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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful theologically and pastorally, 2 Jun 2014
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Phillip Sacre (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (Paperback)
If you asked me to describe the things which have increased my faith over the past few years, somewhere near the top of the list I'd have to put studying the Doctrine of God.

Spurgeon once said: "Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead."

I hope that anyone who reads this book will be able to say the same and see the truth of those words. The Doctrine of God is, in my experience, sadly neglected in many contemporary churches.

A few specifics about the book itself:

- Each chapter concludes with a meditation, which applies the theology of the chapter within a pastoral context. Personally I found the meditations very helpful in thinking through what the theology of the preceding chapter meant for a Christian.
- Similarly, it was helpful to have an 'Engaging with the World' section at the end where the practical implications are discussed on a wider scale.
- The writing style is very accessible and warm, which makes it easy reading for the most part. There were some difficult sections - mostly interacting with other views / theologians - but these are comparatively few.
- The section I probably found most helpful personally was on suffering - Peter speaks as someone writing from experience and it shows.

In general I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have their vision of God expanded!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only read this if you are willing to be blown away..., 18 Jun 2014
This review is from: Simply God (Kindle Edition)
Only read this if you are willing to be blown away, not just in what you think about how great and awesome and other the God of the Bible is, but also in how you think about Him. If God is our creator, then he's not like us but only bigger, better and brainier. Instead, as quoted in the book, God is "solitary in his majesty, unique in his excellency, peerless in his perfections ... Such a God cannot be found out by searching. He can be known only as he is revealed to the heart by the Holy Spirit through the word." Because God is other, we need revelation. We need the Bible, in which God has graciously found a means by which to accommodate knowledge of himself to our slight capacity (as John Calvin put in). Read this if you want a fresh sense of awe in your creator, and a renewed appetite to see and know this incomparably perfect and infinite God in the pages of His word, the bible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Game Changer?, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (Paperback)
Every once in a while, a book is written which should be red by every thinking Christian. 'Every' because the subject is so vital to right thinking about God, that it will benefit all who read it. 'Thinking' because the subject is conceptually difficult, for it is about the nature of God himself, a God who is 'other'. Still, Sanlon is great at making this subject accessible and warm, as it should be. 'Should' because I can think of no more pressing need for every Christian than to know their God properly.

Like Packer's Knowing God, this book should be on every Christian's shelf. Like Knowing God, it should be read, and re-read. It will profit everyone who does.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant primer on the doctrine of God, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (Paperback)
One of the serious weaknesses of the modern evangelical church is the way in which it so often overlooks the grammar and framework of theology that faithful Christians have, for centuries, used when speaking of and to God.

In this book, Peter Sanlon guides the reader through the riches of classical theism, as expounded from Augustine to Aquinas to Calvin to Charnock and other Puritans and down to the current day. He presents the God of the Bible as one who is not bigger and better than we are, but on a different plane of existence altogether. He is the uncreated, eternal, immutable, simple Creator. We are his creatures, finite and fallen.

Using the language and concepts of orthodox and Reformed Christianity, Sanlon first of all magnifies the transcendence of the one God, by developing his simplicity, the doctrine that God’s essence is identical with his existence, and that God is not made up of parts. He demonstrates the way in which the pure act of God refracts (to borrow a term from Paul Helm’s foreword) into created time and space, in the differing situations of his image bearers. This refraction is seen by us in different attributes, such as eternity, impassibility, omniscience, omnipotence, goodness, and so on. The reader is shown how these are not dry, speculative concepts, but biblically coherent doctrines that bring comfort to the believer.

He then visits the triune unity of God, and we see that God’s transcendence, his simple and incomprehensible majesty, is the ground of his intimate and immanent love for creation. He finishes by calling the church to deeper reflection upon who God is, and to engage at a better and more winsome level with our world. The doctrine of God is the most practical thing we can study.

This is a great book, which not only introduces the novice to the old paths of classical Christian theology in a deceptively accessible way, but also causes the more advanced reader to wonder at and worship afresh the simple and triune God. Each chapter ends with a meditation and prayer, which reminds the reader that the aim of all theology, and the proper response of the creature, is reverence and awe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book but no subject or name index, 2 Sep 2014
This review is from: Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (Paperback)
This is a very good book, accessible, stimulating and stretching.
I don't have much to add to the other reviews here in terms of content.
It is rather a sadness that the book, despite having a scripture index and bibliography, has no subject or name index.
The content of the book is rich, the arguments well connected, and it would have been a more useful tool had these been present.
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Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity
Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity by Peter Sanlon (Paperback - 16 May 2014)
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