Bruce Ware Applies the Trinity

I just finished Bruce Ware’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationship, Roles, and Relevance. It’s quite clear what century the book was written in because Ware focuses a lot of attention—as well he should—on what the Trinity means for gender roles.

But I found it warm-hearted, clearly written, and helpfully concise.

At the end of his book, Ware offers ten applications from the doctrine of the Trinity:

  1. God intends that his very nature—yes, his triune and eternal nature—be expressed in our human relationships. 132
  2. Eternal relationality calls for and calls forth a created community of persons. 133 (That is, people weren’t made to be Lone Rangers or Rambos, doing everything themselves without help.)
  3. The relationships in the Trinity exhibit so beautifully a unity that is not redundancy, and a diversity that is not discord. 135
  4. The most marked characteristic of the trinitarian relationships is the presence of an eternal and inherent expression of authority and submission. 137
  5. Equality of essence does not conflict with distinction of roles. In God, and among us, both must be embraced and honored. 138
  6. Trinitarian roles and marriage: both equality of essence of male and female, and distinction of husband and wife roles, are designed by God and are reflective of the Trinity. 139
  7. Trinitarian roles and the church: both equality of essence and distinction of roles are designed by God to be expressed among pastoral leaders and congregations, and this dynamic is reflective of the Trinity. 147
  8. Trinitarian roles and prayer: the taxis eternally present in the Trinity, of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in this order, forms the framework for meaningful, biblical prayer. 151
  9. Trinitarian roles and worship: the taxis eternally present in the Trinity, of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in this order, forms the framework for meaningful, biblical worship. 153
  10. Because God eternally exhibits both full equality of essence and rich diversity in role, we can be confident that both are good. 155

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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