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The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Robert Letham's award winning The Holy Trinity receives a well-considered update in a revised and expanded new edition. Letham examines the doctrine of the Trinity's biblical foundations and traces its historical development before engaging critical issues. This new edition addresses developments in Augustine studies, teaching on the Trinity and election in Barth studies, ...more
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Published November 1st 2019 by P & R Publishing (first published December 10th 2004)
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Calvin
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I predict the 17th 18th and 19th chapters will be reread by me in the future, excellent stuff. The first part is exhaustive revision of the history of Christology and thought around the trinitarian formulae as it evolves - absorbing, but for my limited brain a little exhausting too if I'm honest.
Craig French
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be read by all Christians.
Jacob Aitken
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Letham attempts to correct Evangelicalism’s underachievement on the doctrine of the Trinity. He does so by giving us a historical-theological reconstruction of Trinitarian discussions. He examines how different crises in the Church forced theologians to rethink their categories in light of the challenges, sometimes using new and dangerous language. He then discusses the major differences between East and West and a number of major theologians including Calvin, Barth, Thomas Torrance, and the mod ...more
Madisson
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One being—three persons, three persons—one being.

Prior to reading this book, I felt that I already possessed a good understanding of the Trinity; but after completing it, I realized that the knowledge of the Trinity which I did possess was only minuscule to the many aspects of it. Such an incredible book. After a thorough examination of the doctrine's biblical foundations, Robert Letham traces it’s historical development through the 20th century. Very informative and highly recommended!

The f
...more
Pris
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book! Surveys the history of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity from its alluded beginnings in the Old Testament, to early glimpses in Paul's and John's epistles, through the early Christian era, down through the centuries as the one body of the church split into the eastern church (now known as the Eastern or Greek Orthodox Church) and the western church (now known as the Roman Catholic Church). Letham traces its further development under the RCC and the Protestant churches ...more
G Walker
This was a very good book. Very helpful, surprisingly practical and pastoral for its size. Very much enjoyed reading it. He has some great ideas in there for missiological efforts, good emphasis on the worship aspects too. I do take issue with some of his criticism of the East, yet I do think he is one of the more generous in this regard coming from the reformed camp. Also, I think this volume should be read in concert with the works of Kevin Giles, not that Giles is someone I would sign off on, ...more
Joshua Phillips
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
To paraphrase the simple yet incredibly deep statement of Gregory of Nazianzus, no sooner do I think of the One than I am driven to think of the Three, No sooner do I consider the Three than I am drawn to the One.

Robert Letham does a superb job laying out the different writers and perspectives which have predominated in the many debates surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity. Before I read Letham's The Holy Trinity I felt comfortable in my understanding of the Trinity, after reading Letham I have
...more
Michael
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, trinity
I was a little disappointed by this book. He had such a well rounded and fresh take on the WCF in his work "The Westminster Assembly." I was expecting that kind of fresh and deep approach to this subject.

Its a standard text that summarizes the typical view and historical development of the Doctrine of God. But it doesn't expand on the knowledge or application of the Trinity to life or theology any more than other standard texts. Also it was a lot longer than many standard texts.

Spro
...more
CJ Bowen
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great stuff. Letham is quite readable, and offers a good survey of the biblical texts. He is scholarly, but also believes some things. His historical overviews are concise and helpful, and his concluding thoughts model careful ecumenism. He has given the East far more attention than anyone else I've seen, and while he remains quite western and reformed, he is charitable and humble. He has clearly learned from the Eastern tradition, and values it highly.

A couple things - he quotes or
...more
Tyson Guthrie
I highly recommend this book for all pastors or theology students. It gives a great introduction to the history of the doctrine of the Trinity, especially the differences between Eastern and Western articulations of it. He gives a critical and fair assessment of the filioque, and offers insight into the doctrine's pertinence to several areas of church life and worship. I would have liked to have seen interaction with modern conceptions of the Trinity from outside of Europe and the U.S. One more ...more
R.B.
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This made for a wonderful read. Repetitive at times, so for the advanced this will be annoying, but for the not so advanced this only makes it all the more better for the information to stick. The breadth the book covers is wide. I have a few criticisms but to properly justify those I think I would need to go on at a length that I don't feel like doing! This is a great book to really get into the current theological conversation over the Trinity because of his interaction with so many sources fr ...more
Gary
In many ways I found this a very helpful read. But in other ways I was disappointed. It did not read as well as some of Letham's other books. But more disappointing was the limited space gaven to Augustine, Aquinas and Anselm, for example (and non at all to Edwards). The space was filled rather with very much more on Barth, Torrence and Eastern writers.

