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One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life

One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for LifeI’m excited to point out a new book from Crossway that tackles some of the issues facing the doctrine of the Trinity today: One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life. I had the privilege of contributing a chapter with my good friend Andy Naselli. Our chapter, “An Examination of Recent Arguments against Eternal Hierarchy in the Trinity” (tentative title), evaluates some of the philosophical arguments against the notion of hierarchy in the immanent Trinity and finds them unpersuasive.

Here’s the book’s description:

How do the three persons of the Trinity relate to each other? Evangelicals continue to debate this complex concept—especially its implications for our understanding of men and women’s roles in both the home and the church. Offering a comprehensive exposition of the complementarian perspective, this book combines the insights of fifteen prominent evangelical scholars1 who examine the issue from exegetical, theological, historical, and pastoral perspectives. The contributors to this volume have written one of the most substantive treatises to date, defending the eternal submission of the Son and Spirit to the Father with a wide array of persuasive evidences.

Bruce Ware and John Starke edited the volume, and eleven others—Wayne Grudem, Jim Hamilton, Scott Oliphint, Michael Haykin, Jeffrey Robinson, Robert Letham, Michael Ovey, Andy Naselli, Chris Cowan, Kyle Claunch, and I—contributed chapters.

It’s projected to be released in April of 2015, but it’s available for pre-order now.

Since the doctrine of the Trinity is one of my favorite areas of study, I’m looking forward to this book’s release and reading the chapters from the other contributors. If you get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear your feedback on our chapter.

If this topic interests you, you may want to check out some of my previous blog posts related to hierarchy in the Trinity:2

  1. Ware–Grudem vs. McCall–Yandell on the Trinity
  2. My Question for Dr. Yandell
  3. Does Eternal Subordination Entail a Denial of Homoousion?
  4. Does the McCall–Yandell Argument Work? Feinberg Says No
  5. The Failed Strategy of Trinity and Subordinationism
  6. Essential Equality and Functional Subordination: A Complementarian Novelty?
  7. Hierarchy Does Not Necessitate Opposition
  8. Warfield on Eternal Subordination in the Trinity
  9. Barth on the Son’s Subordination to the Father
  10. Gunton on Taxis in the Trinity
  11. John Frame on 1 Corinthians 15:28 and Eternal Subordination
  12. Moulton on 1 Corinthians 15:28
  13. The Father = The Trinity

For more on the Trinity, see also these posts:

  1. The Doctrine of the Trinity in Five Theses
  2. How Do the Father, Son, and Spirit Differ?
  3. Are the Father, Son, and Spirit Equally Persons?
  4. Is the Trinity One ‘What’ and Three ‘Who’s’?
  5. Warfield, Vos, and Van Til: Is God One Person?
  6. Are You a Practical Modalist?
  7. Review of Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Scott R. Swain
  8. To Him Be Glory Forever
  9. Intratrinitarian Reconciliation?

Update: Crossway gave Andy permission to share a PDF our article. It’s available on Andy’s site.


  1. I count only thirteen. I’m not sure who numbers fourteen and fifteen are. And “prominent evangelical scholars” is probably an overstatement, especially since it would seem to include me.
  2. You may also want to check out a similar work published by Wipf and Stock a couple of years ago called The New Evangelical Subordinationism? Perspectives on the Equality of God the Father and God the Son. It includes essays from both sides of the debate. Unfortunately, it’s expensive.

Free Download of R. C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross

The Truth of the CrossR. C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross is available as a free download through April 30, 2013 from Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Trust. The best option is to grab the Logos version. It’s also available for Kindle and as an EPUB.

Here are the ten topics he covers:

  1. The Necessity of an Atonement
  2. The Just God
  3. Debtors, Enemies, and Criminals
  4. Ransomed from Above
  5. The Saving Substitute
  6. Made Like His Brethren
  7. The Suffering Servant
  8. The Blessing and the Curse
  9. A Secure Faith
  10. Questions and Answers

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John Murray on Union with Christ

Redemption Accomplished and AppliedJohn Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied is one of my all-time favorite books. I highly recommend it as a biblical and Reformed study on the atonement and the ordo salutis.

