"It has been said that there have been four centuries when the church’s understanding of the person of Christ has been most under attack. Those centuries were the fourth and fifth, as well as the nineteenth and twentieth. If this is true, we are living in the immediate aftermath of two hundred years of devastating attacks against the church’s orthodox understanding of the person of Christ. That’s why it’s so important in our day that we revisit this whole concept of the Trinity."
~R.C. Sproul, What is the Trinity? (Crucial Questions Series #10)
The Trinity is a core Christian doctrine that touches nearly ever other area of doctrine in some manner. It is also a subject that is often glossed over in my experience. This is a tragedy, in my opinion. Among all of the various areas of Christian doctrine, the doctrine of the Trinity is one area in which Christians cannot afford to be imprecise. Dr. Sproul's book is a simple yet precise overview of this doctrine. Dr. Sproul has the ability to speak and write very clearly on a subject, with varying degrees of complexity and depth depending on his audience. This short book, at under 100 pages, is a good one for general audiences and lay Christians.
Dr. Sproul also devotes an entire chapter on discussing objections to the doctrine of the Trinity, coming out strongly against the false assertion that the Trinity is a "contradiction". I appreciate the fact that Dr. Sproul does not burden the reader in this volume with overly complex ideas and terms, although he does not over-simplify subjects that should not be dealt with simplistically. An example of this is when he deals with the assertion that the Trinity is a contradiction by explaining the law of non-contradiction, and applying it to this false charge. I also appreciate that this book contains a very helpful section on the various heresies that sprang up in the early Church, such as that of the monophysitism and nestorianism. One effective way to learn what something is, in my opinion, is to learn what it is not.
If I could recommend anything at all that would be helpful in this book that it currently lacks, it would be to include some of the historic creeds of the Church that discuss the doctrine of the Trinity. As it is, however, these creeds are readily available online, and the message and clarity book does not suffer for the lack of them.
Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I do believe that much more could be written on the subject, but this short work accomplishes exactly what I believe it set out to do- provide a concise, easy to understand overview of the the doctrine of a triune God. The ending of the book seemed a bit abrupt to me, ending with a decent explanation of the concept of shibboleth as found in Judges 12:5–6. The doctrine of the Trinity has been a "shibboleth" for orthodoxy in the faith for well over a thousand years, as expressed very precisely in the Athanasian Creed.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest (whether positive or negative) review.