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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Good God: Enjoying Father, Son and Spirit
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on 15 September 2014
I hardly ever write book reviews, and I am aware that this is extremely lengthy but after experiencing some of the hype this book has got and looking at some of the reviews and ratings here, I felt I was maybe missing something. This review is a fair length, however, and I don't expect anyone to read it fully, so I have attempted to summarize most of this into the final 4 small paragraphs (and they are small!).

I hate to put a downer on all the good reviews this book is getting, because I honestly really wanted to like this book. It had been highly recommended to my by pastors whose advice I value and by reviews of customers on the internet and I felt it would be a really good purchase and extremely useful in coming to a deeper understanding of the Trinity. This book isn't awful and there are some genuinely helpful ideas which I have found beneficial, but this book is also lined with assumptions and speculations which is incredibly frustrating when some of Reeves' arguments are quite powerful. I don't want to sound petty in this review and I do want to praise the helpful elements in this book, so to try and avoid finishing it off on a bad point, I'm going to flag up the issues I had with it first, followed by the positive things The Good God offered up.

- If you have no idea of what the 'Trinity' is, then read something else which attempts to explain its outline to you.

Incredibly, Reeves' spends hardly any time explaining in basic terms just what the 'Trinity' actually is. He seems so fixated on trying to explain the inner-workings of the Trinity that he pays mere lip-service to the idea that God is three distinct persons, all unique and distinct yet all fully divine and equal. Strangely, no scriptural attempt is made at demonstrating this. Scripture is used to demonstrate the roles each member plays in the salvation of God's people and in the relationship between members, but there is no attempt to, for example, demonstrate Christ's own divine nature and distinct personality within the Godhead. Of course, the separate roles of the members is an element of their distinct personalities, but Reeves spends no time explaining that the separate roles point to this idea of distinct person-hood within the Trinity. It is almost entirely assumed that you aware that this idea is biblical.
The only attempt made at anything like this is Reeves' incredibly brief discussion of the unity of the Godhead. He appeals to any Muslim readers he has, who may use Deuteronomy 6:4 to show that the Lord is One and not triune. Reeves responds by explaining how the word for 'one' in this verse is the same as that used for Adam and Eve becoming 'one' through their marriage. But that is all you get to this end. There is no further explanation or discussion, from Scripture, of the idea of God being three Persons in one being and none at all demonstrating Biblically how the three members are all unique and divine. There is just this one allusion to God being 'one' in a mysterious way and this points to the Unity and 'One-ness' of the Trinity, not the personalities and 'Three-ness' in the Trinity.

What makes this even more frustrating is that one of the very first things Reeves does is highlight the fact that there is a lack of desire amongst Christians at present to read books on the Trinity. He establishes the lack of emphasis people place on the Trinity, but then he goes straight into explaining why certain illustrations of the Trinity (such as an egg or the different states of H2O) are erroneous. So, if you are a new Christian reading this or are unaware of what the doctrine of the Trinity is, the first thing you get in The Good God isn't a good Scriptural grounding of the doctrine's key features.

The only sentence I can find which explicitly asserts the distinct nature of the three members (and not just the separate roles they play) is on p. ix of the introduction and that is Reeves relaying what Christians often assert: 'We (Christians) explain that the Father is not the Son, the Spirit is not the Father, there are not three gods and so on. All of which is true...'. That is almost all you get of Reeves actually stating the actual idea of what the Trinity actually 'is'. Don't get me wrong, there is lots on the separate roles of each member and how they are in complete unison in their will, but in order to see these roles in the way Reeves presents them, an assumption is made that you are aware of the three distinct personalities in the Godhead. Indeed, one of the only explicit allusions Reeves makes to this idea is in this quoted sentence, which is in fact him relaying what Christians often assert as knowing to be true! Reeves does denounce modalism and explains well how certain illustrations can lead to this misstep, but he doesn't actually use any Scriptural references to back up his claims!

The closest statement I can find to a definition of the Trinity in this book, or what Reeves actually means by the Trinity is found one page 20: 'he is the Father, loving and giving life to his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit'. That might seem adequate, but if it is not laid out properly beforehand that God is Three Separate and Distinct Persons in One Being then that sentence can be extremely confusing. Reeves simply assumes that readers are aware of this aspect of the doctrine of the Trinity.

- All Reeves' arguments as to the importance of the Trinity are based on assumptions of what he thinks is best and although this is sometimes powerful, he doesn't actually give solid reasons as to why a single-person god is inferior to a Triune God. The argument that a single-person god, without creation, would have no need of love and therefore this quality would not be part of his nature is perfectly reasonable, but Reeves goes a step too far into thinking that because such a god would not have love as part of his nature, then such a god could never love his creation, (if he did even create!). To a certain extent this is valid, in that a god who has been alone in eternity past would not be able to love a creation in a way that a God who has love as part of his nature in eternity past would be able to. However, this does not mean that the god who created the universe is not a single-person!

Just because the idea of a triune God provides us with better reasons for thinking he would love and care for us doesn't mean that the god who created the universe must be like that! The root of this problem is rampant in many books that evangelical Christians are eating up today: people base their ideas of who God is and what he is like on personal preference and what they think sounds nicer. For example, how many times do Christians make the case that Christianity is 'better' or more reasonable than, say, Islam, because it is based on a grace-based system of love rather than a works-based system of reward. The idea may sound nicer, but that doesn't mean that Christianity is true and Islam is false! In the same way, just because the idea of a Triune God provides us with a better grounding for receiving the love of such a God does not mean that it is a more viable option that a single-person god or creator. Many Christians today argue for believing a certain idea simply on the basis that it is preferable and has seemingly 'nicer' or 'more loving' consequences. If Reeves had devoted time to explaining the importance of Scripture and how we can trust it and the words of Christ, then he could have argued that not only is the idea of a Triune God 'nicer', but it is also more viable!

The problem is that, eventually, Reeves gets himself into a right mess of seemingly convincing himself that a single-person god is incapable of creating the world! This is particularly dangerous when we consider the reason so many Christians are actually reading Christian books on the Trinity at the moment; because Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are knocking their doors. The more frequent encounters Christians are having with such people are prompting Christians to go and look more into the Trinity, and that is perfectly good and will benefit believers! But if we take Reeves view of facing a Triune God off against a single-person god then the Jehovah's witness (who would side with the latter) could quite easily reply that they think that God is in fact a single-person and will even argue that that is what Scripture teaches! So, for all Reeves' arguments and claims that single-persons create 'only for their own self-gratification' he never actually explains that this cannot actually be the case only that it isn't what he sees as the best option for us.

This book is lined with assumptions which are framed in such a way as to say that, if single-person gods do create, they are 'far less likely' to care about their creation etc. There is nothing actually solid there. By page 79, it seems that Reeves has totally failed to realise how far he has let this argument run. On the topic of prayer and the importance of God's Trinitarian nature for prayer, Reeves asks: 'Could...a single-person God even hear us from all the way up there in his self-involved transcendence? Wouldn't our bleatings just be interruptions on his precious me-time? Yes, if God were not triune, it would probably be better to keep quiet and hope to avoid being heard. After all, he may not want the existence of anything else'. Even without that contradictory final sentence, all he says here is assumption; 'Wouldn't our...', 'it would probably be...'. A Jehovah's Witness may just turn around and say, 'well, I think God created because he wanted people to worship him and, therefore, enjoys people coming to him for help and loves the attention'. That would be just as reasonable an assumption. As Reeves said earlier, single-person gods want 'self-gratification'. He could just have easily argued that single-person gods listen to people's 'interruptions' because they enjoy the fact that someone wants their help, and it panders to their ego.

But lets take that final sentence back into consideration. If a single-person god 'may not want the existence of anything else', then why would there be a creation to cry out to him and 'interrupt' him? I understand that the point Reeves is making is that, being on his own, such a god would not feel the need to love a creation, but that doesn't mean that, if such a god did create for his own 'self-gratification' that he wouldn't want the existence of anything else. If he didn't want the existence of anything else, why would he create it!?! He has no need of it, sure, but if a single-person god created it for egotistical reasons, he would still want it in existence! Unfortunately, Reeves' assumptions on this point are given no real foundation and, as a result, fall flat.

Like I said, however, this book isn't awful and there are things here which were beneficial and useful.
- Some of the arguments Reeves makes are good arguments, he just places too much weight upon them.

