Matt and Derek are at ETS in San Diego and are joined by friends of the show, Dr. Fred Sanders, Dr. Gavin Ortlund, and Dr. Matthew Emerson. Banter aside, this episode gives a great look at what kind of fun and rich conversations take place at ETS. Today’s episode ranges from discussions on John Webster’s trinitarian theology, evangelical theological retrieval, and Jesus’ descent to the dead.


Intro + Overview of ETS [0:00 – 2:08]

Fred Sanders joins Matt and Derek to talk Netflix, podcasts, John Webster’s Trinitarian theology, the struggle of classical trinitarian theology in evangelicalism today, and Talbot’s ‘Master of Arts – Classical Theology‘ Program [2:08 – 18:28]

Next, Gavin Ortlund comes on to talk his recent book, Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals: Why We Need Our Past to Have a Futurehis love for the Mere Fidelity podcast, the two doctrines his book focuses on, and the authority of the patristics and Medieval theologians for evangelicals today [18:29 – 35:26]

Finally, Matthew Emerson joins Matt and Derek to talk about his new book, “He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday. Emerson explains the doctrinal stability of his view of Jesus’ descent, the exegesis of the work, where in history the church changed its view on the descent, what the church loses by denying a view of the descent, and the difference between ‘hell’ and ‘the place of the dead’ [35:26 – 57:15]


Resources Mentioned:

Talbot’s ‘Master of Arts – Classical Theology‘ Program

Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals: Why We Need Our Past to Have a Future by Gavin Ortlund

“He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday by Matthew Y. Emerson


If you’re interested in supporting the show financially, you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted by Caleb Wait

Caleb Wait (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is a writer and the producer of Mere Fidelity. He and his wife Kristin have two children and live in Northern California. You can follow him on Twitter @calebwait and he invites you to email him at

One Comment

  1. Good stuff! Question/topic about the 2016 Trinity debate: Sanders is Methodist and committed to the great tradition. Those committed to ESS are mostly from the free church tradition (Grudem, Ware, Strachan are the ones I know of). Their first theological impulse isn’t the creeds, counsels, and confessions. It’s more what Sanders was saying when folks ask him about the gospel and the Bible. Isn’t this kinda the telling issue? Do you know if anyone has written on this angle of our theological context – the Trinitarian theology of the free church vs. the historic tradition?


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *