The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit
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"Simply Trinity demonstrates how much is at stake in the trinitarian debates that have recently roiled the evangelical community. I recommend it highly."--Thomas S. Kidd, professor at Baylor University; blogger at The Gospel Coalition
To truly know God, we must understand God as Trinity. But what if the Trinity we've been taught is not the Trinity of the Bible?
In this groundbreaking book, Matthew Barrett reveals a shocking discovery: we have manipulated the Trinity, re-creating the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our own image. With clarity and creativity, Barrett mines the Scriptures as well as the creeds and confessions of the faith to help us rediscover the beauty, simplicity, and majesty of our triune God. What we believe about the Trinity also has untold consequences for salvation and the Christian life.
"Matthew Barrett has the evangelical instinct for classic, time-tested, deeply traditional biblical teaching about the Trinity. . . . Simply Trinity proclaims the good news of the unmanipulated doctrine of the triune God."--Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
"Readers are led away from the rocks of those who have sought to convince us that biblical, classic trinitarian theology needs radical change, and into the calm, wide sea that is the Christian community's historic faith."--Lewis Ayres, Durham University
"Matthew Barrett offers a sane and sober recovery of the church's exegesis of Scripture and defends the Christian doctrine of the Trinity against its unwitting saboteurs."--Michael F. Bird, Ridley College
Matthew Barrett is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of None Greater; Canon, Covenant, and Christology; and God's Word Alone. He is also the executive editor of Credo magazine and the host of the Credo podcast.
"Matthew Barrett has the evangelical instinct for classic, time-tested, deeply traditional biblical teaching about the Trinity. This book is the story of his joy in finding that doctrine after clearing aside some rubble and debris that had accumulated on top of it in recent years. Simply Trinity proclaims the good news of the unmanipulated doctrine of the triune God."
Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
"Matthew Barrett's book is perfect for students of theology in the evangelical tradition. In clear and readable chapters Barrett draws his readers to appreciate classical trinitarian theology as the foundation of biblical faith. Readers are led away from the rocks of those who have sought to convince us that such theology needs radical change, and into the calm, wide sea that is the Christian community's historic faith."
Lewis Ayres, Durham University
"Matthew Barrett exposes those tinkering with the Trinity and provides a great antidote to them. He offers a sane and sober recovery of the church's exegesis of Scripture to explain that the three persons of the Godhead share in one substance, power, and eternity without hierarchies or other heresies. Barrett provides an informative mix of exegesis, church history, and systematic theology to defend the Christian doctrine of the Trinity against its unwitting saboteurs."
Michael F. Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
"Simply Trinity delivers an accessible scholarly introduction to historic and biblical understandings of the Trinity, and demonstrates how much is at stake in the trinitarian debates that have recently roiled the evangelical community. I recommend it highly."
Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University
"I was blown away by this book, a clear, powerful intervention into trinitarian controversy. The critique of evangelical subordinationists alone is fantastic, and no attentive reader should miss their connections with social trinitarianism. Evangelical theology is in serious trouble, and I think many of us have known that for years, but this book will be impossible to ignore. We simply must turn this trend around or evangelicalism will lose its hold on the gospel."
Craig Carter, Tyndale University
"I hope this accessible book is widely read and discussed, especially by evangelicals. It will challenge some things taught in recent decades. But Barrett's arguments from Scripture and tradition are to be taken seriously, since we all long for our speech and worship of the triune God to be faithful."
Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College
"Matthew Barrett has written a stormer of a book. He meets head-on the major turn away from the historic Christian account of the triune God to the post-enlightenment account that favored redefinition and novelty tending toward unorthodoxy. In the twentieth century evangelicals adopted this new strategy and have sought to redefine God in favor of their social agendas. I am grateful to God for this book and for the service Professor Barrett has done the church of Christ."
Liam Goligher, Tenth Presbyterian Church
"Barrett glorifies the infinitely simple Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with deep wisdom. This would be reason enough to read, but most doctrinally rich books about the Trinity are boring. By contrast, this book sings! From the get-go, Barrett captures one's attention and doesn't let go. The result is urgently needed nourishment for both head and heart."
Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary
"Immediately convinced of the need for this book, readers become acquainted with the history of Trinity drift as well as the history of its antidote. Barrett's style is both inviting and accessible, utilizing first-person narrative and cogent theological explanation to communicate rigor and depth. He presents a biblically and historically thorough case for the simple triune God differentiated only by eternal generations and spiration. I will value this book as a scholarly dialogue partner and pedagogical teaching text, showing that if we fail to submit ourselves to the image of our gracious God consistent in text and tradition, we will have no foundation from which to think and live theologically in such a demanding time as this."
Amy Peeler, associate professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
"The Trinity is the foundational mystery of the Christian faith. From within the life and love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all the other great mysteries of the faith flow--creation, the incarnation, salvation, Pentecost, and the church and the sacraments. The Bible is the history of the Trinity acting within our time-bound world so as to take us into its eternal life of love. Matthew Barrett is a theologian who delights in the Trinity, a man who perceives the Trinity's importance. Because of his love of the Trinity, Barrett is flustered by the fact that many twentieth-century evangelical theologians have used and distorted the Trinity for their own social and political agendas. They have misinterpreted the Scriptures. They are ignorant of the church fathers and much of the Christian theological tradition, both Catholic and Protestant. They have, Barrett states, set the Trinity adrift. Barrett's book is a refutation of such trinitarian drift, but more so, it is a clear, creative, robust, and scholarly presentation of the Trinity, a presentation that will bring joy to the minds and love to the hearts of all who read it. In so doing, all will give praise to the Father, honor to the Son, and glory to the Holy Spirit."
Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM Capuchin, former member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, Capuchin College, Washington, DC
"The Trinity is one of the Bible's more challenging doctrines, and yet Matthew Barrett ably guides readers through the issues to present clear and cogent teaching. He opens the treasures of the past and draws on patristic, medieval, Reformation, and contemporary theologians to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. But he also usefully shows where some have gone astray and charitably speaks the truth in love. People would do well to read this book and plumb the depths of the Bible's teaching on the nature of our triune God."
J. V. Fesko, professor of systematic and historical theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
"Simply Trinity could be a game changer. By writing a book for laypersons on the doctrine of the Trinity and the contributions of the church fathers, Matthew Barrett has gone a long way in helping to banish popular errors that continue to persist about the very nature of God. But this book is so much more. Complex doctrines and historical terms are brought out of the halls of academia and given back to the laity. As I read, there were moments when I shut my eyes and gave thanks to the God whose essence and perfections are beyond words. Please read this book."
Todd Pruitt, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, VA; cohost, Mortification of Spin podcast
"Simply Trinity successfully aims to put the church back on the path of confessional fidelity. Matthew Barrett helps us understand that how we read the Bible and whom we read it with is imperative to beholding the triune Author who reveals himself to us in his Word. You will see how our understanding of God affects our understanding of salvation and what we forfeit if we get it wrong."
Aimee Byrd, author of Theological Fitness and Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
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