As mentioned, the argument that a triune God has always been in a loving relationship with the other members of the Trinity is perfectly valid in and of itself. It does make more sense for a triune God to pour love on his creation as love is part of his nature. It is also valid that a single-person god, being alone, would not share the same reason to love any creation he initiates. Reeves pushes this point too far, making out that because a Triune God can show genuine love to his creation, this makes him a more likely candidate to have created the universe, when, in reality, a single-person god could still have created the universe for selfish reasons. There are two options here, and the one of the Triune God does provide a better grounding for a God who can love genuinely with love as part of his nature. This provides more benefits for the believers in such a God, but it does not mean that such a God is more likely to have created it than a single-person god (such a god may, for example, have created us with a joy and admiration of creation only for us to puff him up further). We can experience real love and joy by being welcomed into the relationship the members of the Trinity share with each other and Reeves does make this point well, even if he pushes it by claiming this experience makes the God behind it the best option as creator.

- Reeves does do a good job of explaining the roles of the members of the Trinity, even if he doesn't spend time explicitly stating that they are all different persons in one being. Strangely, this does prompt the reader into assuming that God is tri-personal, so the lack of explicit reference to the distinct personalities isn't as bad as it could be and does at least prevent the reader from drifting into a strain of thinking similar to modalism. Indeed, the inner workings of how the Son honors the Father through the Spirit is exciting to read and helpful in contemplating how we should act and try to act as adopted sons of the Almighty.

- Even though it is frustrating how an idea of what the Trinity is is largely assumed, Reeves does well to explain that many of the illustrations used by Christians to try explain the Trinity to others fall short. His explanation of modalism (or moodalism as he titles it) is very useful and helpful in trying to steer away from illustrations that do more harm than good.

I really do hope this doesn't sound too petty or irritating.

This book isn't the worst book I have ever read, but it is not as good as I was lead to believe it was. If you have read other books on the Trinity or have been blessed by learning about the Trinity in church then this book will be a good buy for the price. It will help you appreciate God's loving nature more and how we can be welcomed into the love of God.

However, if you are looking for something to give you a Scriptural basis of what the Trinity actually is, I would look elsewhere. Its incredibly frustrating that Reeves doesn't spend time at the beginning explaining that each member is fully divine yet fully distinct yet fully equal with the other members of the Trinity and if you would like a Scriptural basis for some of the things Reeves assumes you are aware of look elsewhere. William Lane Craig's podcasts on the ReasonableFaith.org website on the 'Doctrine of the Trinity' from his 'Defenders' class are extremely helpful to this end (and free! Seriously, there is so much good stuff on that website!). Stuart Ollyott's 'The Three are One' is also pretty helpful although make sure you check up all the bible passages he quotes when backing up his points as some are better and are more explicit as references than others!

If you do happen to be looking for a book to read through in order to better understand and relay the Trinity to those who are skeptical (such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons) then you may not get what you are looking for here. If, however, your aim is to find out more about God's loving nature and how the members of the Trinity enable you to enjoy that love then reading this won't do you any harm. It is helpful in that regard, and I do wonder whether my disappointment in this book is more a case of hearing such good things from others. I may have appreciated it more if I had just stumbled across it!

Overall, Reeves makes some good arguments that lead you to understand and appreciate the love that is an essential part of God's nature and how we can come to enjoy that love more. I guess that would be what he set out to do, looking at the book's subtitle, although a biblical introduction into the doctrine of the Trinity would have helped and the equating of the reasoning for a genuine loving God with the idea that this must therefore be the only God who could possibly create is not only incredibly frustrating but it also leads to some seeming contradictions in what is printed. Unfortunately, these two things are what stuck in my mind most after I finished reading and, as a result, The Good God seems more like a disappointing waste of potential then the revolutionary view of God's nature that I was led to believe it was.
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on 29 December 2013
Michael Reeves paints a quite beautiful picture of the triune God in this most uplifting of works on the Trinity. He writes with humour, and the book is deliberately not overbearingly long. A riveting read even for those who are not theological nerds or anoraks! The experience of digesting its truths compelled me to worship; rarely is God portrayed so attractively as Reeves presents him here as Father, Son and Spirit. Dry and academic this is most certainly not. This is the kind of God that we can warm to and get really excited about: the God who is radiating, outgoing and loving; whose glory is not about taking but giving. The Father is relational: eternally loving the Son through the Spirit. This God is generous and bountiful, and GOOD. This is the God that atheists don't seem to know anything about, and theologians often fail to present.

