Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday School Reading - October 5, 2008

Here is some recommended additional reading from yesterday's discussion. We didn't quite finish up the doctrine of God so most of the recommendations from last week will stay the same (as always, you can click the "Sunday School Reading" label at the bottom of this to see all related posts). So this week I will mention again one book, make a few recommendations that are focused on the Trinity, and then try to give you a few free papers to read online (in particular, I highly recommend taking the time to read B.B. Warfield's "The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity").

First, here are our catechism questions on the doctrine of God:
Q4. What is God?
A4. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

Q5. Are there more gods than one?
A5. There is but one only, the living and true God.

Q6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A6. There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

The Doctrine of God by John Frame - I just want to reiterate this particular book in terms of our whole discussion of the doctrine of God. While this is a very long book it is very rewarding and more than worth the time to read. Professor Frame addresses all of the areas that we are going over in our discussion and also deals with some other related doctrines. At least one or two copies of this book are available in the church library. His discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity is particularly good.

Father, Son, and Spirit: The Trinity and John's Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger and Scott Swain - This is a new book and is rather unique in its goal. It comes from a series on Biblical Theology. Yet because of the topic this book is a very good blend of Biblical and Systematic Theology. Dr. Kosternberger is a New Testament Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Swain is a Systematic Theology Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. I just finished this book today and they bring together their respective areas of expertise to present a book that gives a faithful exposition of what the Spirit says about the Trinity through John and also examines it in light of the church's whole doctrine of the Trinity. I will warn you that this is a book written on a high academic level and Drs. Kostenberger and Swain interact with other scholarly works so it is not the easiest read out there. Yet both are skilled writers and I think that most people in the church should be able to read this book in a few evenings and glean a lot from it.

Keeping in mind our major works on Systematic Theology, the Trinity is not often addressed formally in Calvin's Institutes but instead Calvin wrote the entire work from a Trinitarian perspective (though he does deal with this doctrine in particular in Chapter 13 of Book 1). Book 1 focuses on God the Father. Book 2 focuses on both God the Father and the person of God the Son. Book 3 focuses on the work of God the Son. Book 4 focuses on God the Spirit. Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics is similar in outline though chapter 6 of the second volume focuses on the Trinity in particular. Charles Hodge addresses the doctrine of the Trinity in chapter 6 of volume one of his Systematic Theology (available online as a .pdf file). A.A. Hodge explains this doctrine in chapter 8 of his Outlines of Theology (available for free on Google books).

Finally, here are some papers that you can read online on the doctrine of the Trinity:
Lorraine Boettner - "The Trinity"
Benjamin B. Warfield - "The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity"
Benjamin B. Warfield - "Calvin's Doctrine of the Trinity"
James I. Packer - "Trinity"
John Owen - "A Brief Declaration and Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity" (warning: this is a .pdf file and no matter what the title nothing by John Owen is ever truly brief; this is 77 pages)
R. Scott Clark - "The Splendor of the Three-in-One God: The Necessity and Mystery of the Trinity"

1 comment:

Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Matt Pickens

On the subject of the trinity,
I recommend this video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor