Book Review - March 2015

Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God, Joe Thorn, 2015, Crossway, Wheaton, Ill., ISBN 9781433541681, 140 pages, $10.99, softcover. 

Kevin DeYoung wrote in The Good News We Almost Forgot: "The only thing more difficult than finding the truth is not losing it. What starts out as new and precious becomes plain and old. What begins a thrilling discovery becomes a rote exercise." Joe Thorn, a pastor in the Chicago area ran with this idea in his 2011 book Note to Self, which featured 50 brief readings to encourage believers to preach the Gospel and teach the Word daily to our own hearts to avoid the stagnation and sin that so easily creeps in.

Building on the style and concept ofNote to Self, Thorn has compiled 50 new devotional readings in Experiencing the Trinity. His goal here is to plant knowledge of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit deeply in readers' souls so that our faith in Him is strengthened and our lives are shaped by His character.

These are short pieces, but they are not shallow. There is theological meat on the bones, challenging us to dig into to the Scriptures that Thorn cites and to resist the temptation to reduce God to our own narrow horizons and weak expectations. As you would expect from the title, the book is divided into three sections, one dedicated to each person of the Godhead. In 15 segments, Thorn calls attention to the nature and attributes of the Father (He is holy, Creator, powerful, present, good, etc.). 20 readings are devoted to exploring the character and work of Christ (His humanity, deity, suffering, obedience, death, resurrection, mission, kingdom, etc.). A final 15 focus on the active, ongoing role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives, highlighting His regeneration, indwelling, comforting, convicting, teaching, and more.

In the introduction, Thorn lays out how personal this book is to him, as it was born out of his own desperation and battles with anxiety. He wrote it, he says, because remembering and meditating on these truths about who God is and what He has done and continues to do restored his spiritual health and zeal for ministry.

This is practical theology at its most practical, calling us to daily prayer and reflection based on the steadfastness of our God rather than the wavering of our own strength and emotions.

Justin Lonas

Target: All
Type: Devotional
Take: Recommended

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