Michael Horton has a new book called Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. Horton explains that the
“book is more than simply an abridgment of The Christian Faith. Instead, I have sought to write for an entirely new and wider audience. I’ve intentionally tried to make it useful for both group and individual study, and have included key terms, distinctions, and questions at the end of each chapter that are linked to words in bold font within the text. Though this book is less detailed than my longer systematic theology, it is written to serve as something of a travel guide to help you on your own journey of theological understanding, showing you the proper coordinates and important landmarks you’ll need to recognize along the way.” (14)
As I read his chapter on the Holy Trinity I very much appreciated his observation on why so many Christians today don’t find this doctrine all that relevant. I distinctly remember a number of years ago someone asking a guest speaker we had in the store why we needed to believe in the Trinity since it really had no “practical” application. Horton’s response needs to be heard.
“One of the reasons that many Christians have found little practical relevance of this doctrine for their lives is that our public worship—and therefore private piety—has become increasingly emptied of Trinitarian references. As we’ve seen, one of the reasons for the controversies and greater refinements in formulating the doctrine is that monotheistic Jews were now offering worship to Christ and the Holy Spirit as well as to the Father. In addition to the New Testament formulas for baptism and benedictions, ancient prayers and hymns planted the Trinitarian faith deep in the hearts of Christian people across many times and places. Christians throughout the ages didn’t just talk about the Trinity (which still, more often than not, happens today), but to the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit.”
Many forms of worship today, however, have dispensed with these rich resources without replacing them with equally Trinitarian elements. So now when we raise the subject in catechism or youth group (which itself is increasingly rare), many find it unfamiliar to their Christian experience thus far. To the extent that our experience is not Trinitarian, it is not properly Christian. One of my goals in this book is to explore the relevance of the Trinity not only across the whole system of Christian doctrine, but in our lives as worshipers and disciples of Jesus Christ.” (Emphasis his. 103-4)
Pilgrim Theology is from Zondervan. It is a hardcover with 512 pages and sells for $34.99.