Reeves writes of one of the key ingredients to the beauty of the Trinity being how friendly and familial it all is. God the Father enjoys being himself: he enjoys his Son, he enjoys being a Father to him; all so much so that he chose to share his 'Fatherliness', and fellowship with those he would create - i.e. the human race! Loving familial relationship. The triune God's delight in family. Call me a heretic, but I couldn't help being reminded of Wm. Paul Young's novel, "The Shack". And this from an author who approvingly quotes Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, and Jonathan Edwards!

Indeed, Michael Reeves ends the book by suggesting that if we fully absorbed how boundlessly the Father loves us through Jesus it would bring about reformation. I agree. He writes so compellingly of the beauty of the Trinity that it seems simply impossible for this relational God to send anyone to hell without continuing to pursue them in his love. This is a very winsome picture indeed. Yes, wrath is there, but it flows from his love. As Reeves writes:

"The wrath of God is proof that he truly cares. His love is livid, potent and committed - and therein lies our hope. Through his wrath he will destroy all devilry that we might enjoy him in a purified world, the home of righteousness."

There was no wrath in eternity past, but only mutual love and fellowship within the Trinity. Wrath is very much a temporal thing. God will be all in all; he will at the last fill the universe with the light of his wonderful glory. He is all light - but that is terrible for those who love the darkness. The question is whether human beings will continue to love the darkness and reject God's marvellous light for all eternity in God's good and restored universe. Is it too much to agree with Rob Bell that love will ultimately win?
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on 21 November 2014
Michael Reeves’ contention is that the contemporary church has, at best, a faltering understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, and that our experience of the Christian faith is the worse for it. It is tempting, when settling down to read ‘The Good God’, to suppose that the doctrine of the Trinity is simply the author’s hobby-horse of choice; this would hardly be the first instance of a Christian writer zeroing in on a so-called secondary issue and elevating it to primary importance. But, with humour, lucidity, and no shortage of passion, Reeves successfully demonstrates that an understanding of the Trinity is no mere optional extra; indeed, to fail to grasp its implications is to lose sight of what is utterly unique about our faith, what compels us to cry, ‘Who among the Gods is like you, O LORD?’

Having read the Bible for most of my life, I had not previously considered my doctrine of the Trinity lacking. Say the words ‘Father’, ‘Son’ and ‘Spirit’, and I could quickly list their respective roles. But, like most who will pick up Reeves’ tremendous book, this knowledge did not exactly stir my affections. Moreover, my grasp of their interactions within the Trinity was tenuous at best. Reeves skilfully helps the reader to come to appreciate how truly great it is to have, in the Trinity, a Father whose love for the Son overflows into his creation, a Son whose enjoyment of the Father behoves him to reveal him to his creation, and a Holy Spirit who so unites us to the Son that we, his children, can cry ‘Abba’.

In particular, I had hardly expected an improved understanding of the Trinity to enhance my faltering efforts in evangelism, but Reeves’ book again proved valuable in this regard. Those engaged in reaching non-Christian theists will be greatly helped by his searing exposure of the inherent difficulties at the heart of single-entity gods like Allah. And those confronting the present-day anti-theist contention of God-as-narcissistic-tyrant will find in the doctrine of the Trinity a God who is fundamentally loving. Probably, though, the greatest beneficiary of Reeves’ apologia will be the Christian himself, who will feel a renewed excitement at the thought of such a great God, and all the more incentive to adjure his fellow men to ‘ascribe greatness to our God!’.
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on 20 April 2012
Trinitarian theology has seen a huge surge in interest in academic circles in recent years, but - sadly - is often functionally absent from the life of local churches and individual Christians. This is a disaster, not because every Christian should be able to complete a tick-box survey demonstrating their theological competence, but because a lack of understanding of God as Trinity is to be fundamentally lacking in understanding about who God is. Period.

