One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life, Bruce Ware and John Starke, editors

Review by Jeremiah Greever

The eternal relationships between the three persons of the Trinity have historically been a topic of discussion for both academics and theologians. In One God in Three Persons, edited by Southern Seminary theology professor Bruce Ware and NYC pastor John Starke, evangelical scholars attempt to handle more specifically the issue of submission and subordination between the Son and the Father.

Recruiting 10 other contributors, including SBTS professors James M. Hamilton Jr., and Michael A.G. Haykin, Ware and Starke’s book explains the submission of Christ as the prototype for gender distinctions through biblical exegetical proofs, the teachings of the early church fathers, various philosophical considerations, and sound theological arguments.

The book is in large part a response to feminist theologians who have denied the submission of Christ to the Father as a precedent for male and female distinction. The feminist arguments focus almost exclusively on rejecting Christ’s obedience to the Father as eternal, but rather on Christ’s submission found only in his incarnate form. Throughout each chapter, each contributor utilizes his own specific field of focus to argue for Christ’s purpose and example of submission, though each contributor sometimes varies in his definition of subordination and submission.

Through the study of the relationships between each person of the Trinity , the authors argue the case for complementarianism. The contributors in different ways subscribe to the notion that as each member of the Trinity holds different functions, so also do men and women. Thus, the accusations of Trinitarian hierarchy made by the egalitarian feminists are scrutinized and proven ungrounded.

While continually appealing to historical and biblical orthodoxy, Ware and Starke’s efforts are helpful in further understanding the scholarly debate concerning the submission of Christ to the Father.

J.I. Packer: An Evangelical Life, Leland Ryken 

Review by Sean W. Corser

In the 415 pages that comprise J.I. Packer: An Evangelical Life, literature professor Leland Ryken sheds light on the life seen less often of the modern Puritan James Innell Packer, who is best known for his writings Knowing God and Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God. This biography, like the life and character of Packer, is not disconnected or cold but rather warm and pleasant.

In having the benefit of knowing Packer personally, Ryken gives flesh to the remarkable themes and experiences which were formative during Packer’s life. A man marked by the sovereignty and providence of God, with deep connections to formal theological education, Packer is a man every budding seminarian should be familiar with, and in  J.I. Packer Ryken provides the best access possible, even writing that he wants his readers “to feel that they know J.I. Packer.”

Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, & Do, Paul David Tripp

Review by Annie Corser

Acclaimed biblical counselor and author Paul David Tripp says his main purpose for writing his new book Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, & Do is to remind himself of his personal need to live with a proper perspective and awe of God.

“Every awesome thing in creation is designed to point you to the One who alone is worthy of capturing and controlling the awe of your searching and hungry heart,” Tripp writes.

Filled with multiple vignettes, each chapter takes a personal approach to describe ministry, complaint, materialism, church, parenting, and work in relation to the awe of God. Tripp’s pastoral tone pulls the reader into the book by allowing them to identify with each story, revealing how Christians have traded amazement and awe of God for lesser things, and issues  a call for change.

Gospel of Glory: Major Themes in Johannine Theology, Richard Bauckham

Review by Andrew J.W. Smith

When people convert to Christianity, it’s common to suggest they read through the book of John first, as it’s often considered the most accessible Gospel. At the same time, the Gospel of John is deeply theological, providing some of the strongest statements of Jesus’ divinity and oneness with God the Father in the entire New Testament.

In his 2015 book Gospel of Glory: Major Themes in Johannine Theology, New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham offers a thematic and theological exploration of John. Each essay focuses on common refrains in the Gospel, from divine and human community to individual faith.

The book is well-suited for students interested in a thematic study of the crucial ideas of John’s Gospel, or for those who wish to think carefully and directly about some of John’s most complicated theology.