My Three Favorite Books on the Trinity

As a historic Christian the most appealing aspect of my faith is the truth that God is Triune (one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). God’s unique Triune nature is revealed in the pages of Scripture and is theologically defined in the historic creeds and confessions of Christendom. The doctrine of the Trinity is arguably historic Christianity’s most distinctive theological feature and therefore impacts all Christian belief and practice.

Yet while the Trinity is the governing center of all Christian theological thinking, many believers today have difficulty thinking and speaking about the Triune God in a clear, careful, and biblically oriented manner. If you fit in that category then I recommend three excellent books that will help you gain a greater biblical and theological understanding of God’s Triune nature. You’ll also come to understand why the truth of the Trinity is so important. (By the way, I hope it doesn’t escape you that in one article I recommend three distinct books about God’s eternal oneness and threeness.)

1. Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity by Peter Toon (Regent, 1996)

Orthodox Anglican theologian Peter Toon skillfully explains the biblical basis of the Trinity (appealing to both the Old and New Testaments) and discusses how this critical doctrine was understood and defined within Christian church history. In a clear and careful manner, Toon provides both a biblical and theological portrayal of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. This work also distinguishes how the Trinitarian view of God differs from other popular conceptions of deity.

2. The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship by Robert Letham (P&R Publishing, 2004)

Conservative Presbyterian theologian Robert Letham addresses biblical, historical, theological, and doxological issues relating to this essential Christian teaching about God. In a readable manner, Letham addresses ancient and contemporary issues relating to the Trinity. I appreciate the book’s comprehensive and thorough treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity, and its glossary of key terms is of significant value in promoting deeper understanding of such a complex theological subject.

3. Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves (InterVarsity, 2012)

In accessible language, British evangelical theologian Michael Reeves explains the incredible relevance of God’s Triune nature. Reeves clearly and artfully explains that the eternal plurality of persons within the divine (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) makes the biblical God intrinsically loving and, therefore, capable of offering a Gospel of loving forgiveness. This is the best book I have ever read in terms of explaining the importance of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

Reading and studying these three theological gems will help all believers grow in their understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. And that understanding will inevitably lead to a greater sense of wonder concerning the God who is uniquely one and three.

8 responses to “My Three Favorite Books on the Trinity

  1. I’ve only read 1/3 – Letham. I might add two:
    1. Coppedge, Allan. 2007. The God Who Is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
    Great, fresh perspective on the Trinity within the context of a spectrum of views ranging from classical theism to process theism.
    2. Davis, Leo Donald. 1990. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology. Theology and Life Series v. 21. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.
    A real page-turner describing the historical and theological events behind the doctrine. Very pleasant to read.

  2. Jesus was a Jew; not even a Christian;he never believed in Trinity. Trinity was invented by Paul; it has got nothing to do with Jesus.

    • How did Paul invent the Trinity? Where do you come up with that? As I Christian, I’d be quite happy to learn where Paul lays out this doctrine directly!

      • It is collaboration of Paul and the Church; Paul laid the foundation stones on which Church erected the house of modern Christianity; it has nothing to do with Jesus and his teachings.

      • Paul certainly laid a foundation and the church certainly built upon it. But why think they have nothing to do with Jesus and his teachings? Which teachings are you referring to? Which teachings of Jesus have nothing to do with Paul and the church?

  3. Paarsurrey:

    You are a Muslim and therefore deny the Triune nature of God. But please read the biblical basis for the Trinity provided below where I provide Scriptural support for the Trinity (Old and New Testament) without references to the apostle Paul.

    Moreover would you be open to a podcast debate where you and I debate the differences between the Christian and Muslim views of God?
    If you are please let me know.

    The Trinity’s Biblical Basis

    By Kenneth R. Samples

    Some people challenge the idea that the Bible supports God’s Triune nature. However, six simple statements show how this doctrine is indeed derived from Scripture:

    1. There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; John 17:3).

    2. The Father is called or referred to as God (Psalm 89:26; 2 Peter 1:17).

    3. The Son (Jesus Christ) is called or referred to as God (John 1:1; 20:28)

    4. The Holy Spirit is called or referred to (or granted the status) as God (Genesis 1:2; John 14:26; Acts 13:2, 4).

    5. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct persons and can be distinguished from one another (the Father is not the Son; the Father is not the Holy Spirit; and the Son is not the Holy Spirit) (Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22; John 15:26; 16:13–15).

    6. The three persons (Father or God; and Son or Christ or Lord; and Holy Spirit or Spirit) are frequently listed together in a triadic pattern of unity and equality (John 14:26; 15:26).

    My friend and colleague Robert M. Bowman Jr. provides over 1,000 biblical references for the doctrine of the Trinity at http://www.irr.org/trinity-outline.html.

    For more on the historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity, see my book A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test.

    • Paarsurrey:

      Your claim that the Trinity doctrine has nothing to do with Jesus but was erected by the apostle Paul (and now you say assisted by the church) is contradicted by those who were eyewitnesses to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. For example, Jesus himself speaks of the members of the Trinity in the Gospel of Matthew:

      “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NIV).

      In other words, disciples are baptized in the name of the Triune God.

      Furthermore your claim that Christianity is the sole product of those who followed after Jesus comes from the Islamic religion that historically appears almost 600 years after the time of Christ.

      Lastly, Islam claims to build upon the truth of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures but at the same time insists that the Bible is corrupted. This seems clearly contradictory. I’ll trust the testimony of those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection which includes Paul and the other apostles (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

      May I respectfully ask a second time if you would consider debating me on this topic on my podcast Straight Thinking. On my honor I’ll give you equal time and will treat you and your views with respect.

      Thanks for your consideration.

  4. Ben:

    Thanks for the two books you recommended on the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Best regards.

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