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The Trinity: An Introduction (Swain)

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Graham A. Cole
Oren R. Martin

The Trinity is one of the most essential doctrines of the Christian faith.

The eternal God existing as three distinct persons—Father, Son, and Spirit—can be difficult to comprehend. While Christians often struggle to find the right words to describe this union, the Bible gives clarity concerning the triune God’s being and activity in nature (creation), grace (redemption), and glory (reward). In this concise volume, theologian Scott Swain examines the doctrine of the Trinity, presenting its biblical foundations, systematic-theological structure, and practical relevance for the church today.



Scott R. Swain (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Scott and his wife, Leigh, reside in Orlando, Florida, with their four children. Swain is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America.



“The often-repeated baptismal words ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ contain the profoundest truth Christians ever hear. They show us who God is, and they teach us who we are. That is why we need to grow in our understanding and experience of them. Scott Swain helps us to do that in this welcome contribution to Short Studies in Systematic Theology. The book lives up to its description: it is short (Swain gets straight to the point); it invites you to study (no superficiality here); and it is systematic theology (and Swain is exceptionally gifted in it). Plus, you will be able to understand Swain; and you can trust what he writes. What more could you ask for in such a compact treatment?” - Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

“Only a very gifted teacher can select the most important things to say about the holy Trinity, especially for a wide audience. Lucid, rich with scriptural interpretation, and deeply informed by the Christian tradition, this is the first book I will recommend to anyone looking for clarity that yields a harvest of delight in the triune God.” - Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“What a powerful instrument this little book is, meeting the need of our moment for clear and precise teaching on this most important subject. Would you rather read a book on the Trinity that invites you into the worship of God and gives profound insight into his ways or a book that is guaranteed to provide safe, reliable, and responsible instruction? There is no need to choose: this book does it all, and in admirably brief compass.” - Fred Sanders, Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University; author, The Deep Things of God

“Swain here takes up the practice of the ancient church, teaching the company of the baptized the grammar of the name of the one God into whose life they enter by water: ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ This is a wonderful primer to the grammar of ‘Trinitarian discourse,’ a grammar that is needed not simply to talk theological shop with the professionals but, more importantly, to read the Bible fluently, to name God correctly, to discern the true triune God from idols, and to praise the name of the one who invites us into the fellowship of the Father and the Son through the Spirit. This book edifies even as it educates.” - Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, Is There a Meaning in This Text?The Drama of Doctrine; and Biblical Authority after Babel

“Through his attentive comprehension of Scripture and with prudence and ease, Scott Swain creates a profound and engaging portrayal of the triune God whom Christians worship. The Trinity will doubtless become the standard text for those requiring an accessible primer for this foundational doctrine. But the book’s concise nature should not lull the expert, for Swain also offers persuasive verdicts defending classic orthodoxy against both contemporary and ancient challenges.” - