Monthly Archives: December 2010

  • The Trinity Part 7

    Chapter 6 in Sanders’s book continues to tease out the doctrine of the Trinity practically. It is entitled, “Hearing the Voice of God in Scripture (Or, The Tacit Trinitarianism of Evangelical Bible Reading).” There are three reasons to be excited about this chapter. First, today is the 52nd Sunday of the year. What that means is that by the time Saturday rolls around many of you will have resolved to read your Bible more consistently next year or simply to read through it once again. This is a good thing and a thing we want to encourage because, as Sanders notes, God’s voice is heard uniquely in the Holy Sciptures. Further, since 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, this will be a year for us to thank God for his Word and once again resolve to … Read More »

  • Trinity, part 6

    Sanders’s next chapter, “Into the Saving Life of Christ (Or, What’s Trinitarian about a Personal Relationship with Jesus),” takes up the evangelical emphasis upon Jesus and a personal relationship with him and squares that with the book’s emphasis upon the Trinity. The question with which he begins the chapter says it all: “Is the gospel mainly about Jesus Christ or mainly about the Trinity?” (p. 167). And the thesis: “…we need to see, as clearly as possible, that the gospel of the Trinity is not an alternative gospel to the experience of personal salvation through Christ. There are not

  • Trinity, part 5

    Sanders’ next chapter is on the “Shape of the Gospel: Or, The Tacit Trinitarianism of Evangelical Salvation.” If Chapter Three dealt primarily with the ontological trinity—the Trinity as it is, in its being and essence—Chapter Four, takes up the economical trinity—the Trinity as it acts or functions. The term “economical Trinity” came to be used to describe the Trinity’s actions because it related to the way theologians spoke of God’s redemptive works as the “economy of salvation” (p. 128). In God’s economy everything is ordered (p. 129) and “God is a supremely wise administrator who has arranged the elements with great care” (p. 130). And

  • Trinity, part 4

    Is belief in the Trinity necessary for salvation? Evangelicals have a propensity for raising such a question, suggests Sanders (The Deep Things of God, 97), and in so doing exposing “a desire to reduce everything in Christianity to the bare minimum of experiential, and preferably emotional, accessibility” (p. 97). That’s the bad news. The good news is that it exposes a “deep-seated evangelical instinct that is surely right. Everything in the Christian faith should be connected, clearly, and directly, to the one central thing, the gospel of salvation in Christ” (p. 97). And indeed the Trinity is related and connected in the most intimate ways with the gospel of Christ. In fact, that is the thesis of the book and its great strength. “The trinity is the gospel” (p. 98). That is a staggering claim. But consider that the good … Read More »