Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Our Triune God" Book Review

Our Triune God by Philip Ryken and Michael LeFebvre is an outstanding introduction to both the doctrine of the trinity and its relevant application to everyday life. While it is a short book (clocking it at just 114 short pages), it packs much into each chapter.

Chapter one, entitled "The Saving Trinity", explains the roles of the Father, Son and Spirit in salvation. This chapter basis most of its structure and exegesis off of Ephesians. Perhaps the best part of the entire chapter is Ryken and LeFebvre's summation of our salvation and the assurance we possess via the interaction of the Trinity. There is nothing new explored within this chapter--just rock-solid truths that can preach!

Chapter two, entitled "The Mysterious Trinity", is the meatiest of the entire book (which is saying alot ) and, for me, the most informative and helpful chapter. Not only do the authors provide an extremely helpful analogy when discussing the logic of the Trinity, but they also seek to explore the Old Testament roots of the trinity. They do not settle for mere proof-texts. No, these authors engage in serious reflection of where the Trinity can be found. This is an outstanding chapter and instantly became a chapter I will be going back to again and again.

Chapter three, entitled "The Practical Trinity", is based upon an exegesis of John 14-17 (which is known as perhaps the climax of all Trinitarian thought from Jesus' perspective). The authors walk us through God's love for himself as displayed in the Father, Son and Spirit and how that impacts our lives. This, to me, was the most practical chapter and again, one I will be turning to again and again.

Chapter four, entitled "The Joyous Trinity", explores various Trinitarian texts that reflect God's joy in himself and how that impacts believers. Though not my favorite chapter, it is nevertheless a very good one and really caps off the entire book nicely. At times the chapter struck me as a bit disjointed but that is a rather small complaint for such a tremendous book.

Overall, this book is an excellent primer on the Trinity and goes far deeper than most within the pews normally go. This book is a challenge for pastors to think doctrinally, realizing that doctrine (even when it seems most abstract) is applicable. This is a book that will challenge theologians as well to teach the relevance of the doctrines they hold so dear. Ryken and LeFebvre marry both doctrine and application together quite well in this small book. As a result, Our Triune God provides a refreshing look at the Trinity.

*Thanks to Crossway Publishing for providing a free review copy of this book in exchange for a fair review*

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