The first two paragraphs of the Introduction to Delighting in the Trinity, by British evangelical theologian Michael Reeves, provide a good preview of its content and a realistic sample of its style:
“God is love”; those three words could hardly be more bouncy. They seem lively, lovely and as warming as a crackling fire. But “God is Trinity”? No, hardly the same effect: that just sounds cold and stodgy. All quite understandable, but the aim of this book is to stop the madness. Yes, the Trinity can be presented as fusty and irrelevant dogma, but the truth is that God is love BECAUSE God is a Trinity.
This book, then, will simply be about growing in our enjoyment of God and seeing how God’s triune being makes all his ways beautiful. It is a chance to taste and see that the Lord is good, to have your heart won and yourself refreshed. For it is only when you grasp what it means for God to be a Trinity that you really sense the beauty, the overflowing kindness, the heart-grabbing loveliness of God. If the Trinity were something we could shave off God, we would not be relieving him of some irksome weight; we would be shearing him of precisely what is so delightful about him. For God is triune, and it is as triune that he is so good and desirable.”
Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith was not written to explain the Trinity (if anyone could adequately explain it!), but to demonstrate that this doctrine is Scriptural and to reveal why the Trinity is important to every aspect of the Christian faith, as well as to the creation of the world. Why is God love? Because God is a Trinity. Why can we be saved? Because God is a Trinity. How are we able to live the Christian life? Through the Trinity. As one reviewer observes, “Reeves provides a most accessible book for those who are trying to understand what difference it makes that we are Trinitarian.”
I found helpful the contrast the author made between the true and living Trinitarian God of the Bible and Allah, the single-person Supreme Being, who has no son or personal relationships of any kind. Allah is authoritarian and unapproachable, but the true God of the Bible “for all eternity … was loving and giving life to and delighting in His Son.” That’s why He can be such a wonderful heavenly Father to us, His adopted children!
Though Reeves has a PhD in theology from King’s College in London and currently serves as Director of the online theology website uniontheology.org and Senior Lecturer at Wales Evangelical School of Theology, he has had years of hand-on experience sharing the gospel with secular university students in Great Britain. This makes what he writes sound more contemporary and relevant than if he were just writing for academic theologians. For example, regarding the new atheism (e.g., Christopher Hitchens and company) Reeves writes:
In my own experience talking with non-Christian students, again and again I find that when they describe the God they don’t believe in, he sounds more like Satan than the loving Father of Jesus Christ: greedy, selfish, trigger-happy and entirely devoid of love. And if God is not Father, Son and Spirit, aren’t they right?
Among the enjoyable aspects of this 130-page work are Reeves’ colorful writing style, his British wit, numerous biblical references, and over 30 black and white reproductions of art from over the centuries, ranging from biblical scenes to portraits of theologians such as Athanasius, Luther, and Schleiermacher.
I believe the goal Reeves had in writing Delighting in the Trinity was not to entertain, nor just to educate, but to demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential to the Christian faith, as well as to inspire us to greater love for our Trinitarian God.
Let me conclude this review with one final quote:
Neither a problem nor a technicality, the triune being of God is the vital oxygen of Christian life and joy.