The trouble is, discussions of the Trinity can soon become massively complex, and deeply abstract, and very dry. None of these things are failings of which The Good God could be accused. Mike Reeves has written something which is, truly, delightful. I would strongly recommend this book to be read as an aid to devotion and worship, for that is what it produces. You could do a lot worse than to start each morning by reading a couple of pages of this and letting it direct your heart and soul in worship to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

One of the features of the book I most enjoyed are the panels which delve into historical examples that help illustrate the significance of the doctrine of the Trinity. These range from a brief description of Yodo Shin-Shu Buddhism to the joyful theology of St Hilarius to the `lust for life' of William Tyndale. This is all very illuminating and enjoyable stuff.

But the key thing about this book is the way it stirs worship. Clearly and winsomely Reeves describes the nature of the God who lives in eternal, delightful, loving relationship - a love that has overflowed into the creation of all things, and a love into which we are invited to join. The God Reeves describes is very good, very delightful - a God you want to be close to! As Reeves expresses it in a description of the work of the Holy Spirit, "How great and lovely, then, is the work of the Spirit! He unites us to the Son so that the Father's love for the Son also encompasses us; he draws us to share the Father's own enjoyment of the Son; and he causes us to share the Son's delight in the Father. What could be more delicious than to keep in step with a Spirit whose purpose is that?"

What indeed! A delicious God - that is what Trinitarian theology is meant to bring us to, and it is where this book will help draw you.

Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it!
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on 11 April 2013
Many see the Trinity as too complicated, unnecessary, unbiblical, or all of the above.

Michael Reeves however, is not content for us to just believe in the Trinity because we're supposed to, he wants us to be happy about it - he actually wants us to rejoice in the Trinity! The Good God is Reeves' impassioned case. (This book is also published as Delighting in the Trinity in the USA by IVP. The contents are virtually the same, except for editorial features.)

His own thesis is as follows: "This book, then, will simply be about growing in our enjoyment of God and seeing how God's triune being makes all his ways beautiful".

Reeves begins by attacking head-on complacency about the Trinity by arguing that the identity of our God as Trinity is what makes "Christianity absolutely distinct". Throughout the rest of the book he shows how God as Trinity is central to everything in our faith. To achieve his goal, Reeves uses Scripture, theologians and early church fathers, and a good dose of disarming humour.

First, he asks what God was doing before He created. Reeves insightfully states that if God identity is primarily Creator or Ruler, then He would have lacked something until He created or had creation to rule over. Instead, what makes our God unique is that He is primarily a Father eternally loving His Son through the Spirit. Our God is by nature relational, loving and self-giving.

In the following chapters, Reeves shows how absolute centrality of God as Trinity plays out in creation, salvation and the Christian life. In creation, the Father's love overflows. In salvation, we see the Son's giving nature on the cross. And in the Christian life, we experience the Spirit's beautifying presence. And in all three aspects, each member of the Trinity is present and united.

In his conclusion, Reeves goes so far to suggest that the growth of atheism may be proportionate to the decline of interest and focus in the Trinity. Agreeing with anti-theists about the evil of a Big-Brother god, Reeves rejoices that the true Trinitarian God is different! As Trinity, He is distinctly self-giving and others-focused. Ultimately, a correct understanding of God changes everything.

This book is funny.

I don't mean that it's strange, what I mean is that at times it's borderline hilarious. Before picking up this book I didn't remember anyone mentioning this, but Reeves' distinctly British humour is one of the most striking features of this book. Now for some, humour in a theology book may be confusing when one is not expecting a punchline or a joke about John Owen's wig, or it may even be seen as borderline irreverent, though this was not my experience at all. Reeves is a great teacher - able to make his subject enjoyable through illustrations, unbridled enthusiasm for the subject (get the reference?), and also humour.

Second to being such an enjoyable book to read, what struck me the most was Reeves' clarity while tackling such a complicated subject as the nature of our God. This is all the more notable since Reeves isn't content to simply skirt the surface, but gets his hands dirty and even engages with sometimes-abstruse quotations from such as Barth and Edwards. Through engaging writing, Reeves is able to help any reader understand these theologians and hopefully join in with his admiration for them.

