It was during my three short months of doctoral studies ten years ago with Eugene Peterson that I did my first theological imaginings into the notion of the Trinity. Peterson’s lectures and assigned readings deepened and heightened my understanding of the Trinity and left me with an unforgettable image of a divine dance: the Trinity whirling and twirling together to create a unified body of movement.
There is a book that has re-opened my joy and anticipation about the Trinity. It has made me laugh and weep. It has made me fall in love anew with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Shack (by William P. Young) was highly recommended to me three weeks ago during my “wedding tour” in the U.S. by my friend Alene. She probably said to me four times in two days: “Sue, you HAVE to read this book.” I relented and ordered it from Amazon.
Can I just say to each of you now –YOU have to read this book. I am not going to spoil the story by sharing anything about the plot, and I’d recommend you not read too many reviews online before you read it yourself. It is a novel –a novel! As I read this book last week, I realized that 95% of my reading these days tends to be “how-tos”: How to be a better leader; how to be a better parent; how to be more disciplined… You know what I mean. These can be great… but usually this genre of books engages our intellect to shape our thoughts. I was so surprised at how this short 240-page novel grabbed my heart – my soul – my mind – all at once, and made me re-examine my notions about the trinity. And love God more.
There are some finer elements of the author’s theology that you may disagree with. There are a few parts of the book that feel a bit rough. But I soundly believe what Eugene Peterson has said in his forward of this book: “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good.” It really is that good.
This book has been life-changing for me. I don’t know the last book I could say that about. It has actually been fun to begin thinking about some of the books over the years that have been life-changing for me… What are a few of yours?
I’d love to hear what you think. Let’s tango with the Trinity together – it’s a wonderful dance that at least this missionary wants to do a lot more of.