Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith was written by Michael Reeves (PhD, King’s College). This is an incredibly short (<150 page, five chapters + intro & conclusion) book on one of the most difficult topics to discuss without sounding like a heretic. For example:
“The Trinity is like water: solid, liquid, and gas.” Paaaatrick, that’s modalism.
I think it’s worth mentioning that this book has pictures (for those with 2CV convictions, there are images of Jesus). It’s always a plus to have pictures… Unless you get distracted easily, then maybe it isn’t. The layout of this book is really unique and fun. It feels like a miniature text book (yes, text books can be fun, fight me).
“For it is only when you grasp what it means for God to be a Trinity that you really sense the beauty, the overflowing kindness, the heart-grabbing loveliness of God.” (pg. 9)
Chapter 1 asks, “What was God doing before creation?” Before he created everything, God the Father was loving God the [eternal] Son (John 17:24). God is the very definition of love, and he doesn’t need to create anything because he’s lonely, or needy. God doesn’t need us.
This chapter briefly touches on the Islamic doctrine that Allah is one god (Tawhid) and Jesus isn’t the Son of God, and the Arian heresy that Jesus is a created being, not the eternal Son of God. Reeves says, that if there was ever a moment the Son wasn’t the Son, then God would be a different being who wasn’t an eternal Father… Meaning he would not have been loving, since by himself he would have no one to love.
Chapter 2 has more comparisons between Allah and the Christian God (who I will call Yahweh from here on out, unless referring to one of the members of the Trinity). One of the 99 names of Allah is “The Loving”. If Allah isn’t a trinity, then how can he be eternally loving, if he needs humans to be loving? In other words, Allah is depends on humans.
This chapter also explains how the Father, Son, and Spirit were happy in themselves, eternally loving and enjoying one another. The Father enjoyed the Son that he wanted to have the goodness of the love spread out and share with others.
Chapter 3 is on salvation. When we look at the cross, we can see how generous and self giving the love of Yahweh is when the Father sends the Son to make himself known— so that all who believe in him might enjoy the Son has the Father eternally has.
Once more, this chapter compares Yahweh to Allah. Allah has the Quran as a companion, which is said to be eternal. When Allah gives his word he gives a thing. When Yahweh gives the Word (Jesus), he gives himself.
Chapter 4 is on the Christian life, and how it’s much more than just getting into heaven. We don’t have life in ourselves, we rely greatly on the Spirit. The Spirt gives us a new birth and new hearts so that we may come to know and enjoy the Father and the Son.
Chapter 5 is titled, “Who Among the Gods is like You, O LORD?” This chapter goes over God’s holiness, wrath, and glory. On the cross we see the full glory of God. The Son lays his life down to give life and bear fruit.
“God is dead is where true faith begins. For, on the cross, Christ the Son of Glory puts to death all the false ideas of God; and as he cries out to his Father and offers himself up by the Spirit (Hebrews 9:14), breathing out his last, he reveals a God beyond our dreams.” (pg. 127-128)
This is a deep yet easy to read book, however I did find it a bit repetitive at times. I also felt like this book was more for Christians who already understand the deity of Jesus and how he’s God/Yahweh. One of the main reasons I wanted to read this book was in hopes of finding a book to share with those struggling with the Trinity, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, Oneness Pentecostals and other modalists. Regardless, I really enjoyed this book and am glad to have it in my library.
*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.