Who is God? Michael Reeves asserts that the essence of the fullest answer to that question is “a Trinity.” Reeves believes that while the Trinity is something many Christians shove to the back corners of their minds when it comes to relating to God, or perhaps explore with a sort of mechanical interest, with clumsy charts and worse analogies, reflecting on the Trinity is something that should stir delight in us.
Reeves quotes Karl Barth, who once said, “The triunity of God is the secret of His beauty.” Reeves contrasts the Triune God with a singular conception of God (like the Islamic understanding of God), who has a very different relationship with creation. Reeves says that “Absolutely singular supreme beings do not like creation.”
In contract, “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.” That is to say, the relationships within the Triune God are that which defines God himself. God is relational and loving in his very essence.
It is because of that, “The creation was a free choice borne out of nothing but love.” One can also affirm the supremacy of God’s glory in God himself without that being a moral flaw. Reeves reminds us that, with a Triune God, “God’s aim in creating the world [Jonathan Edwards said] was himself.”
The Father is the source of the Son and the Spirit. It is because of this, that Reeves can say, “The most foundational thing in God is not some abstract quality but the fact that he is Father.”
In the overflow of love for the Son, the Son is the firstborn of creation. “The Father so delighted in his Son that his love for him overflowed, so that the Son might be the firstborn among many sons.” And that love didn’t stop with the Son: that love continued to flow: “John Owen wrote that the Father’s love for the Son is ‘the fountain and prototype of all love… And all love in the creation was introduced from this fountain, to give a shadow and resemblance of it.’”
Reeves Delighting in the Trinity is as delightful as it is deep. It is sure to make your heart grow in love for our Triune God every bit as much as it challenges and strengthens your understanding of our God. I encourage any Christian to read Reeves’s masterpiece.