Welcome to Waitara Anglican Rector’s reading group! We are reading Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. We invite those who are reading the book to join the discussion in the comments.
Thoughts on Chapter 2
1. Reeves really drills down into the point that the distinguishing feature of God is that he is triune. He makes some useful critiques of other starting points when trying to understand God. If we start with God as Creator, that means his identity is dependent upon that which he has created. If we start with God as Ruler, then that makes it difficult to understand God as one we have a loving relationship with.
2. Rather, we start with the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That one person of the Trinity is Father means God is a loving life-giver, and has been for all eternity. This is who God is: the Father loving and giving life to the Son through the Holy Spirit.
3. Reeves helpfully stresses the point that the Trinity is not a philosophical construction but rather a conclusion based on what we see in the Bible. A good quote: “when you start with the Jesus of the Bible, it is a triune God that you get. The Trinity then is not the product of abstract speculation…” (p. 37)
4. I appreciated the focus on love. When the Bible says “God is love”, it means he is the Father pouring forth love to the Son through the Holy Spirit. This is fundamental to who God is.
5. When we understand this we start to see a practical application for our lives. Quoting 1 John 4:7-8, Reeves goes on to ask “have you ever known someone so magnetically kind and gracious, so warm and generous of spirit that just a little time spent with them affects how you think, feel and behave?” (p.25) Reeves continues “This God … is love in such a profound and potent way that you simply cannot know him without yourself becoming loving” (p.26).
6. If we are to imitate God’s love, then we are going to be initiators of love. The Father is the fountain of love, pouring it out on the Son; He doesn’t wait to be loved first. An application for marriage: “wives are not left to earn the love of their husbands; they can enjoy it as something lavished in the freely, unconditionally and maximally.” (p.28-29). This initiative then generates love in response: “For eternity, the Father so loves the Son that he excites the Son’s eternal love in response; Christ so loves the church that he excites our love in response; the husband so loves his wife that he excites her to love him back” (p. 29).