Fred Sanders

Probably the world’s greatest systematic theologian cartoonist.


Lecturer and Speaker

Dr. Sanders will talk to anybody anytime about the Trinity. He also speaks to a variety of audiences about Christian doctrine, the Bible, evangelicalism, art, and apologetics.

Fred Sanders’ Curriculum Vitae
PDF (110KB)


Biographical Sketch

Fred Sanders is an evangelical Protestant theologian with a passion for the great tradition of Christian thought. He holds a degree in art from Murray State University and an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, with a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Since 1999 he has taught in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University.


Publication Overview

Dr. Sanders has published four volumes of theological comic books, Dr. Doctrine’s Christian Comix (InterVarsity Press, 1999). This probably makes him the world’s greatest systematic theologian cartoonist. His monograph The Image of the Immanent Trinity: Rahner’s Rule and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture(Peter Lang, 2005) sorted out that whole Trinity thing to the satisfaction of all 50 people who read it. He co-edited Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology (Broadman & Holman, 2007). His articles have appeared in Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture, Southwestern Journal of Theology, and the Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology. He has reviewed books in Theology Today, Scottish Journal of Theology, and First Things.


Fred and Family

Fred and his wife Susan have known each other since sixth grade, and yes, their story is as sweet as you think it is. They have two children, Freddy and Phoebe.


Top 10 Books

There ought to be a lot more fiction and poetry on a list like this, but if you just go for the top ten and don’t ask for diversity of genre, my list is bound to be dominated by theology. If I couldn’t read Christian doctrine for a career, I’d do it as my main hobby.

1. Ephesians

It is OK to have favorite books of the Bible, especially if your favorite book is Ephesians. It is not OK to have least favorite books of the Bible. Shame on you.

2. Church Dogmatics Volume IV (Karl Barth)

I can’t agree with every move he makes, but reading Barth makes me feel like a natural theologian (apologies to Aretha Franklin).

3. The Hidden Life: Thoughts on our Communion with God (Adolph Saphir)

When I discovered the works of Adolph Saphir in 2001, I reestablished contact with everything that is great about evangelicalism.

4. Tie: The Spirit of Christ or With Christ in the School of Prayer (Andrew Murray)

These things are for sale anywhere with cheesy “I’m A Devotional Book” covers. But this is where they keep the good stuff.

5. Mere Christianity (C. S. Lewis), especially Book Four, “Beyond Personality.”

This gripped my imagination when I was 17, still impressed me after I’d earned a doctorate on the Trinity, and is a model of clear communication that I aspire to today.

6. A Compendium of Christian Theology (William Burt Pope)

If all Methodists did theology like this, I’d become Methodist and never look back.

7. The Principles of Theology (W. H. Griffith-Thomas)

If all Anglicans did theology like this, I’d become Anglican and never look back.

8. Calvin’s Institutes

If all Calvinists did theology like this… well. Others may provide you with a useful handbook of theology, but Calvin is a master who apprentices you in the craft. There is no better way to become a theologian than to work straight through the Institutes. I’ve been through it five times, three with students, and can’t wait to do it again.

8. The Heidelberg Catechism (Ursinus and Olevianus)

Read, mark, note, inwardly digest.

9. Tie: The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification (Walter Marshall), or The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Henry Scougal)

I can’t decide between the somewhat ponderous Marshall on how God’s grace empowers obedience, or the zippy little Scougal on the essence of Christianity.

10. Golly, it’s an Eight-Way Tie: Centuries of Meditations (Thomas Traherne)Communion with God (John Owen)Religious Affections (Jonathan Edwards),Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard)Holiness (John Webster)Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)The Doctor &c. (Robert Southey), and On the Incarnation (Athanasius)

Plus whatever I’m teaching in the Torrey Honors Institute this week.


Collected Quotations

“Yahweh does not stand above the covenant, but in it, yet He is also not under it.”

Karl Barth

“The things of the gospel are depths…. the things of the gospel are the deep things of God.”

Thomas Goodwin

“God has appeared glorious to me, on account of the Trinity.”

Jonathan Edwards

“Don’t be a try baby… be a do baby.”

Peggy Hill


Top 5 Movies

1. O Brother Where Art Thou

2. The Ninth Configuration

3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

4. The Muppet Christmas Carol

5. Day of the Locust

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