Why not the Trinity?

Last week I attended one day of the Fulwood Conference here in Sheffield. The stand out talk for me was Gavin McGrath on John Owen’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It was a great introduction with some very suggestive (if brief) contemporary application – especially on the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity. His two talks are available for free download here and here.

It got me thinking. I’ve written a book on prayer and I often get asked to speak on prayer. I’ve written a book on social involvement and I often get asked to speak on social involvement. I’ve written a book on busyness and I often get asked to speak on busyness. I’ve written a book on missional church and I often get asked to speak on missional church. I’ve just written a book on sanctification and already I’m being asked to speak on sanctification.

I’ve also written a book on the Trinity, but no-one has ever asked me to speak on the Trinity.

Why is this?

Actually while we’re on the subject … Why is my book on the Trinity the only one to be going out of print?

The irony is that of all the topics above the Trinity is the one on which I would most like to be asked to speak! Indeed I often find ways of speaking on it even if I’m asked to speak on something else. If I’m asked to give on prayer then I nearly always end up talking about the Trinity.

I also think it’s the most practical of all those topics.

My book Delighting in the Trinity is available in the USA from Kregel, but is now out of print in the UK. I have some copies available for sale in the UK at £6 each including packing and postage (discounts for multiple orders).

28 thoughts on “Why not the Trinity?

  1. For what it’s worth Tim, your book on the Trinity inspired to a whole new area of study. Without you, I’d never have read Barth (but I can forgive you that).

    I think the answer to your question is that our generation is more comfortable with the things we do (prayer, busyness, social involvement) than with the nature of God. It’s almost as if we don’t have a theology, we have an anthropology.

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  3. How convenient, the talk you like most is the one that happens to let you plug one of your books!

    But seriously, I guess a lot of folk probably think that a book on the Trinity is only for theologians – even one with such a lovely cover. It was only when I heard Mike Reeves talking on the Trinity that I discovered how delightfully practical and immensely life-changing a proper understanding of God’s three-in-oneness is.

  4. and theologically, the Reformed tradition has often not appropriated the fully-fledged Trinitarianism of John Owen, a tradition that has subsequently been captured by writers like Moltmann and taken in different directions. Trinitarian explorations therefore can be seen as threatening to some Reformed thinkers because of the usual contemporary trajectory it generates.

    and for most punters in the churches, people are wary of hanging heavy theological weight on overly complex ideas that cannot be simply ‘proof-texted’ out of scripture.

    I am not surprised by what you write, but dismayed by it. The Trinity is the point of departure for all theological exploration, the Glory of God revealed to us in Three-Persons is (so re-capture a much malinged word) awesome. We cannot afford to let the Trinitarian doctrine of God become an awkward appendix to our understanding of theology or of life. We should be reading, speaking and singing Trinitarianism together if we are to be faithful!

  5. Dear Tim
    I would be delighted if could to come to Sydney and teach on the Trinity – or at least come and teach me how to teach on the Trinity – maybe that could be an angle on the next print – teaching and delighting in the trinity?
    Now that I have invited you I should probably go away and work out how to get you here!
    joyfully
    Shane

  6. and you know what, if you’re going to Sydney, you should probably drop into Japan on one of your flights. I’m sure the churches in Sendai would be happy to have you.

  7. Levi – noticed you mentioned Sendai, Japan. Is that where you are based? I would be interested to hear more about what you’re doing there as I used to work with OMF as their UK student worker and Sendai was the city we took short-term teams. Samuel.

  8. Tim – I’d love to get hold of a copy of Delighting in the Trinity. I see that The Book Depository have it for £6.52 inc. P&P however if I could buy a copy from you for £6 that’d be fab – perhaps you could let me know how? Many thanks, James.

  9. I am disappointed to hear that Delighting in the Trinity will be going out of print in the UK. I am alarmed by the acceptance that non-Trinitarians get within Christian circles, e.g.

    http://www.wesleyowen.com/WesleyOwenSite/pages/search/search.asp?txtSearch=t.d.+jakes

    http://www.premierradio.org.uk/ministry/lifestudyofthebible.aspx

    I have emailed both Wesley Owen and Premier Christian Radio, but neither seems to be concerned about promoting modalist views of God, rather than orthodox Trinitarian positions.

    Is there any way that worthwhile books can be kept in print?

  10. Obviously it would be a declassified version, I must admit I’ve pretty much signed everything, including enhanced security vetting.

    I suspect though with world events paying out as they are, geo-politics will represent much more the vista of the late 19th Century. Defence will become a growth industry again.

  11. Samuel, indeed I am in Sendai, working with OMF for a year. I’d be more than happy to chat more about that but it seems rather rude to hijack Tim’s thread on the Trinity. Why don’t you e-mail me: levi dot booth at gmail dot com.

  12. Hi. I enjoyed the book on the Trinity, a subject of great importance as it is the Trinity that makes our God unique.

    I invite you to visit us for a Saturday evening to speak on the subject. We are a small church near Wrexham, but would invite the local churches to join us.

    I’m sorry – I didn’t see an email address to send this privately.

  13. Hi,

    From what I know Watchmen Lee believed in the Trinity, but not Witness Lee. He went of the rails and denied the Trinity.

    From the experience culture that we live in, most people get turned off because the see the power and life of the Holy Spirit in the NT and in reality, they experience nothing in their local church. So they put it aside.

    Not a valid reason I agree. Most people I know, have way more head knowledge about the Holy Spirit than experience. We were meant to experience the Holy Spirit like God’s love. In large doses on a continual bases.

    Tim Wright

  14. And Jason, if the TV programme ‘Spooks’ is anything to go by (and of course I believe it be a completely realistic depiction of the workings of our security services) then the Russians et al already know all there is to know about the defence of the realm! ;-)

  15. If Delighting in the Trinity goes out of print then I can look for another publisher or publish it myself online. But at the moment it’s caught in a bit of a catch 22 cycle. The publishers have decided not to reprint it. But they won’t declare it out of print until all the remaining copies have been sold. In the UK all the copies have gone, but in the US there are still several hundred. But the publishers won’t promote the book (since it’s going out of print) so the remaining copies don’t get sold.

  16. Hi Tim,

    I read delighting in the trinity a couple of years ago, and I’ve not stopped reading book after book about it since. It is wonderful, thanks for breaking down my preconceptions that it’s too complicated and unnecessary. Our Trinitarian God is Glorious!!!!! – And knowing Him, as He is, is what life is all about.

    (regarding submarines, are we talking Trafalgar class?)

  17. Vanguard, Astute, Swiftsure (my fave) or Trafalgar – take your pick. Saying that I have some short stints at sea on Dutch walrus class and a Los Angeles US boat. Although deep down I would much rather talk about the Trinity, but I would be nowhere near as good as Tim.

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  19. We searched for quite a while for a study on the Trinity and finally, thankfully, found your book. I live in an area of South Carolina with many Christian book stores, and I was really surprised to see how limited the options about the Trinity were on their shelves! Tonight when I went online to do some price comparisons, I stumbled onto your blog and was alarmed to find out it’s going out of print in the UK. That motivated me to order the dozen we needed to begin the study in January!

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