Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Immersed in the Trinitarian Reality

Overview of the book: "The Deepest Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything" by Fred Sanders (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010)

You have have heard the saying, "You are what you eat." It is also true that you are what you think. In other words the core beliefs we subscribe to shape our thinking and determines the way we behave. In the context of our faith experience the way we view God directly impacts the way we interact with Him and His creation. Fred Sanders applies this truth by taking us on an experiential journey of discovery of "how the Trinity changes everything" when it comes to living out of a deeper understanding of the triune nature of God.

"Trinitarianism is the encompassing framework within which all Christian thought takes place and within which Christian confession finds its grounding presuppositions. It is the deep grammar of all the central, Christian affirmations." (Sanders, p. 46)

Sanders explores the evangelical roots of the church through this Trinitarian framework and concludes that most evangelical Christians "don't need to be talked into the Trinitarian theory" but need to connect with how their experience of God is already "immersed in the Trinitarian reality" which leads "to a deeper encounter with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit" (Sanders, p. 34). Throughout his book, Sanders draws upon the lives of notable Christian leaders and authors to demonstrate how their understanding of the Trinity has been explicitly or tacitly expressed through their experience of God. While not necessarily theologians on the subject, they are examples of evangelicals who personified Sanders central thesis, which explains how the Trinity and the gospel are integrally connected, inviting us into the triune life of God (Sanders, p. 25).  

"Christians should recognize that when we start thinking about the Trinity, we do so because we find ourselves already deeply involved in the reality of God’s triune life as he has opened it up to us for our salvation and revealed it in the Bible." (Sanders, p. 28)

Sanders takes a theologically complex idea about the triune nature of God and expresses it in a relationally obtainable manner that integrates the knowledge of God with an experience of God for the believer. This book will demystify the Trinity for the believer who has ever attempted to grapple with the triune nature of God and will invite them into a deeper connection with this divine relationship. He invites us to ‘join the conversation’ that is “always already…going on among Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (Sanders, p. 214).

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