Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Systematic Theology

First Advisor

Joel Okamoto

Scripture References in this Resource

1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 7:14; John 1:1-2, 18; John 1:14; John 10:33; Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:35; Luke 9:23-27; Mark 8:34-38; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 16:24-28; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 6:4


Snavely, Andrea D. "Life in the Spirit: A Post-Constantinian and Trinitarian Account of the Christian Life." Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2013. 235 pp.

Post-Constantinians John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas have re-imagined the Christian as a follower of Jesus, critiquing natural theology's dominance that eclipses seeing Jesus' life as the "content" of a Christian's life. However, they lack an answer to the "energy” question, of how one lives like Jesus, because their theologies are based on Logos-Christology. This dissertation proposes that a complementary Spirit-Christology provides the answer to the “energy" question by describing Jesus' life as receiver, bearer, and giver of the Spirit. Leopoldo Sanchez provides such a framework of Spirit-Christology as a way to understand Jesus' life of sonship with the Father in the Spirit. Sanchez helps us see how Jesus died trusting God in the Spirit, which shows Jesus as the bearer of the Spirit in a unique and unrepeatable way. This also means no one else bears the Spirit to confess Jesus as crucified, risen, and ascended without being given the Spirit to do so.

This view of Jesus' life in the Spirit requires a re-imagining of the Church and its ministries from Luke's account of the Church in Acts, which primarily consists of proclaiming the gospel and baptizing in Jesus' name for the remission of sins and for the reception of the Spirit’s indwelling. It is through preaching and baptizing that the Spirit is given through these Church ministries to establish and continue the Church's witness to the world that Jesus is Lord and is coming back to judge the living and the dead. In these "last days," the Church proclaims and lives in Jesus' sonship in the Spirit as Christ's ecclesial body of koinonia fellowship with one another. As adopted sons of God in Christ's body by the Spirit, Christians trust God by living in non-violence, by being content with what God gives them so as to share resources with others, and by being content with who they are in God so as to love others as they love themselves.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.