Recommended Resources: September 14, 2020
Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Book Recommendation by Pastor David Lee
My mind enters a haze when I think about how many pages I read during my years in seminary. Tens of thousands, most likely, with hundreds of hours burrowing in the bowels of the library, dusting off tomes of scholarly works and journal articles. There was an unspoken (and probably sinful) pride you felt when you could barely hold all of your research texts in your hands as you waddled precariously out of the library. “More pages means more learning” was the tacit belief.
But out of the countless pages I imbibed during those years, a specific 176 that I read in the winter of 2010 are my clear favorites. I took a weeklong intensive course with Dr. Bruce Ware on the doctrine of the Trinity, and the required reading for the course was Dr. Ware’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance. It was a short book by seminary standards, but packed into those 176 pages was a portrait of God that would sear itself into my mind and soul. It is easily the best book that I read in seminary.
The aim of the book is pretty simple. Ware unpacks the doctrine of the Trinity, offering biblical and historical summaries for its development. But where the book really surprised me was in its examination not only how each member of the Trinity is the same (equal in dignity, value, and personhood), but how they are different (distinct in role and relationship to one another). I had never considered each person’s specific responsibilities within the Trinity, the beauty of their humble cooperation, or how the fingerprints of God’s Trinitarian character are all over the pages of Scripture and human character.
Ware offers ten reasons why it is critical that we understand the doctrine of the Trinity:
- The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most distinguishing doctrines of the Christian faith and therefore is deserving of our careful study, passionate embrace, and thoughtful application.
- The doctrine of the Trinity is both central and necessary for the Christian faith to be what it is. Remove the Trinity, and the whole Christian faith disintegrates.
- Worship of the true and living God consciously acknowledges the relationship and roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- The Christian’s life of prayer must rightly acknowledge the roles of Father, Son, and Spirit as we pray to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit.
- The Christian’s growth in Christlikeness or sanctification is rightly understood and enriched when seen as the work of the triune God.
- The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the unity of the triune God.
- The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the diversity within the triune God.
- The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to wonder at the social relationality of the triune God.
- The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the authority-submission-structure that exists eternally in the three Persons in the Godhead, each of whom is equally and fully God.
- The doctrine of the Trinity – one God existing in three Persons – provides one of the most important and neglected patterns for how human life and human relationships are to be conducted.
To understand the Trinity is to understand the very essence of God himself, and it is to understand the very essence of being human, made in the image of a Trinitarian God. If a book on the Trinity may seem too abstract or theological, I want to assure you that the book is a delight to read, abundantly clear and accessible, and full of great application. You won’t regret reading it.
The struggle is real. This article outlines why it may be particularly challenging to read our Bibles these days. The community of faith spurs us to be diligent and disciplined in studying the Scriptures. Reach out to someone in the church for encouragement and accountability.
Prayer. When we really consider this privilege, it should compel us to draw near to the throne of grace. Keep the Trinity and our blessed relationship in view and let that cultivate a joy to commune with our living God.
In a society, where productivity and perfection are highly regarded, it is good to know there’s God grace for our reading plans and times of prayer. This is a helpful and encouraging corrective to rest in Christ.
This article rounds out some of the ideas developed in the previous. In our imperfection, we are reminded and steered towards the only One who is perfect. That frees us to grow in our relationship with God as well as serve and pursue others.
These days, where we’re sequestered and relegated to being more physically disconnected, it’s easy to be loose with our words. As believers, we ought to marshal and deploy our words to impart grace to those who hear. It requires practice and discipline to learn this skill.
The trying circumstances of this pandemic has caused hidden sins to emerge from our hearts. Anger has been a common vice many of us have been battling. We can redeem these moments as they teach us about the condition of our souls and point us to the patience of God.
Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a bluesy and soulful spin on a beloved hymn.
Ellie Holcomb recently released a children’s album teaching them the truths of God. Here’s one song that encourages us, parents and adults included, to look to Christ.
Here’s a neat infographic to encourage you to pray. It provides an outline to organize our pleas around. Print it out and hang it somewhere as a reminder when you pray.
With pastoral insight, John Piper has us connect the dots from our entertainment habits to what we worship in our hearts. In a season where we may resorting to entertainment more, let us guard our hearts and love Jesus more.
This is a cool resource where forty key passages are selected to provide a general framework for the bigger story of the Bible. Color in the graphics. Memorize and meditate on these passages.
Sometimes creation can be funny like that. God must have a sense of humor.