Joe Thorn, in writing Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God, has given a gift to the church. This little book based on what he refers to as his “dark night of the soul.” He admits he had begun to fall apart and felt he was the weakest man he knew. He writes: What follows are fifty daily readings that reflect on God and the gospel and how they overcome our fear, failure, pain, and unbelief. Much of this I preached to myself over the last couple of years, and all of it is directed toward my own heart.”
In 50 short, devotional-like chapters Thorn demonstrates how the deepest theology of scripture is immensely practical to each of us. That in the Trinity (of all places) he found the meat that nourished his soul during his weakest hours.
He states right at the beginning: “What I hope you will discover— what I continue to learn over and over again— is that all of us are far weaker than we know. Our sin, which is much darker and goes much deeper than we realize, is the real source of our most significant weakness. Neither you nor I can measure up to God’s standards. We are trapped in our condition of guilt, and the only hope is the offer of grace by our triune God.”
And that is just what he shows us.
He breaks his discussion down into the three headings of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
As he discusses the attributes and ways of the Father he says, “You exist because God chose to make you. And when he made you, he made you for himself. Meditate on this. You were made for your Maker’s pleasure. You are here for the sake of Another. And this doesn’t diminish your purpose or value in life. In fact, it heightens it.”
He goes on to discuss God’s Holiness, God’s Power, God’s Presence, God’s Provision, God’s Goodness, etc.
When he moves to the next section about the Son, the focus shifts, not only to Christ’s redemptive work, but how his humanity and poverty can be such a tremendous encouragement to us.
Regarding the nearness of Jesus, he says: “The nearness of Jesus is a gift to you. You will find him to be close by when you read his Word and seek him in prayer. He is there to comfort, challenge, and change. But he is not only a gift to you, but to the church. To experience the fullness of the presence of Jesus you must walk with him and his church. He is never far from her.”
Under the discussion of the Holy Spirit, Thorn discusses how the Spirit intercedes, indwells, regenerates, fills, indwells, leads, revives, gives gifts, etc. and how each of these aspects of the Spirit’s ministry were a blessing and encouragement to him.
I highly recommend this book. It will bless you. It will encourage you when you need to be encouraged and will jolt and shake you where such are needed. It touches deep theology but is brief and clear enough that anyone could turn to it with great profit.
*Note: I received this book free from Crossway in exchange for an unbiased review.