I am now writing exclusively over at the Christians In Context blog. Click on this banner to be taken there!

Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
Looking for a church in the Omaha area? Come check out ours on Sunday mornings at 11!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Review: The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders

Perhaps no word has been more central to evangelical writing and discussion in the past decade than the word "gospel". So when Fred Sanders' latest book The Deep Things of God offers insight into "How the Trinity changes everything" some may write it off as secondary. This would be a big mistake. Early on, Sanders makes a compelling argument (one he unpacks throughout the book) that "the gospel is Trinitarian, and the Trinity is the gospel".

As the title implies, this book gets into the deep things and requires at times some deep thinking to follow along. As my pastor might say, Fred didn't exactly put all the cookies on the bottom shelf. However, for those willing to give a little mental effort, there are treasures in the facets of the Trinity that may change the way you think of the gospel, salvation, and prayer to name a few. Let me give you a few examples:
"The main practical reason for learning how to think well about the eternal life of the Trinity is that it is the background for the gospel. The blessedness of God's inner life is the only thing that is even better than the good news. The life of God in itself is the source of all the riches that fund the economy of salvation."

"When the outlines of both are clear, we should experience the shock of recognition: Trinity and gospel have the same shape! This is because the good news of salvation is ultimately that God opens his Trinitarian life to us. Every other blessing is either a preparation for that or a result of it."
The final chapter entitled "Praying with the Grain" was most instructional for me and more than a little convicting as I do a lot of public praying in my role as a worship leader. Using the imagery of sanding wood or petting a cat, Sanders suggests that "the act of prayer has, metaphorically speaking, a grain to it. Prayer has an underlying structure built into it, complete with a directionality that is worth observing". Praying to the Father through the Son in the Spirit is rarely the structure we hear (or even the structure we pray ourselves). Praying in a more careful and conscious manner will make one a more careful theologian more conscious of the presence and power of the Trinity in our lives.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: Theologians, careful gospel thinkers

Cheaper than Amazon, Westminster Bookstore has The Deep Things of God for $11.81.

This book was a free review copy provided by Crossway Books.

No comments: