He Descended to the Dead
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An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday
“I believe he descended to the dead.”
The descent of Jesus Christ to the dead has been a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, as indicated by its inclusion in both the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds. Falling between remembrance of Christ’s death on Good Friday and of his resurrection on Easter Sunday, this affirmation has been a cause for Christian worship and reflection on Holy Saturday through the centuries. At the same time, the descent has been the subject of suspicion and scrutiny, perhaps especially from evangelicals, some of whom do not find support for it within Scripture and have even called for it to be excised from the creeds. Against this conflicted landscape, Matthew Emerson offers an exploration of the biblical, historical, theological, and practical implications of the descent. Led by the mystery and wonder of Holy Saturday, he encourages those who profess faith in Christ to consider the whole work of our Savior.
- 2021 Christianity Today Book Award – Theology / Ethics Award
- 2019 The Gospel Coalition Book Award – Academic Theology