There are a few books on the Trinity being read in our home at the moment, as Husband does his pre-reading for MYC and I have picked up two – both with the same name! The first one was by Michael Reeves. It is quite short for a theological treatise and therefore good for an introductory read. Having said that, it is also dense and contains lots of history.
Reeves helpfully opens up why the Trinity is crucial to our faith for we need to know God as Father before all other attributes. It is the fact that God exists as Father in a loving spirit-filled relationship with his Son that enables God to be love, and to extend His love outwards to His people. Reeves starts by thinking about who God is before creation, pointing out that if you start with God as creator rather than Father, you end up with an impersonal force, rather than a loving father as your starting point for God. He then thinks about him as creator, which is what happens when God’s love overflows, and moves to considering salvation as the Son sharing what is His. Moving on to the role of the Spirit, Reeves then encourages the reader to see how the Christian life is shaped by Him. He finishes by concluding that if God is not Trinity, then we do not want him as God:
If God is not Father, Son and Spirit, then he is eminently rejectable: without love, radiance or beauty. Who would want such a God to have any power, or even to exist? But the triune, living God of the Bible is Beauty. Here is a God we can really want, and whose sovereignty we can wholeheartedly rejoice in. (p111-2)
I found this book very helpful and enjoyable, although as I said, it was dense. I did read it through twice. I should also point out that while I didn’t mind the humour and found it amusing, Husband found it a little smug.
I’m sure I studied the Trinity at theological college, upon reflection it must have been in third year when my brain was addled by pregnancy. I do not remember having fully grasped some of these points ever before now. For the first time I have clearly seen how God as Trinity defines our faith as Christians and actually is an evangelistic tool. The fact that God is a loving Father is a clear distinction from all other gods of all other faiths. It is very important to define not that we believe in God, for much of the world believes in a deity – but that we believe in God as Father, Son and Spirit and that fact defines and strengthens our faith. Our God is relational, loving and triune: “the triune being of God is the vital oxygen of Christian life and joy” (p18). A good read to remind you of what you believe and perhaps help to put it into words you could express to others.
I’ll review Delighting in the Trinity #2 next week…