This, of course, was deliberate, for Letham is highly critical of the traditional Western approach to the Trinity. Or at least to its major emph
...more
Kyle
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a helpful overview of and intro to the doctrine of the Trinity. A good chunk is devoted to historical theology, which is helpful given the topic. It especially filled a void for me in explaining Eastern Orthodoxy's approach to the Trinity.
Darby Stouffer
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spring-semester
Good stuff. Clear, to the point, my only quarrel was (as with many books of this ilk) there was far too much time spent on the liberals and why they are wrong. I know they're wrong, I don't need 200 pages to tell me so.
Eric Abisror
Excellent in depth look at the Biblical and historical roots for the trinity.
George Dziuk
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Trinity has always been a difficult topic for me. I understood the basic concept of the Trinitarian God that I worship, but I didn’t fully grasp what exactly the Trinity was or why it was meaningful…particularly when it game to the seemingly enigmatic Holy Spirit. This book has helped clarify and illuminate the Trinity is ways that I simply didn’t consider. It’s both a historical and theological look at how the Church has approached this challenging issue going all the way back to the early ...more
David
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Quick comments on why I gave this three stars: Content was overall good and I appreciate how he engaged with a wide variety of sources from different traditions and throughout church history rather than narrowly focusing on Reformed sources only. I don’t agree with his tendency towards eternal submission/subordinationism, but even then I still would have given it four stars. The three-star rating is mostly because this book could have really been edited a lot more, it felt unnecessarily verbose ...more
Becky Pliego
The chapters I chose to read were really helpful. (It was not my aim to read all the book, so my rating is based on the several chapters I read).
Mark South
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a masterpiece on the mystery of the Trinity.
Joshua Kuruvilla
A great introductory book to the Trinitarian Doctrine ; concise and easy to read
Dan
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lead
The Trinity sets Christianity apart from any other religion. This book is a well researched overview on the theology and historical development of the Trinity. Letham is able to take difficult concepts and explain them at a level that is easy to grasp. Although, I found his defense of ESS within the ad intra relations between the Son and the Father unconvincing. I don't think he seriously considers the implications that ESS has for: one divine will and what God wills necessarily (who he is witho ...more
Jason Kanz
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my goal of reading through all of Larry Crabb's recommended reading list he provided at the School of Spiritual Direction, The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship (2004) by Robert Letham was the third book on the Trinity and far and away the most detailed and scholarly (The first two being Delighting in the Trinity by Reeves and Experiencing the Trinity by Johnson). Letham's book provides some 550 pages exploring the Trinity for evangelicals who he argues have "underach ...more
Joseph Rizzo
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great and comprehensive book detailing the doctrinal nature of our Triune God in Scripture, history, creation, theology, worship, and prayer. A major portion of the book is spent on the historical development of the churches understanding of the Trinity. This begins with treatment of the ante Nicene fathers, and then good time spent on the councils of Nicea and Chalcedon. The interrelations of the persons of the Godhead were one of the many points of dispute leading to the division of the east ...more
Matthew
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Rereading about 2/3 of the book to brush up on Trinitarianism for a Christology class. This book is so good. I'd love to give it an extra star.

This is a comprehensive book on the Trinity in scripture, history and issues such as worship, prayer, missions, philosophy and even church government to some extent. I found the historical section to be invaluable to my understanding of how to even have a discussion on Trinitarianism as well as the progression of thought and the divergence of
...more
Ryan Jankowski
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology-trinity
I loved this book. Letham presents a thorough overview of thought, from the early East and West, to modern Eastern and Western views. He writes at length on the implications of an orthodox trinitarian view, particularly as related to worship.

I would consider this necessary reading for any christian serious about understanding the significance of the trinity and as a bridge to properly understanding other words (contemporary or from antiquity).
David Varney
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Fantastic. Accessible to a regular guy like me and takes a fascinating look at the revelation of our triune God, from OT to NT to patristic period, and up to current issues in the discussion. The author isn't afraid to say where he stands on certain issues but is also happy to describe arguments for and against his view point.
Aaron Ventura
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some parts were really solid but I found a few of the later chapters to be rather dry and repetitious. This book has a strong historical focus and introduced me to the Eastern understanding of the Trinity which I was unfamiliar with. Overall, decent.
Mark Marshall
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm read this for a class at Cranmer House. Letham's work covers a lot of history and a lot of theological terms and disputes concerning the Trinity, but does so in a way that is very readable. I have only got bogged down in a place or two. This book came highly recommended, and I now agree.
Johns
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I perused this book mainly to read its very excellent twenty page summary of the Filioque controversy that split Christianity in 1054. Dr. Letham is an efficient writer when can present a complex subject in plain speak. I learned much whilst researching my topic in this book.
Steven Wedgeworth
Very helpful historical survey, but Letham is himself too caught up in social Trinitarianism. I like it when he critiques other aberrant modern proposals, but he never does get the classical position correct.
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Robert Letham (MAR, ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Aberdeen University) is professor of systematic and historical theology at Union School of Theology in Bridgend, Wales, and the author of a number of books, including The Lord's Supper and Union with Christ.
“In turn, when the Spirit enlightens us, Christ in him enlightens us. As the Father is the fountain and the Son is called a river, we are said to drink the Spirit. When we drink the Spirit, we drink of Christ. Since Christ is true Son, when we receive the Spirit we are made sons. When the Spirit is given to us, God is in us. When God is in us, the Son is in us. When we are quickened by the Spirit, Christ lives in us.75 The perichoretic relations of the three persons underlie their inseparable involvement in the one work of God for our salvation. The Spirit is never apart from the Word, the Son—a point that Athanasius repeats time and time again.76” 0 likes
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