dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Book Review: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit

Considering that the doctrine of the Trinity concerns God Himself, and that we will never come close to an exhaustive understanding of God, we would do well to seek a deeper Biblical understanding of trinitarian doctrine. If you agree, consider reading Bruce Ware's book Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance.

I believe I first became aware of Father, Son, & Holy Spirit after listening to a recording of a breakout session Dr. Ware gave at New Attitude 2006. Titled "Equal in Essence, Distinct in Function" (and available for free as an mp3 download), his sixty-minute lecture piqued my interest in further study on the subject, and I shortly learned that Dr. Ware had written a book on the Trinity. (The audio message is a terrific place to start, if you don't yet have time to read the book. It covers some of the material in the book, but obviously without the full breadth or detail.)

Dr. Ware opens the book by giving ten reasons for focusing on the wonder of the Trinity, and follows by providing a brief historical overview of the church's understanding (both orthodox and heretical) of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Chapters three through five examine the unique roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively. Of course, because he is discussing One God in three Persons, it is not as though one chapter only talks about the Father, the next about the Son, the next about the Holy Spirit. The chapter about the Father examines the unique role of the Father in relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit (and likewise for the chapters on the Son and Spirit).

One of the aspects of this book that I especially appreciated was that, in addition to all of the theology, Ware examines how the doctrine should affect our lives. (As an example, he discusses how from God the Father we can learn what true fatherhood is.)

One aspect touched on several times throughout the book is how the equality of essence and distinctness of function that we see in the Trinity should guide our understanding of Biblical manhood and womanhood. While this is a book focused on the Trinity, I also found it to be among the most helpful resources I've read regarding God-glorifying masculinity and femininity, seeing in the Trinity perfect examples of both authority and submission. Lest we think that submission equals inferiority (for a woman to her husband, for an employee to his employer, or any other example of submission you can think of), Dr. Ware reminds us that "Both authority and submission are good, for both are expressive of God himself."

This is a book that you should add to your reading list. It is relatively brief (well under 200 pages), and will also make you think (though it is by no means a chore to read).

Rating: Highly Recommended



Blogger Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Jason

On the subject of the trinity,
I recommend this video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor

8/10/2008 6:41 PM

OpenID Sterling said...

I always enjoy reading your reviews of the books you have read.

I have downloaded Ware's NA '06 message on the Trinity, and I intend on listening to it later today.

8/28/2008 10:05 AM


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