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Rector’s Reading Group – Delighting in the Trinity #6

Thoughts on Chapter 5 and Conclusion

1. I feel this chapter revisits themes that Reeves has already established, but perhaps they are worthy of revisiting!

2. It’s a good apologetic point he makes, that the Trinitarian nature of God means he is the opposite of all that is often claimed for him, particularly by the new athiests. God is not simply a ruling, despot-like, big-brother in the sky, but our loving Father who’s Trinitarian nature is about self-giving.

3. An interesting idea about church history, in that the decline of interest in God’s Trinitarian nature during the 18th-19th Centuries paved the way for atheistic thoughts to make headway without any opposition.

4. Nice emphasis on the Trinity and God’s mercy: “the only God inherently inclined to show mercy is the Father who has eternally loved his Son by the Spirit.” p. 112.

5. I like how he “redefines” (or perhaps “properly defines”) divine attributes through a Trinitarian lens, see following points.

6. Holiness: “The holiness of the Triune God is the perfection, beauty and absolute purity of the love there is between the father and the Son” p. 116.

7. Wrath: “Like God’s holiness, then, his wrath is not something that sits awkwardly next to his love. Nor is it something unrelated to his love. God is angry at evil because he loves” p. 118, emphasis original. 

8. Glory: “the glory of God is like radiant light, shining out, enlightening and giving life. And that is what the innermost being and weight of God is like: he is a sun of light, life and warmth, always shining out. As the Father gives out life and being to the Son, as the Father and Son breath out the Spirit, so the Spirit breaths out life into the world. The glory of this God is radiant and outgoing” p. 123.

9. Glory again: “That, in fact, is the reason why God’s glory is outgoing and radiant: because it is a Trinitarian thing. The Son—the light of the word­—is the splendor of the Father, the shining out of the Fathers bright glory. As such, Jesus is the glory and weight of God: he goes out from the Father exactly showing us just what the very being of the Father is like” p. 125.

10. Reeve’s conclusion summarises the pastoral implications of his study. It’s all about how we understand who God is. Knowing him in his triune nature means knowing a loving, self-giving, merciful God. This is different to the despotic type of deity imagined by other religions and those who are opposed to religion all together. Knowing the God who is Trinity leads to enjoying God as beloved children.

And that’s’ the end of the book! Thanks for reading along and I hope you’ve gained a deeper understanding and love of the God we worship as Father, Son and Spirit.