Another distinct aspect of this book is its flowing nature, probably due to its original inception as a series of lectures. Reeves very smoothly moves from one issue to the next without much hindrance. For some who like arguments and proofs to be laid out logically and then neatly summarised, this book could be frustrating. If this were a book trying to biblically prove the Trinity, it would be an issue, but following Reeves' thesis, the fluidness only adds to the readability and enjoyableness.

Every few pages there are `sidebars' of sorts, addressing a related issue like the implications of the Trinity on mathematics or music, or giving a brief introduction to a theologian and their thoughts. This keeps Reeves from losing focus in the main text, but also gives the reader bite-sized breaks, and a little taste of the wide-ranging impact of the Trinity that other books neglect. And he does all this in fewer than 150 pages!

You may have noticed little in the way of criticism, that's because it's hard to find negative things to say. For a book that aims to show the importance of the Trinity and have the reader caught up in enjoying our God, The Good God succeeds on every level.

For those looking for a Biblically robust defence of the Trinity, this is not the book for you. However, for those who want to know why Christians should care about the Trinity (whether you are a believer or unbeliever), this is ideal. In fact, this is a wonderful introduction to the Christian faith.

It's for that reason that I've assigned this book to my Introduction to Theology students at CCBCY. In one short, enjoyable book, we have reasons to delight in the Trinity, a summary of the Christian faith seen through the lens of the Trinity, introductions to and quotations from prominent Christian theologians and early fathers, and ultimately, a passionate plea for a deeper devotional life! They have loved the book.

While this serves as a great introduction, if you are a more mature Christian, don't think that this book is not for you. In fact, I heartily recommend this book to any Christian at any stage of their life. I've been a Christian my whole life, and still was completely caught up in this book, being left with a new passion to better know our unique and Triune God.

[Many thanks to Sarah Gallagher and Authentic Media for providing a review copy of this book!]
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on 31 October 2017
Mixed feelings about this book. Firstly, it is a short, easy read. The author explains why the doctrine of the Trinity is central to Christian life and practice. He focuses on the fact that God (the Father) has been showing love eternally to the other members of the Trinity because He is three in one. If He was a single entity then there would have been no opportunity for Him to show love and therefore He would have become used to being distant, aloof and selfish. With this, the author contrasts Christianity with other faiths. I'm not sure that limiting God through this observation is helpful, but it's worth thinking about the idea.

His assessment of God and His attributes is interesting but perhaps somewhat skewed in favour of the points he wants to make. That said, I learned a lot about the Trinity some of which I had not considered before or had just accepted from reading other books.

I didn't like the graphic illustrations of all three members of the Trinity in the book. I could hardly believe it when I saw God the Father depicted in one of the pictures. I understand that these are historical drawings, but surely the second commandment applies here as well.

I also struggled with the emphasis on feelings and emotions that we should have towards God and our relationship with Him. A lot of Christian authors seem to be placing greater emphasis on the subjective and changeable and less on obedience and perseverance in the faith. This may just be my personal opinion though.

Despite being short, the book was a bit repetitive in places. I would still recommend it for those wanting to learn about the Trinity as it provides a useful perspective and is clear that the Trinity is a fundamental doctrine that we cannot be without.
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on 30 July 2012
I must admit to being a little indifferent to reading about the Trinity. Many standard systematic theologies make it sound like the dullest and most difficult Christian teaching. The reader of such tomes is often left wondering what the practical benefit of the Trinity is. Also, I may be like many people and like my doctrine to be easily grasped by the mind and simply dismiss something that is too difficult (at least for me.)

The Good God is not like some of the previous books and sections in books that I have read on the subject of the Trinity. Reeves frequently has a great turn of phrase that makes the book an entertaining read - "Far, far from theological clutter, God's being Father, Son and Spirit is just what makes the Christian life beautiful." (p. 82)

The point of the book, according to the author, is to help the reader see the real difference the Trinity makes:

"For all that we may give an orthodox nod of the head to belief in the Trinity, it simply seems too arcane to make any practical difference to our lives." (p. ix)

And what is the practical difference? Reeves summarizes:
"...but if God were just one person, then love of the other would not be central to his being. There would have been nobody in eternity for him to love. Thus the only God inherently inclined to show mercy is the Father who has eternally loved his Son by the Spirit. Only with this God do such winning qualities as love and mercy rank highly." (p. 91)

The book is structured very simply in to four chapters dealing with the Trinity as presented in the Bible and church history and a fifth chapter acting as a capstone focusing on the glory of the Trinity. These chapters are:
What was God Doing before Creation?

