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Book Review - The Forgotten Trinity
May 21, 2005
I have often admired authors who have written the great biographies of Christian heroes of the past. Arnold Dallimore, Iain Murray and others, who have invested thousands of hours in reading about and seeking to understand their subject. With enough study the biographer can eventually reach a point where he really understands the person he intends to write about. When he understands him, he can share what he knows of the person with others through the written word.
James White, in The Forgotten Trinity has taken on a more difficult task. He has written a book about One who is beyond human comprehension. While there is much we can know about God, we can only know what He has chosen to reveal about Himself. There is so much more to God that our finite minds can ever comprehend. White seeks to explain what the Bible tells us of the Trinity and to answer the question of why the Trinity has “become a theological appendage that is more often misunderstood than rightly known” (page 16). This book is an outpouring of the love White has for God as He exists in three persons.
“Most Christian people, while remembering the term “Trinity,” have forgotten the central place the doctrine is to hold in the Christian life. It is rarely the topic of sermons and Bible studies, rarely the object of adoration and worship - at least worship in truth, which is what the Lord Jesus said the Father desires. Instead, the doctrine is misunderstood as well as ignored. It is so misunderstood that a majority of Christians, when asked, give incorrect and at times downright heretical definitions of the Trinity. For others, it is ignored in such a way that even among those who correctly understand the doctrine, it does not hold the place it should in the proclamation of the Gospel message, nor in the life of the individual believer in prayer, worship and service” (page 16).
Over 200 pages, White provides an introduction to the Trinity - an introduction targeted at the layperson, not the scholar. It is concise, balanced and understandable. He is careful to define terms as he proceeds, and to always answer the question of why this is all so important. While White is known as being a theologian, and one who perhaps writes for other theologians, this book is understandable for any believer. Far more than mere doctrine, this book is an expression of the author’s affection for God.
To mimic the endorsement of this book written by John MacArthur, the Trinity is a doctrine where error is especially deadly. The Forgotten Trinity brings urgent clarity to a difficult and often-overlooked doctrine. I recommend it.
The Forgotten Trinity