Item description for Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance by Bruce A. Ware...
Overview Bruce Ware provides an approachable examination of the doctrine of the Trinity. He discusses the relationship and roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the practical implications of the Trinity for our lives.
God cares that we know who he is, and he longs for us to understand him better. Through his Word he revealed his triune nature, though many avoid in-depth study of this doctrine because it is so deep and mysterious.
But God's revelation of himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit affects how he relates to us, how he made us, and who he is eternally. The doctrine of the Trinity is essential to our understanding of him and of our faith. The focus of this study is to examine the ways in which the three Persons of the Trinity relate to one another, how they relate to us, and what difference this makes to our lives.
To understand just how God is both One and Three is to delve into some of Scripture's most glorious truths and to experience the joy of beholding the wonder of our triune God. This is a practical study for you and your home, church, and ministry.
Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance
By Bruce A. Ware
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.48 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2005
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581346689 ISBN13 9781581346688
Availability 0 units.
More About Bruce A. Ware
Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and has authored God's Lesser Glory, God's Greater Glory, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Bruce A. Ware was born in 1953.
Bruce A. Ware has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Father Son & Holy Spirit?
Divine Bonanza! Nov 18, 2008
"Why should we devote our time and attention to a study of the Trinity?"
That's a seriously-good question. The correct answer is known to B.A.Ware [yes, that's his real name!!], to wit: People must devote attention to the holy Trinity, and stop poking fun, or else they will go to Hell for a very long time (i.e., for ever)--which also means that people (while they still have the chance) should put this book into their this site shopping cart, and delete _The God Delusion_, by Richard Dawkins.
Sadly, not many people are doing it-- * R. Dawkins, THE GOD DELUSION: "this site.com Sales Rank: #338" [as of Nov. 2008] * B. A. Ware, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT: "this site.com Sales Rank: #162,869" [Nov. '08]. --and if you think the Trinity is not angry about that, then you don't know God.
"Can the Christian faith SURVIVE" asks B. A. Ware, "if the doctrine of the Trinity is omitted? Are we AWARE of just how crucial this doctrine is to all else we believe as Christians?" (p. 16).
If God were a single person (as the Jews and Muslims believe)--if God were not "Triune," a perfect triplicate--then we would stand to lose the doctrines of Adam and Eve and the Talking Snake; Noah's Ark and the Curse on Negroes; Balaam and the Talking donkey; the Star of Bethlehem; the Essential Inferiority of Women; the Rapture of Christians Up to the Sky; and the all-important doctrine that Everyone Except Us will Suffer Unspeakable Torments Forever in Hell, After Death.
Here, then, is the essence of the Trinity, as B.A.Ware explains it: Yahweh the Father is holy. He cannot forgive your sins (e.g., your Sabbath-breaking and cursing and masturbation) unless someone first gets crucified for what you said and did. And it might as well be His Son, Jesus, who gets nailed instead of you! (I mean, just watch Mel Gibson's movie, _The Passion of the Christ_, or at least read my this site review of the film. Then look into the mirror and ask yourself: "Would I rather have God the Father do that to Jesus on a Friday two thousand years ago, or would I rather have Him do it to me for all eternity after I'm dead?" --Come on, be honest!)
To be saved from Hell, you don't have to "like" the holy Trinity; you just need to FEAR Them, as the Bible reminds us in Deut. 6:2; Deut. 6:13; Deut. 6:24, and in roughly every tenth verse, right through to the Apocalypse: "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of His judgment is come" (Rev. 14:7).
But as B. A. Ware argues, it's also good thing if you actually do LIKE the Trinity. If you like at least one of Him, that can be a definite plus toward escaping the judgment of eternal damnation.
Today, if we were to take a vote among born-again Christians which member of the Trinity they like best - Father, Son, or holy Ghost - and even if we allowed the Virgin Mary as a write-in candidate, Jesus would win by a landslide. This is especially true in America, where the Son enjoys a huge and growing base of popular support. There is even a powerful new movement afoot in America to rename the nation "the United States of Jesusland," in recognition that the world's greatest democracy was founded by evangelical Christians such as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington - unlike, say, Australia, which was founded by banished criminals; or Britain, which was founded by naked tree-worshiping Celts who painted themselves blue and threw rocks at the troops of Julius Caesar.
Jesus, hands down, is also my own personal favourite. Long ago--before the Creation, before he came down to Earth to be punished for your sins--Jesus was one of the kindest, quietest, most courteous deities you'd ever choose to worship (Ware, chap. 4). To this day, I can still imagine myself having lunch, or a drink, with the Son of God. There are days when I would rather have a beer with Jesus Christ than with Beelzebub and Belial, my two best friends. But when the Son comes again, at the so-called "Rapture," there will be no more Mr. Nice Guy. When "Jesus returneth in power and glory," there will be scores to settle, and Hell to pay (Mark 13:26).
