You have heard them—the egg; the apple; water as solid, liquid and gas; the man who is son, husband and father. They are all illustrations to help us understand the Trinity.
While they may contribute in small ways to aid our understanding, none of them are completely accurate. This is the case because the Trinity is unique so there is nothing in the created world which is a precise and truthful representation of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since they are not accurate, there is an inherent danger that they may actually mislead us.
Enter The Deep Things of God: how the Trinity Changes Everything by Fred Sanders. Dr. Sanders is associate professor of theology at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute. I recently had the pleasure of reading this book.
There are three things about the book which make it a valuable and worthwhile read.
- Theological Insights: Firmly placing the Trinity at the center of the gospel, Sanders unfolds the doctrine of the Trinity both in its ontology (who God is in Himself, His being) and in its economy (the works of each person in the Trinity). He demonstrates how the three persons of the Trinity are interconnected in both of these areas.
- Historical Examples: Sanders supplies the reader with a multitude of examples to demonstrate the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity in the evangelical tradition. He also uses these examples to highlight and clarify the truths he is presenting. He uses both familiar examples (for example, C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer) and others who may be less familiar (for example, Henry Scougal and John Flavel).
- Practical Applications: While Sanders devotes the last two chapters specifically to application in relation to Scripture and prayer, all through the book he draws out the implications and applications of the truths he is presenting. This makes the book highly practical as well as theologically insightful.
I have to admit that I have lived more intentionally conscious of God as Trinity as a result of reading the book. It may not “change everything” for you but reading it will be time well-spent.