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The Countenance of the Father Paperback – May 1997

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This Book Does a Rare Thing; It Well Discusses the First Person of the Trinity, Particularly As Seen in the New Testament 5 Jun. 2013
By Michael D. Spencer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult in brief space to explain how the author's discussion flows in this book, so, instead, I will summarize main ideas from the first portion of one of this book's chapters, "The Father and the Cross."
The most difficult of the Son's hours, the cross, this writer comments in this chapter, exists for the Father so much within the eternal that it is constantly before his eyes. Then the Father does not raise so much support for the Son that he is unable to plumb the full depths of his human passion. The Father chooses the instruments of the passion, sinful men. It is hardly comprehensible how the Son could long to realize so radical an obedience to the Father and the Father could have granted this. But we can imagine a father entrusting his son with some major task and restraining himself from any intervention, such as making suggestions or taking things in hand himself. The Son's achievement is not merely to suffer the cross but to endure it in the form of obedience the Father has determined...
This author, Adrienne von Speyr, speaks with remarkable perception and the sure touch of someone spiritually mature.
Her words are more comprehensible when it comes to the general public because this book of devoid of specialized theological terms. And so she refers to the Trinity and the unity of the three Persons, for example, in ordinary language, as she proceeds. But what she says can be difficult to understand in another respect--she generally speaks on a high level of abstraction, often calling for reflection as to what she can mean.
Adrienne von Speyr is a Catholic and so, for example, she provides the traditional idea of the Trinity and affirms Christ's divinity, speaks of the holiness of the mother of Jesus, and discusses the seven sacraments, which she covers in a chapter of its own. This chapter on the sacraments, however, unfortunately little speaks of God the Father in particular.
It is interesting to see that she maintains, in the book's several chapters on the Father and the Old Testament that it is God the Father who is the God generally spoken of in the Old Testament. This is possible, though other Biblical commentators would disagree.
Some readers will already know that Adrienne von Speyr was a mystic with special spiritual experiences of God. I presume that much of what she has to say in this book flows out of such experiences. But the book never goes off the rails when it comes to traditional beliefs, and generally what she has to say could have been written by a person who simply had thought long and hard about what the New Testament, and particularly what the Gospel of Saint John shows about God the Father and the Father's relationship with the Son.
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