Review: Retrieving Eternal Generation

Most anthologies of essays are hit and miss. This one… isn’t.

July 16, 2019Filed under Theology#book reviews#christologyMarkdown source

I keep my book review ratings simple—they’re either required, recommended, recommended with qualifications, or not recommended. If you want the TL;DR, this is it:

Required: Retrieving Eternal Generation, edited by Fred Sanders and Scott R. Swain, is a collection of essays defending the doctrine of eternal generation from recent criticism (“recent” meaning the last half century or more) and aiming to show how the traditional, creedal, catholic1 articulation of the relationship of the Father and the Son is indeed correct. Surprisingly even for an anthology volume, and in my view quite effective in achieving its aims: most anthologies of essays end up being a very mixed bag. Even given my long-standing appreciation of Fred Sanders, I was not expecting Retrieving Eternal Generation to be an exception to that nearly iron-clad rule. Every essay brings something distinctive to the table and its theological scholarship is of the best sort: simultaneously engaged with current research programs and the Great Tradition of the church… while still being readable. This is for theology nerds, but it should absolutely be required reading if you are a theology nerd.


  1. Note the little ‘c’ here: ‘catholic’ as in universal.↩︎