Delighting In The Trinity: An Introduction To The Christian Faith

October 25, 2012 — 15 Comments

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As a general rule, I’m always keeping my eye out for new and interesting books on the Trinity. Even more importantly, I try to keep an eye out for books on the Trinity geared toward the popular level reader. When I saw IVP Academic had released Delighting In The Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith and that it was roughly 130 pages, I knew I needed to not only get my hands on a review copy, but a giveaway copy as well. They thankfully agreed, and so here we are.

Overview

The layout of Delighting In The Trinity is surprisingly simple. After a brief introduction presenting the dangers of discussing the Trinity, author Michael Reeves’ first chapter asks the question, “What Was God Doing Before Creation?”

While this might seem like a little bit of hubris after just discussing the dangers (which Reeves compares to dragons), it actually helps set the context well for the rest of the book. What Reeves does is explain that before any kind of creative activity, there was a Father loving a Son. God then is eternally loving and life giving and this Father-Son relationships starts a “waterfall of love” (28) that spills over into creation.

The flow of the rest of the book then spends a chapter on each person of the Trinity in turn:

  • Creation: The Father’s Love Overflows
  • Salvation: The Son Shares What Is His
  • The Christian Life: The Spirit Beautifies

Each of these chapters leads right into the next in a way that really unpacks the trinitarian logic that is the foundation of our Christian faith. After reading these chapters, I think one would be hard pressed to see the Trinity as an peripheral concern for the Christian life. Rather, Reeves shows clearly how the doctrine of God as Trinity lies right at the heart of what we believe as Christians.

The final chapter underscores the importance of viewing God as a loving Father, Son, and Spirit. Reeves even suggests that it is perhaps no coincidence that the rise of atheism coincides with a decline in trinitarian thought (110). Some of the critiques of atheism actually hold if they are directed against a non-trinitarian god. However, we don’t worship a non-trinitarian God, and Reeves closes out the book summarizing well the kind of God we do worship.

Strengths/Weaknesses

Given the intended scope of the book, I would consider it pretty much all strength. It is written in a clear, readable style and it even has pictures scattered throughout. To be fair, the pictures are mostly images of historical figures, but there is at least one picture of Thor (though you’ll have to read for yourself to see how that relates to anything). Equally scattered throughout are inserts and sidebars that explain important trinitarian discussions and controversies throughout the history of the church. These help orient new readers of theology to the fact that this isn’t a new doctrine, much less a new topic of discussion in the church. It also helps to anchor Reeves’ presentation as one coming in a long line of orthodox reflection on the doctrine of the Trinity.

Conclusion

To sum up, I think this is book every Christian should read. Really there is no reason why you couldn’t given how short the book is. Just about any busy schedule can accommodate this book, and just about anyone can spiritually benefit from Reeves’ exposition of this foundational doctrine. I was surprised myself at how much he was able to say in such a short space. It was also a great refresher for me personally on the practical importance of the Trinity for Christian life and growth.

Hopefully for many readers, this will be a good introduction to not just the Christian faith, but to the doctrine of God within the Christian faith as well. It should serve the purpose of whetting the appetite for even more reading into who this trinitarian God is. Given how winsome Reeves’ style is, I can’t really think of a better general audience book that will orient readers to the historic Christian faith and the orthodox doctrine of the triune God we worship!

Thanks to IVP Academic you’ve got a chance to win a free copy of Delighting In The Trinity. If you’re reading in RSS, you’ll need to click thru, and then just follow the instructions in the PunchTab module below!

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Nate

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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

15 responses to Delighting In The Trinity: An Introduction To The Christian Faith

  1. Looks like a great resource for teaching the Trinity.

  2. I’m excited to read delighting in the Trinity. The length is good in that it is not to daunting, but long enough to avoid over simplification.

  3. Nate, anything that can allow me to take time to reflect on the Christian God would be considered worthwhile!

  4. First I want to read it because I’ve yet to find a negative review… they’re all excellent. But really I just want to know God better so I can love God better.

  5. Jonathan Roberts October 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I want to read it because I want to see how delighting in it actually works.

  6. I want to read this book on the Trinity because I am interested in learning more about the Trinity.

  7. Hey Nate, I’d quite like to read this book because I want to know how to better LOVE the doctrine and our tiune God Himself. Since Mike is a Brit involved in UK Universities, I’m particularly interested in reading his book since I live in a University city (York) and am involved in outreaches to another one (St. Andrews Scotland). Thanks to you and IVP Academic for putting this book out to win!

  8. As a divinity school student I’d love to read this.

  9. As a missionary to Muslims, trinitarian theology is always being challenged, and I am always looking for new ways to describe the mystery of the trinity.

  10. Thinking about God and His attributes strengthens our faith and also equips us to answer the questions others ask us. As I think about the Trinity, knowing that there are some things about God we cannot understand, I believe my faith is strengthened by wrestling with the difficult questions that come from thinking about separate beings that are all God.

  11. Matthew Forrest Lowe October 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I’d like to win because my wife and I have recently faced questions from folks at our church who aren’t sure that it’s important that God is triune…

  12. I want to read this book because the doctrine of the trinity is foundational to all of theology.

  13. i’d like to read it because i need a more practical understanding of how the Trinity impacts every aspect of life and doctrine.

  14. To know God better and to marvel at what he has wrought in our salvation.

  15. I’m always interested in furthering my understanding of Trinitarian theology and this seems to be a good resource to do that…

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