"Before creation, before all things, we saw, the Father was loving and begetting his Son. For eternity, that was what the Father was doing. He did not become Father at some point; rather, his very identity is to be the one who begets the Son. That is who he is. Thus it is not as if the Father and the Son bumped into each other at some point and found to their surprise how remarkably well they got on." (p. 15)

Creation: the Father's Love Overflows
"Single-person gods, having spent eternity alone, are inevitably self-centred beings, and so it becomes hard to see why they would ever cause anything else to exist ... [c]reating just looks like a deeply unnatural thing for such a god to do. And if such gods do create, they usually seem to do so out of an essential neediness or desire to use what they created merely for their own self-gratification. Everything changes when it comes to the Father, Son and Spirit. Here is a God who is not essentially lonely, but who has been loving for all eternity as the Father has loved the Son in the Spirit. Loving others is not a strange or novel thing for this God at all; it is at the root of who he is." (p. 23)

Salvation: the Son Shares what is His
"It means that this God makes no third party suffer to achieve atonement. The one who dies is the lamb of God, the Son. And it means that nobody but God contributes to the work of salvation: the Father, Son and Spirit accomplish it all. Now if God were not triune, if there was no Son, no lamb of God to die in our place, then we would have to atone for our sin ourselves. We would have to provide, for God could not. But - hallelujah! - God has a Son, and in his infinite kindness he dies, paying the wages of sin, for us. It is because God is triune that the cross is such good news." (p. 55)

The Christian Life: the Spirit Beautifies
"But the Spirit's first work is to set our desires in order, to open our eyes and give us the Father's own relish for the Son, and the Son's own enjoyment of the Father." (p. 80)

'Who among the god is like you, O LORD?'
"Love for the Lord, love for neighbour - that is the heart of holiness and how the triune God's people get to be like him." (p. 95)

This book has given me a hunger to study more about the Trinity, in the Bible and in church history, but even more importantly, it has given me a great hunger for the triune God I claim to worship. I recommend it to all Christians as well worth a slow, contemplative read. It would be great for book clubs to read and discuss. Maybe it could result in healthier Christians who just want to overflow with love.
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on 12 February 2018
If the author hadn't tried so hard to make everything hang on the doctrine of the Trinity, this would be a decent book, full of reminders of God's fatherly love, Jesus' revealing of that love and the Spirit's work in the midst of it all. However, I felt that some of the arguments he was using to say 'if God wasn't a triune God he couldn't be....' were completely unsubstantiated and made little sense to me. For that reason it really frustrated me.
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2012
All of us are called to share and show Jesus to others; whatever else we may do we are Gods ambassadors. A vital question, then, is which God do we present?

Mike Reeves introduces the reader to a loving, giving, overflowing, relational God. With a light and accessible touch, Mike shares a profound taster of just how good God is. Some books on the Trinity can come across as a technical manual of heresies to avoid with little pulsing heart:- thankfully 'The Good God' is not such a book.

Energy, heart, insight and biblical faithfulness is brought to us by someone who clearly loves God and whose theology reads and beats as worship. Mike deconstructs falsehood, fears and fallacies in the nurture of gospel confidence for us. He wrestles with long-held myths about the Trinity, its interface with the moving compassion of the gospel, and resulting deep joy for the believer. In reading this you will find your view of God enlarged and beautified.

Mike's biblical rootedness throughout doesn't come across as defensive, but stirs the reader to a renewed Bible commitment . It's a dynamic and punchy title: singularly the best accessible read on the Trinity in the marketplace today! Faithful and fresh!
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on 2 July 2014
Great book to drum home the reality of who God is first, not creator or king but Father.
God defines what all other fathers should be like not vice verse.
Has opened my eyes to more fully appreciate the working of the trinity and the impact for us.
I like the way that the book is set out with little coloured blocks of historical accounts from famous figures of the past who have determined some of what 'religion' is or believes.
Enjoyed it and will probably read again 😊
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