Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders

Perhaps no word has been more central to evangelical writing and discussion in the past decade than the word "gospel". So when Fred Sanders' latest book The Deep Things of God offers insight into "How the Trinity changes everything" some may write it off as secondary. This would be a big mistake. Early on, Sanders makes a compelling argument (one he unpacks throughout the book) that "the gospel is Trinitarian, and the Trinity is the gospel".

As the title implies, this book gets into the deep things and requires at times some deep thinking to follow along. As my pastor might say, Fred didn't exactly put all the cookies on the bottom shelf. However, for those willing to give a little mental effort, there are treasures in the facets of the Trinity that may change the way you think of the gospel, salvation, and prayer to name a few. Let me give you a few examples:
"The main practical reason for learning how to think well about the eternal life of the Trinity is that it is the background for the gospel. The blessedness of God's inner life is the only thing that is even better than the good news. The life of God in itself is the source of all the riches that fund the economy of salvation."

"When the outlines of both are clear, we should experience the shock of recognition: Trinity and gospel have the same shape! This is because the good news of salvation is ultimately that God opens his Trinitarian life to us. Every other blessing is either a preparation for that or a result of it."
The final chapter entitled "Praying with the Grain" was most instructional for me and more than a little convicting as I do a lot of public praying in my role as a worship leader. Using the imagery of sanding wood or petting a cat, Sanders suggests that "the act of prayer has, metaphorically speaking, a grain to it. Prayer has an underlying structure built into it, complete with a directionality that is worth observing". Praying to the Father through the Son in the Spirit is rarely the structure we hear (or even the structure we pray ourselves). Praying in a more careful and conscious manner will make one a more careful theologian more conscious of the presence and power of the Trinity in our lives.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: Theologians, careful gospel thinkers

Giveaway rules: Leave a comment to this post and you will be entered into the drawing, it's that simple. Within a day or two, I'll take all the valid entries and draw one winner randomly.

For everyone else: cheaper than Amazon, Westminster Bookstore has The Deep Things of God for $11.81.

This book was a free review copy provided by Crossway Books.

12 comments:

Clinton said...

I sure would love to win a copy of this book.
Thanks for the contest.

Jeremy Chen said...

I've had this on my amazon wishlist for a while!

Allen said...

The ideas in the book sound intriguing and capable of stretching my amateur apologist mind.

Follower of Jesus said...

I would love to win a copy of this book to enjoy now and then put in our theological library in Africa. indianatea@yahoo.com

Shaun said...

I've heard that one of the reasons for the institution of "Trinity Sunday " in the Anglican Chruch was to force priests in small parishes to preach on the unique character of the Christian God, to make them reach for the top shelf, so to speak. I'm excited to read this book, which clearly takes this "marginal" issue head on.

Tim said...

Looks interesting! thanks for the review and the givewaway

theekevy said...

I've heard Fred Sanders talk on the Trinity before and it was great, so this book is a can't miss.

Monte73 said...

Appreciate the giveaway; keep up the good work!!

Clayton said...

It seems natural that we should see the Gospel and the Trinity interwoven. The last few chapters of the Gospel of John show the inter-relatedness. The book sounds interesting.

jeraous said...

I cannot wait to read this book. New information concerning God's thing are always exciting to me. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

bolinpath said...

If the giveaway is still open, I'd like to be in.

Jared said...

We do have a winner and the book is already in the mail!