Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance" by Bruce A. Ware

"As God is one, so human beings are created in that one image, fully human and fully equal. Yet, as God is three—and particularly by virtue of the eternal taxis [economy] that orders the relations of the divine Persons—so human beings must embrace the created taxis of their human relationships. Equality exists alongside authority and submission in human life, as God has designed it to be." ~ Dr. Bruce A. WareFather, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance, pg. 158.

I have written about the Trinity before here and here and thought I would post this review that I recently wrote on Dr. Ware's book on the Trinity. The Trinity is one of the most mysterious doctrines of Christianity and yet it is also one of the most important. R. B. Kuiper once said (and I agree) that it "is no exaggeration to assert that the whole of Christianity stands or falls with it." One of the problems with writing or talking about the Trinity is that since it is mysterious and something that we cannot completely comprehend, when we talk about it for longer than five minutes we run the risk of drifting into heresy. I like this book because it is short, accessible, worshipful, and, from what I can tell, does not drift into heresy and it is quite an achievement to combine all four of those.

My full review of this can be read on Google Docs here but below is part of my final conclusion about Dr. Ware's book:
Overall I am very impressed with Bruce Ware’s work on the Trinity. He presents an accurate historical overview of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, and he gives compelling biblical arguments for the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. At the same time, in his presentation he does not leave the reader with just the bare facts about the Trinity but applies these glorious truths to the lives of Believers. Also, writing about the Trinity is never simple because it is easy to fall prey to the temptation to step over biblical lines and attempt to explain how God can be one in essence and yet three in Person beyond what Scripture supports. Ware does not do this. In his explanation of the Trinity he acknowledges the mystery of this doctrine, describes the biblical case for the orthodox view of the Trinity, and describes the historical development of the orthodox view of the Trinity without erroneously attempting to explain how God can be one in essence and at the same time three in Person... 
One of the things I appreciated most about Ware’s overall structure of his book is how accessible it is for the average churchgoer and how worshipful it is. Theological descriptions can often be too “heady” for the average layperson in “the seats”, yet Ware has, I think, successfully described the Trinity accurately, within orthodoxy, and accessibly. In a similar vein, theological descriptions can also often be dry, yet Ware constantly describes the doctrine of the Trinity and his applications to our lives in a worshipful manor. One only has to look at the chapter titles to see the heart of worship—“Beholding the Wonder of Our Triune God”, “Beholding the Wonder of the Father”, “Beholding the Wonder of the Son”, “Beholding the Wonder of the Holy Spirit”, etc.—but also as one digs deeper into the book one can see that this worshipful attitude extends to every page of the work...
I hope from this and my review that you pick up this book and read the whole thing. It is small, about 160 pages, and easy to read so it will not be taxing on you but it will bless your soul.

By His Grace,


Matthew D. Schultz said...

By coincidence, a friend (and graduate from RTS) recently passed along a copy of Ware's book. I now look forward to reading it with enthusiasm.

A. Taylor Rollo... said...

Thanks bro! Hope it does not disappoint. :)

Dyl said...

That looks like a very good read! I recognized Bruce Ware's name, and after some Google searching recalled that he was one of (if not the biggest) opponents of Open Theism. From what I've heard, his book on the subject is very, very good.