The Holy Spirit is sculpting you.
Like the work of an artist who molds a lump of clay into its intended shape, the Spirit’s sanctifying work lies in shaping people into the image of Christ.
Avoiding either a “Spirit-only” or a “Spirit-void” theology, Leopoldo Sánchez carefully crafts a Spirit Christology, which considers the role of God’s Spirit in the life and mission of Jesus. This understanding then serves as the foundation to articulate five distinct models of sanctification that can help Christians discern how the Spirit is at work in our lives.
“Given my interest in articulating a Spirit Christology as a complement to the Christology of the ecumenical councils, I chose these two systematic theologians because they operate within a solid trinitarian tradition, and therefore with an implicit or explicit concern for maintaining elements of a Logos-oriented Christology. Moreover, given my interest in articulating models of sanctification from Spirit Christology in a North American context, my interest in these authors lies primarily in the way they use Spirit Christology to pave the way for or contribute to discussions on the shape of the Christian life in the world.” (Page 23)
This is a book I didn’t know we needed; but after reading it, I now see how much we did! Leo Sánchez provides a fresh mixture of historical summaries and constructive contributions that will prove helpful to our trinitarian discussions. A somewhat neglected focus for many, Sánchez gives particular attention to the relationship between the Spirit’s work in the incarnate Christ and the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Ably drawing from the patristics (especially Irenaeus) as well as leaning heavily on Luther, Sánchez seeks to outline five models for understanding life in the Spirit. Rather than imagining these in unavoidable tension, he creatively points out strengths in each, especially looking at them in light of pastoral concerns. Much in this volume can help clarify our thinking and stimulate our Spirit dependent lives.
—Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College
One of the theological dangers facing the English-speaking church is its over reliance on Christology, what can be called hyperchristocentrism, which means that Christ is emphasized to such a degree that Christian trinitarianism breaks down. What is needed in response to this situation are ways to make Christology more trinitarian, and this is what Sánchez helps achieve in this work. Sculptor Spirit emphasizes a Spirit Christology for its implications related to sanctification, spirituality, and the Christian life overall. Through its models and various examples from antiquity to the present, it is a reliable guide that I hope finds resonance with students, preachers, and teachers who are passionate to offer something substantive to a hungry church.
—Daniel Castelo, professor of dogmatic and constructive theology, Seattle Pacific University and Seminary
A singular book on the Spirit combining an excellent knowledge of tradition and contemporary literature with imagination and theological creativity. It leads to a suggestive but open-ended exploration of various models for experiencing and understanding the work of the Spirit.
—Justo L. González, author of The Mestizo Augustine
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. (PhD, Concordia Seminary) is the Werner R. H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. A Concordia faculty member since 2004, he is professor of systematic theology and director of the Center for Hispanic Studies. Sánchez’s published work includes Receiver, Bearer, and Giver of God’s Spirit; Immigrant Neighbors Among Us: Immigration Across Theological Traditions, which he co-edited with M. Daniel Carroll R.; Teología de la santificación; and Pneumatología. He has written numerous articles for books and journals, including essays on immigration for Secular Governance: Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, on pneumatology for Third Article Theology: A Pneumatological Dogmatic, and on Lutheran identity for Nuestras 95 tesis: A quinientos años de la Reforma.