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Simply Trinity Wins Christianity Today’s 2022 Book Award in Theology/Ethics

With the end of the year fast approaching, we are presented once again with the opportunity to reflect on the year that the Lord has given us with thanksgiving and gratitude. Yet it is equally a time to look ahead to the coming year with prayerful hope and anticipation. Reflecting on the year that was and the year come can help us understand and appreciate the words of the preacher when he says in Ecclesiastes that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:11). While we cannot begin to fathom the depths of eternity, we can still celebrate the many ways we attempt to grapple with everything under the sun by writing books.

In celebration of the many Christian books that were published in 2021, Christianity Today has dedicated the January/February issue to their annual Book Awards. Compiled by Matt Reynolds, books editor, awards are handed out in categories such as apologetics, spiritual formation, missions, theology, history, and many others. The winning books featured in this list are the 14 titles that are most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture in 2022 and “represent some of the year’s most exemplary Christian thinking.

The 2022 CT Book Award for Theology and Ethics was awarded to Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit (Baker, 2021)

When it comes to books on the Trinity, words like accessible, welcoming, entertaining, and soul-stirring typically don’t come to mind. For Simply Trinity, however, all these descriptions apply. Barrett invites readers to enter into the landscape of historical Trinitarian theology and see why the classical doctrine of the Trinity is good news for Christians today. He also helps readers navigate contemporary challenges to the doctrine, illustrating why what we think about the Trinity matters beyond the realm of theological debate.

— Gayle Doornbos, associate professor of theology at Dordt University

If you’d like to learn more about Simply Trinity, read this excerpt from the book that is being featured in the upcoming edition of Christianity Today.

The story of Ebenezer Scrooge, read afresh each year at Christmas, reminds us what to live for, what in life really matters. What could be worse than a life lived and nearly finished only to be full of regrets, haunted by the past? Thanks to the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge is scared sober, with still enough time to change his ways. And change he does.

But it’s not just individuals who can be haunted by the past; entire movements and historical eras can be too. Sometimes we are so nearsighted that we cannot see the big picture of where we’ve been and where we’re headed. And so, the haunting begins—if we’re lucky enough for a ghost to scare us stiff.

Lewis Ayres, one of today’s leading experts on the Trinity, tells us that there is a great divide between the biblical, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, which can be traced back to the Nicene Creed, and the modern understanding of the Trinity over the past hundred years.

However, this modern Trinity has snuffed out the biblical, orthodox Trinity, even pretended to be the orthodox Trinity, until there is little of orthodoxy that remains. It’s not merely, Ayres writes, that “modern Trinitarianism has engaged with pro-Nicene theology badly.” The situation is way worse: “It has barely engaged with it at all. As a result the legacy of Nicaea remains paradoxically the unnoticed ghost at the modern Trinitarian feast” (emphasis added).

Not that long ago, this ghost went unnoticed at the Trinitarian party, but now it haunts us, and its moans are only growing louder, its blinding light so bright no candle snuffer can extinguish it. To see why, we must walk through the rooms in this haunted house we call modern Christianity, …

Also, be sure to check out CT’s review of the book by Michael Allen.

View the full list of 2022 Book Award winners here!

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