Father, Son & Holy Spirit by Bruce A. Ware
A pastor wrote asking my thoughts on why it is important that we believe in the Trinity. Of course, the doctrine of the Trinity is scriptural, but what does it really matter in our lives? He had been searching in theological books but not coming up with much. Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the solution to his problem. Not only does Ware provide solid theological understanding of the Trinity but he also makes excellent application.
This book contains only six chapters: one devoted to the definition and importance of the doctrine, one to historical overview, one chapter to each member of the Trinity, and the final chapter on what Ware calls “Relational Community.” Ware’s definition of the Trinity is standard orthodoxy but he continually emphasizes that what distinguishes the members are Their roles and relationships with each other. While there is some overlap between the roles the differences are significant and their roles and relationships serve as a model for those created in God’s image.
One dominant theme developed throughout is that of authority and submission within the Godhead. The Father is the supreme member of the Trinity to whom the Son gladly submits. The Holy Spirit, in turn, submits to both Father and Son and does so willingly. This sets the pattern for authority and submission throughout the human race. As the Godhead functions, so man was created to function. Scripture specifically gives the role of authority to men within the confines of the church and family. Wives and children are to submit to the husband/father’s authority just as submission is given to the Father by the other two members. As this implies no inferiority within the Godhead, but rather the living out of specific roles, so submission implies no inferiority in human relationships. Therefore the doctrine of the Trinity speaks directly to the egalitarian position now challenging the evangelical church (pp. 61; 72-85; 137-151).
The final chapter adds a number of other applications including human roles of interconnection and interdependence, the interplay of unity and diversity, the function of prayer, and a framework for worship.
Dr. Ware has provided us with a superb work of theology and in turn translates it into our everyday lives. The combination is hard to beat.