaphysical or Greek, among other deprecating terms. It shows that, to the contrary, this doctrine is vital for proper confession of the triune God.
—Dolf te Velde, assistant professor of systematic theology, Theological University Kampen
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Fred Sanders (PhD, Graduate Theological Union) is professor of theology in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He is author of numerous books including The Triune God in the New Studies in Dogmatics series; >o?The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything; and Dr. Doctrines’ Christian Comix. He is coeditor of Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology and Retrieving Eternal Generation. Fred is a core participant in the Theological Engagement with California’s Culture Project and a popular blogger at The Scriptorium Daily.
Scott Swain is professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is author of several books, including The God of the Gospel: The Trinitarian Theology of Robert Jenson and Trinity, Revelation, and Reading: A Theological Introduction to the Bible and its Interpretation. He serves as general editor (with Michael Allen) for T&T Clark’s International Theological Commentary and Zondervan’s New Studies in Dogmatics series. He is a regular blogger at Reformation21.