The Trinity in Life and Thought

I just recently picked up a copy of The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders. This book is proving to be delightful to read as well as insightful in character. Sanders rightfully sees the fact that modern Christianity has, while not forsaking its Trinitarian roots, assumed and ignored them long enough so that they are in trouble – maybe not as a section in our creeds and doctrinal statements but in our thought and life. Here is a quote from the introduction that I think sets the stage nicely.

Nothing we do as evangelicals makes sense if it is divorced from a strong experiential and doctrinal grasp of the coordinated work of Jesus and the Spirit, worked out against the horizon of the Father’s love. Personal evangelism, conversational prayer, devotional Bible study, authoritative preaching, world missions, and assurance of salvation all presuppose that life in the gospel is life in communion with the Trinity. Forget the Trinity and you forget why we do what we do; you forget who we are as gospel Christians; you forget how we got to be like we are.

The central argument of this book is that the doctrine of the Trinity inherently belongs to the gospel itself. It is not merely the case that this is a doctrine that wise minds have recognized as necessary for defense of the gospel, or that a process of logical deduction leads from believing the gospel to affirming the doctrine of the Trinity, or that people who believe the gospel should also believe whatever the God of the gospel reveals about himself. No, while all those statements are true, they do not say enough, because there is a Trinity-gospel connection much more intimate than those loose links suggest. Trinity and gospel are not just bundled together so that you can’t have one without the other. They are internally configured toward each other. Even at risk of being misunderstood before the full argument emerges in later chapters, let me say it as concisely as possible: the gospel is Trinitarian, and the Trinity is the gospel. Christian salvation comes from the Trinity, happens through the Trinity, and brings us home to the Trinity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s