The Ghost is less chatty than the other two, and harder to describe. He is more like a Force than like an actual person (Ware, chap. 5). We angels in Heaven used to have a saying, May the Ghost be with you! But I never really figured him out. If you want something from God, you should say, "Dear Father," or "Dear Jesus." Don't bother with, "Dear holy Ghost." The Ghost is the Trinity's most aloof personality. He is not really someone you can to talk to, or ask for favours. In North America they don't even call him by his real name any more. At an 1895 conference of American Bible translators, it was voted, 127 to 96, that "holy Ghost," though literal, sounds "a little too Gothic" for modern readers. English translations from the American Standard Version (1901) through the New International Version (1973) have therefore switched over to calling the holy Ghost, the "Holy Spirit."
(That's my only complaint about B. A. Ware's fine exegesis: he goes with the flow and calls Person no. 3 the "holy Spirit." I personally dislike the innovation. But these big Bible companies are forever changing the text in order to sell new Bibles. Next thing you know, in order to attract more readers to its New International Version, Zondervan Corp, will start calling the holy Trinity: "the Father, the Son, and the Very Good Feeling.")
The holy Ghost still has the charismatics squarely in his corner. A "charismatic" Christian is one who has been "filled," not with charisma, exactly, but "with the holy Ghost," and who therefore has a special ability to "speak in tongues" and to "believe in the miracles on TBN television." If the divine election were held today, I might even vote for the Ghost myself. I don't know him as well as I know Jesus, but of the divine threesome, it is the Ghost who is usually pounding lumps on the fewest people at any given moment.
Third, but not least, of course, is YAHWEH (Ware, chap. 3). The Jews after all these years still feel a special loyalty to God the Father, which actually amazes me, a little, because their Yahveh-worship has never done them a darn bit of good. (Not to put too fine a point of it, Judaism exhibits the same painful quirk of human psychology as Battered Woman Syndrome.)
The corker, for Ware, is that the holy Trinity gets along with Himself so perfectly, without any signs of a dysfunctional relationship: "The Father is supreme in authority, the Son is under the Father, the Spirit is under the Father and the Son," and the Virgin Mary is under all three, figuratively speaking, which is how Jesus came to be born, and acquired a perfect human body that he can no longer get rid of. (The other two--the Father and the Ghost--have no body per se, which is one good way to tell them apart from Jesus.) "Yet there is also full harmony in their work, with no jealousy, bitterness, strife, or discord" (p. 131); which is pretty remarkable, when you think about how long those three have been hanging out together, especially during those pre-Creation days, when the Trinity had absolutely nothing to do for billions of years, except to exist.
"In order for us sinners to be saved," writes Ware, "One must see God at One and the same time as the One judging our sin (the Father), the One making the payment of infinite value for our sin (the divine Son), and the One empowering and directing the incarnate--human--Son so that He lives and obeys the Father, going to the Cross as the Substitute for us (the Holy Spirit). The Christian God, to be Savior, MUST then be Father, Son, and holy Spirit" (17). And that is just so true--especially in these Last Days before Armageddon, when the Roman Catholics are still trying to slip a female One in there! But GOD IS NOT A QUARTET! and there is NO WOMAN INVOLVED. Do the math, people! 1+1+1=3/3=1.
The Doctrine and Applications of the Trinity Jul 7, 2008
The fact that the Triune nature is one of, if not the greatest mystery of the Christian God, it does not follow that there is no further revelation that one should know or learn from. Neither should it preclude one from attempting to gain a deeper understanding in this matter. Dr. Ware begins by teaching from Scriptural evidences, the basis of the simultaneous, equal and eternal divine nature of all three distinct Persons, thereby refuting Sabelianism or Modalism that claims the divinity of each Person occurred sequentially; only one Person being divine at a time, and Arianism that rejects the divinity of the Son and the Spirit. Therefore, since all three Persons are simultaneously, equally or fully, and eternally God, it is futile to attempt to understand their difference in terms of nature or characteristics because each possesses all attributes of God; among which are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence.
Many tremendously important lessons to learn can be derived by understanding the difference in their roles and relationship, which not only serves as a divine revelation, but also a pattern and divine design for humanity to follow, having been created in His image. The beauty of the Trinity lies in the respect and affection in their treatment to one another, harmony in operation, and unity in purpose, as well as the complete absence of envy, friction, disagreement, power struggle and abuse of authority amongst Them. Here is a model of a perfect, most sublime authority-submission relationship displayed in the supremacy of the Father, subordination of the Son to the Father wherein the Son glories in the Father, the Father glories in the Son, the Spirit submitting to the Father and the Son. Moreover, the Spirit glories in the Son, yet when the Son was on earth, He was subject to the Spirit, and the Spirit is always eternally joyfully content to take up the background behind-the-scene roles assisting the Father and glorifying and pointing all attentions to the Son.