I’m preparing to teach on union with Christ at my church in a couple of weeks, and I decided to reread Murray’s chapter on the subject. It was time well spent.

Here are some highlights:

Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ. . . . [U]nion with Christ is in itself a very broad and embracive subject. It is not simply a step in the application of redemption; . . . it underlies every step of the application of redemption. Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation not only in its application but also in its once-for-all accomplishment in the finished work of Christ. Indeed the whole process of salvation has its origin in one phase of union with Christ and salvation has in view the realization of other phases or union with Christ. (161)

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Free Download: Life in a Risen Saviour by Robert Candlish

Life in a Risen Saviour Being Discourses on the Argument of the Fifteenth Chapter of First CorinthiansLife in a Risen Saviour: Being Discourses on the Argument of the Fifteenth Chapter of First Corinthians by Robert Candlish is free from Logos Bible Software this month as part of their Free Book of the Month program. After you get the free book, you can read in one of the free reader apps for PCMaciPhoneiPadAndroid, or Kindle Fire—or online at

You can also enter to win a free copy of the 15-vol. Works of Robert S. Candlish.

Life in a Risen Saviour consists of 21 sermons. Here’s how Candlish introduces the volume:

I have endeavoured, in these Discourses, to illustrate the line of argument pursued by the Apostle. It is not, as I apprehend it, an argument about the resurrection generally. It has respect to one particular view of the resurrection; its bearing on the believer’s spiritual and eternal life. I have sought to trace the line of thought which gives unity and coherence to the Apostle’s reasoning. I have by no means, however, aimed at anything like a complete commentary or exposition. I have rarely discussed different interpretations, and have abstained from minute criticism. There is no attempt, on my part, to occupy the place already so well filled by such learned and acute scholars as Dr. John Brown, and other recent writers, who have bestowed research and study on the examination of this portion of Scripture. I have not quoted authorities. But I must name Isaac Taylor’s “Physical Theory of Another Life,” as having suggested interesting lines of thought connected with the future state.

I crave indulgence for some diffuseness, as well as for occasional repetitions, not easily to be avoided in a series of compositions for the pulpit, prepared often hastily from week to week, and all having reference, more or less directly, to one theme. I might have recast what I had thus prepared, so as to give it the form of a more compact treatise. But that is always an irksome task,—and not always a successful one. I have thought it best to publish the Discourses very much as they were when I preached them.

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One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation

One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of SalvationA reader pointed out a forthcoming book on union with Christ: One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation. This 256–page book by Marcus Peter Johnson is supposed to be published by Crossway on August 31, 2013.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

Regeneration, justification, sanctification. These are the primary words that come to mind when talking about the theology of salvation. However, the Bible teaches that each of these concepts is firmly rooted in something more foundational: our union with Christ. In this accessible book, Johnson introduces us to this neglected doctrine, arguing that it is the dominant organizing concept for salvation in the New Testament. In eight thought-provoking chapters, Johnson shows how a believer’s position “in Christ” is the lens through which other all other facets of salvation should be understood. Interacting extensively with the biblical text and drawing on lessons from church history, Johnson presents a compelling case for the unique importance of this beautiful, biblical doctrine.

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God’s Love: A Bible Storybook

God's Love: A Bible StorybookIf you have an iPad and kids or grandkids (or plan to one day), you’ll definitely want to download the iPad app God’s Love: A Bible Storybook, which is free until Monday morning.

Here’s the description:

Explore God’s love from the creation of the world to the ascension of Christ. Featuring 120 story pages and three hours of spoken audio, this storybook app can help parents and Bible teachers alike share God’s majesty with children.

Here’s the book’s intro:

Before Creation, God’s heart overflowed with love for the other members of the Trinity. Then as God spoke the universe into existence, His love exploded into a kaleidoscope of shapes, sounds, smells, and tastes. Yet above all this beauty, we find the fullest and brightest expression of God’s love in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As you explore God’s majestic love, we pray that this storybook will encourage your family to develop a new awe for Him.

