Review: Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves

“God is love” (1 John 4:8).

From this simple, yet profound, statement about the nature of God, British theologian Michael Reeves draws a beautiful portrait of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity in Delighting in the Trinity, An Introduction to the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012). As the subtitle of the book suggests, a proper understanding of the Trinity shapes the entirety of Christian faith and practice. Reeves explores these ramifications regarding God’s identity as Father, Son and Spirit (chapter 1), creation (chapter 2), salvation (chapter 3), the Christian life (chapter 4), and the nature of God (chapter 5).

Why begin with the notion that “God is love”? Because “God could not be love if there was nobody to love” (p. 26). If love is truly essential to God’s nature, then God did not start loving after He created the world. He has always been a God of love. But if that is the case, who was God loving before there was a universe? Continue reading

Rebuilding Amidst the Ruins – The Benedict Option

“In the world but not of the world” – that’s the calling of followers of Jesus (John 17:13-16). But finding the right balance in this equation has always been challenging for the people of God. In first century Judaism, many Jews opted for isolation from the world, such as the “separated ones” in the sect of the Pharisees, or to a more extreme degree, the ascetic Essene community in Qumran. Others embraced accommodation with the world, like the aristocratic Sadducees or the politically connected Herodians. But Jesus called His followers to chart a different path – insulation from the world and for the world. From the world in the sense that the values of His people would be shaped by God’s will and not by the standards of the world. And for the world in the sense that His holy people, firmly rooted and grounded in the faith, would then share the transforming life of Christ with others.

In his new book The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher argues that western civilization is in a period of stark decline, not unlike the fall of Rome in the days of the ancient monk for whom the book is named. And just as Benedict left the ruins of Rome to create a new community designed to keep the faith alive so that some day civilization could be rebuilt, Dreher argues that Christians need to strategically withdraw from our degraded culture to revitalize faith, family, and community. Continue reading