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Delighting in the Trinity

Why the Father, Son and Spirit are good news

Delighting in the Trinity (ebook)

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Delighting in the Trinity looks at the wonderful and fundamental truth that our God is three in one.

Description

“How can there be three Gods and yet only one God?”

Have you ever groaned inwardly at a question like this? Many of us find the doctrine of the Trinity – that God is three persons sharing one nature – difficult to get our heads round, and frankly a bit embarrassing. What is more, we seem to get by without thinking about it too deeply.

But in reality, the Trinity is at the heart of all that Christians believe. The nature of God as a Trinity gives shape to all Christian truth, and to the gospel that we believe and proclaim. And rather than be a source of embarrassment, properly understood, it should fill us with joy.

This book aims to help you see how the Trinity is fantastically good news. Because the trinity means that God is not remote and uninvolved – quite the opposite. God sent His Son and His Spirit into our world to draw us into a wonderful relationship with Himself. This is the God who gives meaning and joy to our lives.

And along the way we discover that the Trinity answers other big questions: How can we know God? What happened at the cross? What does it mean to be human? How can people live together with all their differences? What does mission look like in a fragmented world?

Tim Chester will take us deeper into understanding the thrilling triune nature of God. In short accessible chapters he takes us through the Bible’s teaching on the Trinity; gives us an overview of the important arguments over the trinity that have taken place throughout Christian history; and lays out the practical implications for our Christian lives.

Read The Gospel Coalition's review

Other information

Is it really possible to say so much in just a few pages?  These two books by Tim Chester pack an enormous amount of theological thinking into a remarkable economy of pages.  I commend these books as worthy additions to your library.
- Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President, The Souther Baptist Theological Seminary

Delighting in the Trinity walks through a complex and important subject with clarity, warmth, and pastoral wisdom. I will certainly use this book with people in my congregation.
- Mike McKinley, Senior Pastor, Guilford Baptist Church, VA

Table of contents

  • 1. Introduction: Believing in the triune God
  • Part One: Biblical foundations
  • 2. The unity of God in the Bible
  • 3. The plurality of God in the Bible
  • 4. Unity and plurality at the cross
  • Part Two: Historical developments
  • 5. God's actions, God's being (2nd-4th centuries AD)
  • 6. Starting with three, starting with one (4th-16th centuries AD)
  • 7. At the margins, at the centre (17th-20th centuries AD)
  • Part Three: Practical implications
  • 8. The Trinity and revelation
  • 9. The Trinity and salvation
  • 10. The Trinity and humanity
  • 11. The Trinity and mission
  • Further reading
  • Bibliography

Additional Information

Author Tim Chester
ISBN 9781908317254
Format Electronic book text
Pages 192
Publisher The Good Book Company

Customer Reviews

Excellent book on Trinity

(Review written for 'Delighting in the Trinity')

 My reason for purchasing this book was because I have friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses and I needed a guide to help me understand and explain the truth of the Trinity. I am finding this book very helpful in that respect. 

| Review by | 17/08/2012

Delighting in the Trinity

 Tim Chester has extended the boundaries with this one. It is a masterful effort on his part to get to grips with the difficult subject of the Trinity. It is full of wonderful depths and splendid heights and makes the reader explore the Godhead in a way that leads to worship. 

| Review by | 20/05/2012

A great introduction to the Trinity

(Review written for 'Delighting in the Trinity')

 The Trinity is a subject which most Christians have little understanding of and yet it is at the heart of our faith. I have found getting good material on the Trinity has been very difficult, especially material which is accessible and not academic. So Delighting in the Trinity by Tim Chester is a great find.

Chester sets out the Biblical case for the Trinity in a clear and easy to understand way. He then goes on to look at the historical developments of our understanding of the Trinity including the division between Eastern and Western churches over how to understand the Trinity. He also explains how the two traditions were brought together in the Protestant Reformation. If this sounds like it would be dry and boring then don't worry because Tim Chester has written it in an engaging manner and doesn't get bogged down in too much detail. The chapters are short and very accessible. Of course this means that you wouldn't write a dissertation based on Delighting in the Trinity but at no point did I feel like he had skimped either (although I'm not in a position to know if he did as I'm not a history expert). This is a book definitely for the majority of the church to read and not just theology students.

Chester finishes with the practical implications of the Trinity. What does it mean for revelation, salvation, humanity, and mission. I found this very useful and I couldn't help but feel that a lot of the misconceptions or issues in the church today would be helped by us having a better understanding of our God.

This is a book I would add to the church library and would lend/give to other people. The only comparable resources I have found so far are three talks on the Trinity by UCCF's Mike Reeves on Theology Network. I would say the talks and this book complement each other well.

Tim Chester has written a very good book which shows that far from the Trinity being an issue for Theologians it is a wonderful truth the entire church should know. I do not really have any criticisms to make of the book and instead recommend that people get a copy for themselves and read it. Hopefully this book will help Christians to be less embarrassed or confused by the Trinity and instead feel confident in saying that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

| Review by | 29/08/2011

Theology for the Church

(Review written for 'Delighting in the Trinity')

 I'm always eager to find good books in the hands of my church and to recommend them to others. Much is written on theological issues to advance the conversation between scholars and pastors. I love those books and they are important. We also need good books for those who are growing in their faith or joining the conversation on issues they need to learn, who are not always fluent in the lingo. I believe Delighting in the Trinity (DITT) will bring "delight" to all camps.

DITT comes in three parts: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Practical Implications -- with 3-4 chapters in each. I'm not going trace the majority of Chester's argument because he isn't making any new ones. That's a good thing. Chester isn't offering a reworked doctrine of the Trinity to his personal liking. He's offers the adventure of delighting in God who wants us to know Him.

I have always found the doctrine of the Trinity exciting. Thinking it through takes us deeper into the triune God who is the foundation of all reality. This is the God who made us to know Him, and who gives meaning and joy to our lives. To explore Him is a wonderful adventure. To delight in Him is our chief end. (p 8)

I found Chester's writing to be fresh and pastoral. He isn't merely rehashing old arguments, though he does that well. He brings clarity and simplicity to what could be something cumbersome. And he quotes generously without burying the Scriptures, and from more than just basic theological stream. You'll get stuff from Owen, Calvin, Luther, N.T. Wright, T.F. Torrence, and more. In the Historical Developments section you'll hear from all sorts as the doctrine of the Trinity is considered throughout church history from heroes to heretics, from the early church fathers to contemporary theologians. But Chester doesn't end there. He says there's a continuing need to reform our theology...

Theology is a continuing project. We need to re-articulate the gospel afresh to our culture. At the same time we need to examine the influence of our culture on our thinking. The development of the doctrine of the Trinity illustrates how a slightly divergent view can turn out to be a wrong turning that will eventually lead us away from the biblical gospel. A shift of emphasis in one generation can become a dangerous heresy in the next generation. So theology is a serious task for all Christians. (p 117)

I maybe most appreciate how the book includes illustrations/diagrams and bullet points. The illustrations are both helpful and careful. Chester makes sure to explain are not complete or definitive explanations. The diagrams for historical thinkers I found very helpful to understand the differences. And the bullet points are helpful as we learn and should be helpful when we reference the book later to refresh.

I particularly like the way Chester deals with the Trinity and the Cross. This is a Gospel-centered book on the Trinity.

God is known only through revelation, but this revelation is hidden so that it shatters human pretensions. God is revealed in what is contrary. The wisdom of God is hidden in the folly of the cross. The glory of God is hidden in the shame of the cross. He power of God is hidden in the weakness of the cross. So if we want to discover the true character of God, we must look to the cross. And the God revealed in the cross is trinitarian. He is both single and plural; one united being and three distinct persons. (p 64)

Further...

We cannot understand the cross without the plurality of God. The cross shows us that there are distinctions within God. God can be forsaken by God. But neither can we understand the cross without the unity of God. If God is not one, then the cross becomes a cruel and vindictive act with an angry Father punishing an unwilling Son or a loving Son placating an unwilling Father. Only if God is one can the cross be for us reconciliation and inclusion within the divine community. (p 78)

Part 3 of the book, Practical Implications, is where it all comes together with the world around us. There is stuff on other religions, on individualism and pluralism and how this doctrine corrects cultural issue, and much more. There are pastoral considerations throughout, as well.

My only real critique is that I really wish Delighting in the Trinity had a Scripture index and a subject index. Some may complain they would like a fuller treatment, but that's not Chester's purpose. There are other great books for that. This is highly accessible for your church members, and that's firmly where it belongs.

So I highly recommend Delighting in the Trinity as a resource for your church members. It may be of particular help to Bible study teachers and/or small group leaders. And let me add that one group I hope will pick up Delighting in the Trinity: pastors. I'm always surprised to hear pastors & preachers who don't grasp the Trinity, who speak incorrectly as to who does what and when and how. Or who just default at the generic when the Bible gives us the specifics. Let's sharpen our understanding of our Triune God as we preach His Word! This is a helpful refresher, or something to give you more solid footing on this beautiful doctrine. 

| Review by | 18/03/2011

Good Theology Made Available to All

(Review written for 'Delighting in the Trinity')

 m always eager to find good books in the hands of my church and to recommend them to others. Much is written on theological issues to advance the conversation between scholars and pastors. I love those books and they are important. We also need good books for those who are growing in their faith or joining the conversation on issues they need to learn, who are not always fluent in the lingo. I believe Delighting in the Trinity (DITT) will bring "delight" to all camps.

DITT comes in three parts: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Practical Implications -- with 3-4 chapters in each. I'm not going trace the majority of Chester's argument because he isn't making any new ones. That's a good thing. Chester isn't offering a reworked doctrine of the Trinity to his personal liking. He's offers the adventure of delighting in God who wants us to know Him.

I have always found the doctrine of the Trinity exciting. Thinking it through takes us deeper into the triune God who is the foundation of all reality. This is the God who made us to know Him, and who gives meaning and joy to our lives. To explore Him is a wonderful adventure. To delight in Him is our chief end. (p 8)

I found Chester's writing to be fresh and pastoral. He isn't merely rehashing old arguments, though he does that well. He brings clarity and simplicity to what could be something cumbersome. And he quotes generously without burying the Scriptures, and from more than just basic theological stream. You'll get stuff from Owen, Calvin, Luther, N.T. Wright, T.F. Torrence, and more. In the Historical Developments section you'll hear from all sorts as the doctrine of the Trinity is considered throughout church history from heroes to heretics, from the early church fathers to contemporary theologians. But Chester doesn't end there. He says there's a continuing need to reform our theology...

Theology is a continuing project. We need to re-articulate the gospel afresh to our culture. At the same time we need to examine the influence of our culture on our thinking. The development of the doctrine of the Trinity illustrates how a slightly divergent view can turn out to be a wrong turning that will eventually lead us away from the biblical gospel. A shift of emphasis in one generation can become a dangerous heresy in the next generation. So theology is a serious task for all Christians. (p 117)

I maybe most appreciate how the book includes illustrations/diagrams and bullet points. The illustrations are both helpful and careful. Chester makes sure to explain are not complete or definitive explanations. The diagrams for historical thinkers I found very helpful to understand the differences. And the bullet points are helpful as we learn and should be helpful when we reference the book later to refresh.

I particularly like the way Chester deals with the Trinity and the Cross. This is a Gospel-centered book on the Trinity.

God is known only through revelation, but this revelation is hidden so that it shatters human pretensions. God is revealed in what is contrary. The wisdom of God is hidden in the folly of the cross. The glory of God is hidden in the shame of the cross. He power of God is hidden in the weakness of the cross. So if we want to discover the true character of God, we must look to the cross. And the God revealed in the cross is trinitarian. He is both single and plural; one united being and three distinct persons. (p 64)

Further...

We cannot understand the cross without the plurality of God. The cross shows us that there are distinctions within God. God can be forsaken by God. But neither can we understand the cross without the unity of God. If God is not one, then the cross becomes a cruel and vindictive act with an angry Father punishing an unwilling Son or a loving Son placating an unwilling Father. Only if God is one can the cross be for us reconciliation and inclusion within the divine community. (p 78)

Part 3 of the book, Practical Implications, is where it all comes together with the world around us. There is stuff on other religions, on individualism and pluralism and how this doctrine corrects cultural issue, and much more. There are pastoral considerations throughout, as well.

My only real critique is that I really wish Delighting in the Trinity had a Scripture index and a subject index. Some may complain they would like a fuller treatment, but that's not Chester's purpose. There are other great books for that. This is highly accessible for your church members, and that's firmly where it belongs.

So I highly recommend Delighting in the Trinity as a resource for your church members. It may be of particular help to Bible study teachers and/or small group leaders. And let me add that one group I hope will pick up Delighting in the Trinity: pastors. I'm always surprised to hear pastors & preachers who don't grasp the Trinity, who speak incorrectly as to who does what and when and how. Or who just default at the generic when the Bible gives us the specifics. Let's sharpen our understanding of our Triune God as we preach His Word! This is a helpful refresher, or something to give you more solid footing on this beautiful doctrine.

Go buy Delighting in the Trinity. Buy From Creation to New Creation at the same time and get both for just $15 total. You won't regret it. And check out the growing number of theologically solid resources from TheGoodBook.com. 

| Review by | 16/03/2011

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