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The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship Paperback – December 6, 2004
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"Solid and judicious, comprehensive and thorough, abreast of past wisdom and present-day debate, and doxological in tone throughout, this is far and away the best big textbook on the Trinity that you can find, and it will surely remain so for many years to come." --J. I. Packer, Regent College
"In this outstanding work, Letham points us back to God in all the mystery and glory of his triune being. With his keen theological acumen, Letham has given us a tour de force of Reformed theology." --Sinclair Ferguson, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC
"A comprehensive guide that will stand us all in good stead. Writing from a clearly Reformed position, Letham takes all sides of the question into account, and seeks a way forward on controversial matters that will embrace many different insights in a coherently biblical whole. Teachers and students will rejoice in his clear presentation of the issues involved." --Gerald Bray
About the Author
Robert Letham (MAR, ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Aberdeen University) is professor of systematic and historical theology at Union School of Theology in Bridgend, Wales, and the author of a number of books, including The Holy Trinity, The Lord's Supper, and Union with Christ.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into four general sections: biblical foundations, historical development, modern discussion, and critical issues. Each of these sections goes into some depth.
I as glad that he opened with the biblical foundations exploring both Old and New Testament justification for the Trinity. How these biblical foundations then gave way to developments in the early church toward the development of a trinitarian theology was quite interesting. In the second section, Letham examined how the doctrine developed and the heresies that also arose. After reaching Calvin, he jumps forward to more modern explorations, in large part because there were apparently many silent years in terms of doctrinal development.
The four chapters that made up the final section, critical issues, were the most important to me. Though the historical development was interesting and quite beneficial in terms of understanding why certain decisions were reached, this final section dealt much more with practical matters. In other words, how does trinitarian thinking influence worship, prayer, missions, and relationships. In the chapter on worship, Letham I believe rightly assesses that the modern church lacks a distinctly trinitarian worship and that we need to rethink our hymnody. Trinitarian thinking also affects how we treat others, which he explored in chapter twenty.
All in all, this is a comprehensive balanced book on the Trinity, but it is not for the faint of heart. If you are looking for a more accessible book on the Trinity, I would strongly recommend either of the others mentioned above, but if you want to go deeper, I can happily recommend Letham's text.
Robert Letham begins his exploration of the Trinity in Scripture, then works through the historical development in both the Eastern and Western churches, reviews the modern discussion of the Trinity and then closes by addressing current ways in which understanding the Trinity is critical to the church today. Letham's premise is that understanding the Trinity well is essential to the church and lies at the heart of everything the church believes. And he holds this position knowing better than most people how difficult it is to grasp, define, understand and worship God as Triune. I felt that among the strengths of this work were the way Letham reviewed the historical and modern discussions of the Trinity. In doing so he went at length into the writings of a number of significant leaders in the church, such as Athanasius, Arius, Augustine, the Cappadocian's, Calvin, Barth and Rahner, showing both the strengths and weaknesses in their apprehension of the Trinity.
And perhaps apprehend is the best word to describe this book, for even with Letham's expertise, he freely acknowledges is there is much about the Trinity that will always be outside of our understanding. He pulls this volume together so that we may grow in our apprehension of the Trinity, and thereby grow in our love of God and our ability to give Him the glory that He alone is due.
The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship