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Trinity Journal: Review of Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective

    Posted by Admin on July 17, 2009

In a recent issue of the peer-reviewed Trinity Journal, Klaus' co-edited book (with colleague Fred Sanders), Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective, was favorably reviewed by Chad Spellman:


A clear strength of this volume is the depth and detail of its introductory elements. Sanders and Issler intentionally shape the book in "a method-transparent way" in order to "model the work of theology" for their readers (40). To this end, each contributor begins with a succinct chapter summary, followed by three "Axioms for Christological study," which are concise propositions related to relevant concepts. The next section contains a systematized list of key terms developed in the chapter. Each essay also ends with a brief annotated bibliography of works recommended for further reading, which is particularly helpful as the contributors indicate both strengths and weaknesses of these volumes. A set of study questions designed for further reflection ends each chapter.

Another fundamental strength is the dual achievement of introducing and contributing to the study of Christ. Seeking to avoid a "purely descriptive work" (40), the editors strive to craft a text that is "safe and trustworthy" but also "filled with a sense of project" (40). This interdisciplinary project is one that views the Council of Chalcedon as a proper guide to the confessional parameters of Christological reflection and champions Cyril as the most important figure in patristic developments. For the contributors of this volume, the language of Chalcedon should be interpreted in light of Cyril’s insight that "the one person of Christ is in fact God the Logos, the second person of the Trinity" (80). Convinced that Trinitarian and Christological speculation should remain tethered to Scriptural language, their proposal also argues for a nuanced view of the social Trinity and the legitimacy of holding that the one person of the incarnate Christ had two natures but only one will (a contemporary monothelite model). They also understand the atonement as a Trinitarian work and Christ’s human life as a genuine model for Christian living.

You can read the full review by going here.

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Dr. Klaus Issler