November 24, 2010 Posted by Roger Overton
|For most Christians the doctrine of the Trinity is believed more on authority than biblical understanding. Yet Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have a deeply Trinitarian theology embedded in their worldview that they’re often unaware of. In The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, Fred Sanders seeks to bring these Trinitarian beliefs to the surface and show how critical they are to the Christian faith.|
Sanders explains early in his introduction: “The gospel is Trinitarian, and the Trinity is the gospel. Christian salvation comes from the Trinity, happens through the Trinity, and brings us home to the Trinity.” (p10) Not only does he attempt to show how important the Trinity is to Christian doctrine, but along the way he cites a rich history of evangelical authors to show that deep down it’s been important all along.
The first two chapters of the book deal with preliminary matters of method and what it means for God to live in Trinitarian existence. Here Sanders reminds us that “the man practical reason for learning how to think well about the eternal life of the trinity is that it is the background for the gospel. The blessedness of God’s inner life is the only thing that is even better than the good news.” (p83)
Chapters three through five comprise the heart of the book. They explore the size and scope of the Trinity in its relationship to the gospel and salvation. The final two chapters of the book look to the practices of Bible reading and prayer. Essentially, they address how we commune with the Trinity, whether or not we’re fully aware of the complex depth of the communion.
It’s important to point out that this is not an argument full of biblical proof texts to argue that Christians ought to believe in the Bible. For that, I recommend The Forgotten Trinity by James White. The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders assumes the biblical nature of the Trinity and explores what it means for other important Christian doctrines. Though this theology is embedded throughout evangelical writings, The Deep Things of God provides a unique synthesis of thought and application that will challenge readers to thoroughly consider the Trinity in all the right ways. Those who are not accustomed to reading theological books will likely struggle through certain portions of the book (particularly the first chapter), but will undoubtedly benefit from the rest of it.
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