Delighting in the Trinity: Why Father, Son and Spirit are good news
©2010 by Tim Chester
Published by The Good Book Company
In the Old Testament God introduces Himself to His people by name. It’s His personal name, His covenant name. God’s name is Yahweh. He isn’t some generic “god.” He is the God named Yahweh. What is God’s name in the New Testament? “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19 ESV). Not the names of the Father, Son and Spirit, but the name. To put it another way “Trinity is the Christian name for God”(p. 14).
Tim Chester is a church planter in the UK, and co-director of The Porterbrook Network, which seeks to train people for church planting. He’s the author of more than a dozen books. In what he calls his favorite of the books he has written, he takes on the daunting task of making the doctrine of the Trinity a delight instead of a quandary. He does an admirable job.
“The Bible is not a theological treatise. You cannot look under “G” to find out about God. It is a story: the story of salvation. The doctrine of the Trinity does not start life as a philosophical statement, but as a way of summarizing what we discover in the story of salvation” (p. 41). “It would be wrong to say that the New Testament contains a doctrine of the Trinity in the way that we now conceive it…But there are nevertheless, signs of a Trinitarian awareness” (p. 60). Part One of the book uncovers these moments of “Trinitarian awareness.”
He begins with an excellent discussion on the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) and how Jesus is not a contradiction but a further revelation of what was hinted at in the Old Testament. He concludes Part One with a theology of the Cross.
Part Two looks at historical developments. I found this section to very informative, but I would imagine some would not appreciate it as much.
Part Three gives some practical implications. Of particular value is how the Trinity helps us to understand the atonement (pp. 137-155).
Even “though we cannot know God fully, we can know Him truly” (p. 16), Chester helps us in that great lifelong endeavor.
This book was provided by the publisher for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.