What if the Trinity we’ve been taught is not the Trinity of the Bible? In this groundbreaking book, Matthew Barrett reveals a shocking discovery: we have manipulated the Trinity, recreating the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our own image.
With clarity and creativity, Barrett mines the Scriptures as well as the creeds and confessions of the faith to help you rediscover the beauty, simplicity, and majesty of our Triune God. You will be surprised to learn that what you believe about the Trinity has untold consequences for salvation and the Christian life. To truly know God, you must meet the One who is simply Trinity.
“On the one hand, they persuaded many to stick with the original language of the creed—the Son is homoousios (one in essence) with the Father. But! The Son is not the same person as the Father. While there is only one essence (mia ousia), there are three persons (treis hypostaseis). This distinction did wonders and even brought opponents together.” (Page 58)
“But the Nicene fathers argued that the Son is begotten from the same essence of the Father. Eternal generation does not undermine the Son as coeternal and coequal; eternal generation safeguards the Son as coeternal and coequal. Only if he is eternally begotten from the Father’s essence is he wholly divine.” (Page 51)
“soon. For unless the Son is begotten from the Father’s essence, he cannot be said to be equal in divinity to the Father.” (Page 51)
“For the Cappadocians, affirming simplicity in the Trinity not only meant the persons held the essence in common. It meant more: the persons were consubstantial with one another because they were one in will and power.22 Will and power are not separate from the essence, as if they can be divided up in different degrees among the persons, for example. No, will and power are to be identified with the one essence.” (Page 56)
“The word ‘origin’ is fitting because we are describing where these three persons come from (e.g., the Son is from the Father). The word ‘eternal’ is appropriate since this is God we have in view. And the word ‘relation’ is another way of referring to the persons of the Trinity, specifically what is so unique about each of them (e.g., the Father is unbegotten, the Son is begotten, the Spirit is spirated).” (Page 25)
Matthew Barrett exposes those tinkering with the Trinity and provides a great antidote to them. He offers a sane and sober recovery of the church’s exegesis of Scripture to explain that the three persons of the Godhead share in one substance, power, and eternity without hierarchies or other heresies. Barrett provides an informative mix of exegesis, church history, and systematic theology to defend the Christian doctrine of the Trinity against its unwitting saboteurs.
—Michael F. Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
Simply Trinity successfully aims to put the church back on the path of confessional fidelity. Matthew Barrett helps us understand that how we read the Bible and whom we read it with is imperative to beholding the triune Author who reveals himself to us in his Word. You will see how our understanding of God affects our understanding of salvation and what we forfeit if we get it wrong.
—Aimee Byrd, author of Theological Fitness and Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Simply Trinity delivers an accessible scholarly introduction to historic and biblical understandings of the Trinity, and demonstrates how much is at stake in the trinitarian debates that have recently roiled the evangelical community. I recommend it highly.
—Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.