I just finished reading Dr. Bruce Ware’s book short (158 pp) book on the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance. Originally delivered in five addresses at a pastor’s conference, the book is billed as an accessible introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity for both the pulpit and the pew. I think this goal is accomplished well. Dr. Ware writes clearly and capably about this most beautiful of all Christian doctrines, ably demonstrating the importance of learning these truths, and then leading his readers through a whole-Bible study of the Trinity.
“Why should we devote our time and attention to a study of the Trinity? While many answers can be given, and several will be provided later in this chapter, I’ll begin with one primary answer: would God have chosen to reveal himself to us as one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, unless he knew that this would be important to our understanding of him and of our faith? Must it not be the case that God cares greatly that we “get it,” that we see him for who he is? And must it not matter to our own lives whether or not we understand him as the triune God that he is?” (13)
Although a book on the Trinity is obviously delving into deep theological mystery, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is anything but dry and “purely academic.” I read one chapter each morning this past week, and found it so full of devotional warmth that I wanted to sing a hymn of praise each time I set the book down. The chapter titles below give an indication of Dr. Ware’s “doxological” intention:
1. Beholding the Wonder of our Triune God: Importance of this Doctrine
2. Beholding the Wonder of our Triune God: Historical Overview
3. Beholding the Wonder of the Father
4. Beholding the Wonder of the Son
5. Beholding the Wonder of the Holy Spirit
6. Beholding the Wonder of the Triune Persons in Relational Community
The subtitle indicates a focus on the relationships and roles that exist eternally among the Persons of the Godhead, specifically the authority and submission structure that exists between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Dr. Ware makes a compelling case throughout the book that picture of loving, joyful, satisfying authority and submission we see being carried out among the co-equal Persons of the Trinity informs the way we should think about such God-ordained structures in human relationships. He makes application to husbands and wives, parents and children, as well as church leadership and congregations. His arguments are thoughtful, pastoral, and ultimately quite convincing.
I highly recommend that you read this book and be blessed as you “behold the wonder” of our Triune God.