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Mike Reeves: The Sharing God

14 Jan

Being triune, God is a sharing God, a God who loves to include. Indeed, that is why God will go on to create. His love is not for keeping but for spreading.

~Mike Reeves~






Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 31.

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Mike Reeves: The Very Goodness of the Gospel

2 Jan

3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God – 1 Cor. 11:3

In other words, the shape of the Father-Son relationship (the headship) begins a gracious cascade, like a waterfall of love: as the Father is the lover and the head of the Son, so the Son goes out to be the lover and the head of the church. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you,” the Son says (Jn 15:9). And therein lies the very goodness of the gospel; as the Father is the lover and the Son the beloved, so Christ becomes the lover and the church the beloved. That means that Christ loves the church first and foremost: his love is not a response, given only when the church loves him; his love comes first, and we only love him because he first loved us (1 Jn 4:19).

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 28.

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Mike Reeves: All His Ways Are Beautifully Fatherly

20 Dec

Since God is, before all things, a Father, and not primarily Creator or Ruler, all his ways are beautifully fatherly. It is not that this God “does” being Father as a day job, only to kick back in the evenings as plain old “God.” It is not that he has a nice blob of fatherly icing on top. He is Father. All the way down. Thus all that he does he does as Father. That is who he is. He creates as a Father and he rules as a Father; and that means the way he rules over creation is most unlike the way any other God would rule over creation. The French Reformer John Calvin, appreciating this deeply, once wrote:

“We ought in the very order of things [in creation] diligently to contemplate God’s fatherly love… [for as] a foreseeing and diligent father of the family he shows his wonderful goodness toward us…. To conclude once for all, whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us at the same time bear in mind that… we are indeed his children, whom he has received into his faithful protection to nourish and educate…. So, invited by the great sweetness of his beneficence and goodness, let us study to love and serve him with all our heart.”

It was a profound observation, for it is only when we see that God rules his creation as a kind and loving Father that we will be moved to delight in his providence. We might acknowledge that the rule of some heavenly policeman was just, but we could never take delight in his regime as we can delight in the tender care of a father.

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 23-24.

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Mike Reeves: The Delightful Difference About Christianity

13 Dec

The Qur’an explicitly and sharply distinguishes Allah from the God described by Jesus:

Say not “Trinity.” Desist; it will be better for you: for God is one God. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.


Say: “He, Allah, is One.
Allah is He on Whom all depend.
He begets not, nor is He begotten.
And none is like Him.”

In other words, Allah is a single-person God. In no sense is he a Father (“he begets not”), and in no sense does he have a Son (“nor is he begotten”). He is one person, and not three. Allah, then, is an utterly different sort of being to the God who is Father, Son and Spirit. And it is not just incompatibly different numbers we are dealing with here: that difference, as we will see, is going to mean that Allah exists and functions in a completely different way from the Father, Son and Spirit.

All that being the case, it would be madness to settle for any presupposed idea of God. Without being specific about which God is God, which God will we worship? Which God will we ever call others to worship? Given all the different preconceptions people have about “God,” it simply will not do for us to speak abstractly about some general “God.” And where would doing so leave us? If we content ourselves with being mere monotheists, and speak of God only in terms so vague they could apply to Allah as much as the Trinity, then we will never enjoy or share what is so fundamentally and delightfully different about Christianity.

The irony could not be thicker: what we assume would be a dull or peculiar irrelevance turns out to be the source of all that is good in Christianity. Neither a problem nor a technicality, the triune being of God is the vital oxygen of Christian life and joy. And so it is my hope and prayer that as you read this book, the knowledge of Father, Son and Spirit will breathe fresh life into you.

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 17-18.

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Mike Reeves: The Governing Center of All Christian Belief

19 Nov

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.”
– Athanasian Creed

Now today that sounds overwrought to the point of being hysterical. We must believe in the Trinity or “perish everlastingly”? No, that goes too far, surely? For while we might be happy enough to include the Trinity in our list of “things Christians believe,” the suggestion that our very salvation depends on the Trinity comes across as ridiculously overinflated bluster. How could something so curious be necessary for salvation “before all things”?

And yet. The unflinching boldness of the Athanasian Creed forces us to ask what is essential for Christian faith. What would we say is the article of faith that must be held before all others? Salvation by grace alone? Christ’s atoning work on the cross? His bodily resurrection? Now certainly those are all things “of first importance” (1 Cor 15:3), so absolutely critical that they cannot be given up without the very nature and goodness of the gospel being lost; however, they do not stand “before all things.” By themselves they are not what make the Christian gospel Christian. Jehovah’s Witnesses can believe in the sacrificial death of Christ; Mormons in his resurrection; others in salvation by grace. Granted, the similarities are sometimes only superficial, but the very fact that certain Christian beliefs can be shared by other belief systems shows that they cannot be the foundation on which the Christian gospel rests, the truth that stands “before all things.”

We need not be disturbed by such similarities. That which distinguishes Christianity has not been stolen. For what makes Christianity absolutely distinct is the identity of our God. Which God we worship: that is the article of faith that stands before all others. The bedrock of our faith is nothing less than God himself, and every aspect of the gospel–creation, revelation, salvation–is only Christian insofar as it is the creation, revelation and salvation of this God, the triune God. I could believe in the death of a man called Jesus, I could believe in his bodily resurrection, I could even believe in a salvation by grace alone; but if I do not believe in this God , then, quite simply, I am not a Christian. And so, because the Christian God is triune, the Trinity is the governing center of all Christian belief, the truth that shapes and beautifies all others. The Trinity is the cockpit of all Christian thinking.

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 15-16.

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Mike Reeves: Is God a Mystery?

5 Oct

God is a mystery, but not in the alien abductions, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night sense. Certainly not in the “who can know, why bother?” sense. God is a mystery in that who he is and what he is like are secrets, things we would never have worked out by ourselves. But this triune God has revealed himself to us. Thus the Trinity is not some piece of inexplicable apparent nonsense, like a square circle or an interesting theologian. Rather, because the triune God has revealed himself, we can understand the Trinity. That is not to say we can exhaust our knowledge of God, comprehend and wrap our brains around him, simply cramming in a few bits of information before moving on to some other doctrine. To know the Trinity is to know God, an eternal and personal God of infinite beauty, interest and fascination. The Trinity is a God we can know, and forever grow to know better.

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 12.

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Mike Reeves: Knowing God is Transformative

2 Oct

Christianity is not primarily about lifestyle change; it is about knowing God. To know and grow to enjoy him is what we are saved for

Nonetheless, getting to know God better does actually make for far more profound and practical change as well. Knowing the love of God is the very thing that makes us loving. Sensing the desirability of God alters our preferences and inclinations, the things that drive our behavior: we begin to want God more than anything else.. The triune nature of this God affects everything from how we listen to music to how we pray: it makes for happier marriages, warmer dealings with others, better church life; it gives Christians assurance, shapes holiness and transforms the very way we look at the world around us. No exaggeration: the knowledge of this God turns lives around.

~Mike Reeves~


Delighting in the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 10.

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