The theologian Robert Letham once wrote:
For the vast majority of Christians, including most ministers and theological students, the Trinity is still a mathematical conundrum, full of imposing philosophical jargon, relegated to an obscure alcove remote from daily life. (Source)
I wonder if that’s something you can identify with? Is the Trinity something which you’ve always known you ought to believe, as a Christian, but never really understood why?
If that describes you, you’re not on your own. That was also my experience until relatively recently: I had some understanding of the different persons of the Trinity, I knew that it was important for there to be a God who was Father, Son and Spirit – but in a very vague kind of way.
Last year, as part of our course on Church History and Doctrine, we studied the Trinity – and I wrote an essay on ‘The pastoral implications of neglecting a doctrine of the Trinity”. Needless to say, I now think it’s not just important: it’s fundamental for Christians to understand why we worship God as Trinity. Now, my original plan was to write something up about the Trinity on this very blog, but…
Now Mike Reeves has written “The Good God“, I don’t have to! To be fair, there were other entry-level introductions to the Trinity before (I can also recommend Delighting in the Trinity by Tim Chester), this one is extremely accessible for lay people, but at the same time there’s a real depth to it. It’s only just over 100 pages!
If you’re a Christian, and you feel like you don’t really know what the Trinity is all about, I very much recommend you start with this book. Seriously – if you don’t understand the Trinity, you can’t properly understand the Christian faith.
Similarly, if you’re a skeptic and you don’t really understand why Christians get so worked up about this “one in three and three in one” nonsense, you also need to read this book. It will explain why Christians feel it’s so fundamental to the faith.
Allow me to conclude by asking a few questions which you might find answers to within the pages of the book:
- What was God doing before creation?
- What does it mean for us to call God “Father”?
- What does it mean for Jesus to be God?
- So just why is the Trinity so fundamental?
Hopefully that whet your appetite – but in all seriousness, every Christian should understand the Trinity; this book will (hopefully) help you do that.