Dr. Ware also covers what each Person does, and its implications whereby one learns the true fatherhood and obedience, the gracious work of inspiration, illumination, sanctification and evangelism. In regard to Christian life, they teach the divine inspiration and thus, the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible; expose the importance of illumination in understanding of the Scriptures, show the right way to pray; by the Spirit, through the Son, and to the Father, direct how to worship properly, the Son being the center of all. In the mission field, they affirm the absolute necessity of the work of regeneration brought forth by the Spirit in a true conversion that results in faith and repentance. At home, these lessons are applicable to the relationship between men and women in marriage as husbands and wives, and between parents and children. It is also a divine design for the church and society in general; between congregation, ministers and elders, citizens and government; students and teachers; subordinates and superiors wherein God ordained authority-submission structure or taxis to reflect who He is and how He operates. In each of these relationship structures that Dr. Ware went through in details, he not only teaches that the doctrine of the Trinity is highly practical, but also refutes egalitarianism and a general distrust of authority. Yes, human authority is imperfect, whether it be husband, parent, minister, governor, and superior in a workplace, but Dr. Ware pointed out the preciousness of the lesson of submission from the Trinitarian taxis,
"It appears then, that we need to learn something about the nature of true freedom. Freedom is not what our culture tells us it is. Freedom is not my deciding, from the urges and longings of my sinful nature, to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it, with whom I want to do it. According to the Bible, that is bondage, not freedom. Rather, true freedom is living as Jesus lived, for He is the freest human being who ever lived. In fact, He is the only fully free human being who has ever lived, and one day we will be set free fully when we always and only do the will of God.
So what is freedom? Amazingly, Jesus' answer is this: Freedom is submitting, - submitting fully to the will of God, to the words of God, and to the work that God calls us to do" (p.75).
The reason why this book is a must-read is because we live in the days where human autonomy is God and the seemingly prevailing rule is that I am my own authority; you have your own rules and I have my own, so don't ever tell me what to do. Understanding, embracing and applying the doctrine of the Trinity is a great antidote to this toxic post-modern spirit.
A Great Study! May 31, 2008
Here's a study that is nearly alone in its field. The unity of the Trinity is the focus of many books and studies, as are the roles of the Son and Holy Spirt, but seeing the three persons of the Trinity in relationship to each other is unusual. Very helpful.
Great book on the Trinity Nov 1, 2006
What can be more foundational to the Christian Faith than the essence of our God? The author begins with chapters on the importance of the topic and a historical overview before spending one chapter on each person of the Godhead, and then sums up everything in a sixth chapter. The chapters on the Father, Son, and Spirit discuss how the person focused on in that chapter relates/interacts with the other two members of the Godhead.
There are at least two commendable things about the book. One is its "readability". The author takes such a complex topic and writes very simply. The information is also arranged so systematically that it is easy to follow and outline. Secondly, the book is full of practical application. He sees the relationship between the three members of the Godhead as the basis for understanding human relationships. He points to examples of love, humility, and submission found in the Trinity.
Why the Doctrine of the Trinity Matters to Each of Us Jul 7, 2005
A few weeks ago, while I was in one of my favorite bookstores, a guy made a comment about how the Holy Spirit has been forgotten in contemporary Christianity. I replied by suggesting that we haven't forgotten Him, so much as we have misunderstood Him. Whether we misunderstand or forget Him altogether, it's clear that we don't have a robust understanding of the Holy Spirit, or the Trinity in general.
Bruce Ware's Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance, seeks to provide us with the robust understanding we lack. The brief 158 page book is an adaptation from a series of lectures Dr. Ware gave at a conference in 2004 and is broken down into six chapters.
Chapter One addresses the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity. "Would God have chosen to reveal himself to us as the one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, unless he knew that this would be important to our understanding of him and our faith?" (13) Chapter Two claims to be an historical overview of the doctrine, though it's really more of an analysis of the Biblical evidence for the Trinity.
Chapters Three through Five are each on a different person of the Godhead. Each chapter describes the unique roles of each person, how they relate to one another, and what relevance each person's roles has for our lives.
The final chapter, six, concludes with ten "lessons for our lives and ministries from the relationships and roles of the triune God." (132) Since we are made in God's image, we must start with understanding of God in order to understand ourselves. The applications include living in community, the harmony of unity, the importance of authority and submission within our families and churches, how to pray, and how to worship.
The book is a very easy read, though it is far from simple. I still think James R. White's The Forgotten Trinity is the best book available in regards to the Biblical basis of the doctrine. However, Dr. Ware's is the best I've seen that explains the roles of each person and how the doctrine should apply to how we live. For instance, "Here in the Trinity... we see hierarchy without hubris, authority with no oppression, submission that is not servile, and love that pervades every aspect of the divine life." (157)
If you're questioning the Biblical basis of the doctrine, go read James White. If you are seeking a deeper understanding of the Trinity and the relevance the nature of God has in your life, Dr. Ware's book is a must read. I know of no other book that explains these profound truths with such clarity and warmth while maintaining their depth and weight.