Essay / Theology

Today Fred Sanders was Born (1968)

Fred Sanders (1968– ) is an American evangelical theologian known for his work on the doctrine of the Trinity and his Christian comic book series. (Seriously.)

Raised in Kentucky, Sanders polymathically found his way into any number of intellectual huddles in the early part of his career. He began his formal post-secondary education training as an artist at Murray State University. In a formative season at Asbury Theological Seminary, Sanders developed a love for God’s church and a rich theological heritage in the Wesleyan-holiness tradition. Put these two degrees together and you get his “Dr. Doctrine Christian Comix” series, so mystifyingly neglected by the scholarly world. The topic of the first issue — biblical images — demonstrates Sanders’ characteristically subtle wit.

Pursuing doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley under Ted Peters, Sanders focused on the doctrine of the Trinity and the Bible. In the capital of hippiedom, Sanders reveled in his counter-cultural status: conservative evangelical. Never one to rest content with quick dismissals, he takes a particular interest in restoring second-hand terms and figures that people in and out of his evangelical tradition are eager to pawn.

A biblical and dogmatic theologian, Sanders’ solution to any number of problems in the church and world today: Lots and lots of Christian theology. Biblically-drenched, historically-mindful, utterly livable. Few can speak and write about the Trinity, fundamentalism and figure-drawing with such aplomb.

Long before all of this, Sanders met his wife, Susan, a woman of similarly formidable intellect, humor and kindness. Their children, Freddy Age Eight and Phoebe Age Six, are delightful. The past few years have seen the former run through a series of passionate avocations, including the drawing and gathering of facts about trains, planes and dinosaurs, while the latter continues to enjoy things feline. The two are perhaps best known as the prodigies behind more Scriptorium Daily blogs than I can count.

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