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Download a Free Copy of Chafer’s Book on Satan

SatanEvery month since January of 2012, Logos Bible Software has been giving away a different free book as part of their Free Book of the Month program. This month’s free book is Lewis Sperry Chafer’s work on Satan. After you get the free book, you can read in one of the free reader apps for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle Fire—or online at

You can also enter to win a free copy of the 9-vol. Lewis Sperry Chafer Collection.

Here are the books that have been free so far:

  1. January 2012: Temptation and Sin, vol. 6 of The Works of John Owen, by John Owen (cf. the 24-vol. Works of John Owen)
  2. February 2012: Revelation and Inspiration, vol. 1 of The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, by Benjamin B. Warfield (cf. the 20-vol. B. B. Warfield Collection) Continue Reading →

16 Tips to Raise Kids Who Love to Read

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading BooksIn an age of smart phones, MP3 players, tablets, computers, TVs, video games, apps, and other electronic media, it’s important to be intentional about not letting reading take a back seat as we raise our children.

In “Raising Readers,” chapter 14 of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), Tony Reinke shares 16 helpful ideas for making sure your children value books and reading:

  1. Fill your home with books. Many of history’s most prolific readers, writers, and leaders were raised in homes stuffed with books. . . .
  2. Read to your kids. . . . We all begin as readers who require aided discovery, that is, initially we need parents, pastors, classrooms, and teachers to help us to learn from books. . . .
  3. Don’t stop reading to your kids. . . . Parents should read aloud to their children from birth until college, the point in their lives when literacy plays the most important role in their educational success.
  4. Read your books in front of your kids. Young children prize what they see their parents prize. . . . Let it be obvious to them that books are cherished in your own life.
  5. Teach young children to read. . . . Every child will learn to read at a different pace, but try to teach your children to read early. . . .
  6. Push entertainment into the background. . . . It is not impossible to enjoy reading and entertainment, but your priorities must be settled first. In our home, reading is the priority over video games and television and movies. This is modeled in how we talk about books and how we limit electronic media. . . .
  7. Listen to audio books in the car. Over the years we have logged many miles on the road for family vacations. We have grown to anticipate these road trips and the opportunity they present for the entire family to enjoy audio books. . . .
  8. Hunt for the best books. . . . Take time to plan books by season, by personal interest, and even by school studies. Talk with other parents in your church to find reliable recommendations. . . . Continue Reading →

6 Tips to Help You Read More This Year

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading BooksI finished reading my first book this year, Tony Reinke’s Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Kindle | Vyrso). I read it on my Nexus 7 using the Vyrso app. If you want to read more books in 2013, you’ll find a lot of help and motivation from this fine book.

Tony gives six tips to help you read more books this year:

  1. Expect resistance from your heart.
  2. Make time to read, not excuses for why you don’t read. We all have good excuses.
  3. Cultivate a hunger for books by reading (and rereading) great books.
  4. Set your reading priorities, and let them drive your book selections.
  5. Stop doing something else in order to make time to read.
  6. Try reading three (or more) books at a time and take advantage of your environments.

On #5, I’ll be replacing some of my RSS reading with book reading.

Up next: Todd Billings’s Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church, which I’ll be reading in Vyrso.

What are you reading?

Boice’s Expositional Commentaries for $99.95

James Montgomery Boice's Expositional CommentariesLogos is currently offering a huge discount on James Montgomery Boice’s 27-vol. Expositional Commentaries. Through Friday, July 13, it’s only $99.95 with coupon code JULYBOICE. That’s about $3.70 per volume.

These 27 volumes cover 24 books of the Bible. The print cost for all of these paperbacks at Westminster Bookstore is $409.08 with a list price of $620.64. So you’re saving a ton—both off the print price and the normal digital price (Logos normally sells the collection for $399.95).

Here’s the breakdown of what you get (with Westminster list and sale prices):

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