I’ve found one of the biggest challenges in communicating the truth of the Christian faith to others, especially unbelievers, is adequately and clearly explaining the triune nature of God. It certainly does spark some excellent questions and makes for great conversation, but it can be quite difficult to simply explain such a paradoxical doctrine.
One note of encouragement, in this regard, is the growing number of resources available on the doctrine of the Trinity and the implications of this doctrine in the life of the Christian and the church. Dr. Tim Chester (PhD – University of Wales), pastor of The Crowded House in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, and director of the Porterbrook Seminary, has added a notable resource to the mix in his book, Delighting in the Trinity: Why Father, Son and Spirit are Good News (Good Book Company, 2010). If you’re at all familiar with Chester’s work, you’ll know that his gift of writing is a welcomed mix of clarity, depth, and intense practicality. It is no different in this volume.
Divided into 3 parts, Chester looks at the doctrine of the Trinity by beginning with the doctrine’s biblical foundation. Chester provides a good overview of the Scriptural basis for the doctrine, incorporating both Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and New Testament texts, also noting their interrelation, to assist the reader in drawing the doctrine from the pages of God’s Word.
Part 2 is focused on the development of the doctrine from the 2nd through the 20th centuries AD. By providing this historical context and overview, Chester serves his readers well in understanding the historical nature of the Christian faith and the lives of those who have wrestled with the doctrine in days past. Gaining familiarity in this area also allows the reader to be aware of heretical and heterodoxical understandings of the doctrine so as to more fully understand and defend the orthodox position on the doctrine.
Part 3 gives the reader ample material to answer the “so what?” question in terms of the doctrine of the Trinity. Chester focuses on 4 primary areas of practicality: The Trinity and revelation, salvation, humanity, and mission. In so doing, Chester not only provides the reader with ample evidence as to the essential nature of this doctrine in Christian faith and practice, but also provides a model to other pastors as to how they may begin to practically incorporate doctrinal essentials in immensely practical ways within their preaching/teaching ministry.
In sum, Delighting in the Trinity is vintage Chester: clear, accessible, practical, and pastoral. As always, Chester demonstrates his deep desire to communicate the good news of the gospel, and here with a specific focus on the Trinitarian nature of the gospel and the whole of the Christian life. You will be encouraged and edified as the colors of the Christian life shine with increasing brilliance as you grow in your understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. I recommend it!
Read inside (PDFs): Table of Contents & Sample Pages
*As a part of the Delighting in the Trinity Blog Tour, the publisher, at no charge, for the purpose of review, provided a copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.