The Trinitarian revival that has been experienced among academic theology has now started to trickle its way down into popular theology. This is a good thing! We can always get better at knowing God’s heart – and the way to really do that is to dive deeper into his Trinitarian character and nature. A couple of popular treatments of this doctrine come to mind – The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders and Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves; however these books still feel like theology books. What was needed was a book on the doctrine of the Trinity that feels more devotional…. Joe Thorn has written such a book.
Experiencing the Trinity
The book consists of a short introduction, describing why Thorn wrote this book and a few words describing the discipline of “preaching to yourself.” According to Thorn preaching God’s word to ourselves helps us find peace, joy, strength, and faith in God. However it is not necessarily a quick fix, at times we will suffer and experience sorrow, yet even these experiences can lead us closer to God. While in the midst of these experiences we need to keep our eyes on the truth – that is where preaching to ourselves comes into play.
Here is how Joe Thorn describes the nature of this book:
What follows are fifty daily readings that reflect on God and the gospel and how they overcome our fear, failure, pain, and unbelief. Much of this I preached to myself over the last couple of years, and all of it is directed toward my own heart… But if you find yourself with a heart like mine, weak, and in need of grace, I pray these readings will be an encouragement to you. For God offers his grace to people like us.
These 50 readings are divided according to each person of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Under the Father section you will find “notes” on topics like – He is Creator, He is Patient, He is Unchanging, He is Jealous, He is Father.
Under the Son section you fill find “notes” on topics like – His Humanity, His Deity, His Poverty, His Temptation, His Obedience, His Suffering, His Reign, His Mission, His Glory.
Under the Spirit section you will find “notes” on topics like – He Indwells, He Fills, He leads, He Revives, He Sanctifies, He Gives Gifts.
This book certainly serves its purpose well. Though I didn’t take 50 days to read through it, I definitely did stop to meditate on the topics that spoke most to my heart. Thorn has written a wonderful devotional that takes a difficult theological concept – the Trinity – and brings it down to a point where our heart can be warmed by it. I really appreciated hearing the story of how he wrote the book – he was brutally honest – I appreciate that. Hearing his story really helped me to see how “preaching to yourself” can be a powerful spiritual discipline.
Note: I received an advanced readers copy of this book courtesy of Crossway in exchange for an impartial review.