I am thoroughly intrigued by the doctrine of the Trinity because it remains just beyond my ability to grasp. So any time a book comes along that claims to help me understand what is just beyond my grasp…I can’t resist. SoI just finished reading Fred Sander’s The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010).
I found his treatment of the Trinity a breath of fresh air. I really didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know and the Trinity remains elusively beyond my ability to grasp, but Sanders has done me a favor by giving some very specific direction to ways of thinking about the Trinity. He calls the Trinity “the deep grammar of all the central Christian affirmations” (46). That helps me understand that as I preach and teach about the Father or the Son or the Spirit I am in a real sense teaching and preaching about all three. I found his charts and diagrams thought-provoking.
Chapters four, five, and six (The Shape of the Gospel; Into the Saving Life of Christ; Hearing the Voice of God in Scripture) were the best part of the book. There is a feast of biblical truth and a wonderful supporting cast of authors from the past that help clarify and explain what sounds mysterious and oftentimes confusing.
When I came to the last chapter, Praying with the Grain, I was hoping for more than I found. I have struggled in my prayer life of late and was hoping for some fresh and new ways of thinking about prayer. I was disappointed in his lengthy reflection of C.S. Lewis’s treatment of the Trinity drawn from Mere Christianity. I had hoped for more of what Sanders had provided in his earlier chapters.
I would recommend the book without hesitation. Feast on it. Enjoy it. Let God’s Spirit speak as you read and may your mind be stretched to learn even more how deep are the things of our God.