Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce Ware
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.
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Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
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