Thursday, June 4, 2015

I needed a thoroughly biblical devotional. I found one.

I needed a short book to read. Work, church service, and seminary studies can leave me tired out and mentally exhausted. Reading relaxes me, but heavier, academic titles don’t always provide me the relief I need. That’s why I picked up a review copy of Experiencing the Trinity by Joe Thorn, courtesy of Crossway Books.

I’ve read plenty of books on the Trinity. Some were ginormous, like John Frame’s 900-page The Doctrine of God. I’ve also read Bruce Ware’s shorter volumes God’s Greater Glory and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the latter being very accessible to non-seminary students. Joe Thorn’s book, however, is more of a devotional.

Thorn explains in the introduction that the book was born out of his own practice of “preaching to himself” at a time when he struggled with depression and debilitating anxiety attacks. Like many of the Psalms, a backdrop of personal struggle and hope in God in the author’s life made this book a powerful encouragement to me.

The book itself is made up of 50 chapters, each of which can be read in a couple minutes. These chapters begin with a few verses of Scripture about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There is Scriptural truth on every page, but that doesn’t make this a science textbook that’s all theory and no practice. Thorn weighs these truths and applies them personally. Consider his reflection on God’s presence:

“But there is a great difference to God being everywhere and God being with you. It is this latter truth that will conquer your anxieties and comfort you in your loneliness.”

It feels like he’s speaking to me, and at times his words challenge, other times they encourage, but they always call for a response.

I came up with a summer reading list for the students in my high school and college group at church. On it I included Thorn’s book mostly because of his reputation and positive reviews. I’m glad I did. And I’m glad I read it too.

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