Scott R. Swain
I am not a theologian, but I sometimes play one on Sunday mornings. Nevertheless, it was a privilege to read and review this 160-page monograph. Dr. Swain (PhD., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) presents a classic reformed doctrine of the Trinity. With the exception of those who followed the Trinitarian Controversy of 2016, there will be little to argue within this small book.
The book reads as if it were taken from the chapters of a systematic theology text discussing the Trinity. As stated in the introduction, the author desired to address the issues raised by Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware surrounding the relationship of the Father to Son, and the Father and the Son to Holy Spirit. Though these issues are addressed, they are done so in a manner that elevates three members of the Godhead, not diminishing the role or relationship between the three persons of the Trinity. He addresses the issues addressed in 2016 in the same way he addresses Arianism and Subordination addressed in the first millennium of the church’s history.
This reviewer was encouraged to reread Grudem’s Trinitarian theology as he read Swain’s work. Because the Trinity is wrapped in the mystery that is God, I am not as bothered by the teaching of Grudem as long as it is balanced against the classical teaching of the church. Standing alone, Grudem, et al., could raise red flags in our understanding of our Triune God. Note, Grudem is republishing his systematic theology even as I am writing this - I will be looking forward to his thoughts in 2020 following the discussions of 2016. With a fifty-year-old seminary education, the book was a great refresher on an important doctrine.
The book is well documented, both from the scriptures and from writers representing the church’s thought and teaching during its 2000-year history. Though the ARC which I was provided for the review, did not contain them, the completed volume will contain both a general index and a scripture index which will add value to the finished book. For the reader wishing to review their basic theology or as an ancillary text for a theology class in Bible College or seminary, this book will have a key place.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.