The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is the most foundational to the faith, and the most difficult to understand and accept. It's the tenet that cults always corrupt first, the one liberals detest, and the one that continually baffles faithful believers who accept the authority of Scripture and attend Gospel-focused churches.
Why is this doctrine such a stumbling block? Because it defies human reason, and humans don't like what they can't figure out on their own, what can only be accepted by faith. That's not to say belief in the Trinity is irrational! God's existence and nature aren't illogical, but they are incomprehensible to the unaided human mind.
So where do we get the Trinity? It isn't made up—it comes straight from the pages of God's written Word, the Bible. InGod in Three Persons: Biblical Testimony to the Trinity, Allen Vander Pol sets out to show just this, and in the process offers one of the best primers on this central theological concern currently available.
Vander Pol doesn't appeal to tradition, confessions, or even the creeds: he appeals directly to the Biblical witness. His short book is an introduction for those who struggle with the doctrine, those who've come out of anti-Trinitarian cults, those investigating the truth of Christianity, and believers who just need to be able to clearly articulate the biblical teaching on the Trinity.
Three separate chapters deal with the divinity of the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Chapter 4 covers the name of God and His unified existence as three distinct persons, while Chapter 5 deals with specific texts that show all three members of the Trinity side-by-side. The final chapter answers specific objections to the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, such as the Modalist heresy, etc.
Like any good theological essay, this one shows how the Trinity is essential Christian doctrine within the Scriptural framework; Vander Pol doesn't deal with the one doctrine in isolation from the Gospel, nor does he make it the summation of Christian belief. Rather, he demonstrates that the whole Bible testifies to God's existence as Trinity, and helps us understand why it is so important.
Whether you're new to the faith, not yet a believer, or a faithful disciple deeply rooted in sound doctrine, this is an excellent book. Vander Pol writes well and simply, making no excuses for the difficulty of the doctrine, but carefully guiding readers through some of the salient biblical proof. Great for high school students, an adult Sunday school class, or personal reading, God in Three Persons is helpful, faithful, accessible, and true.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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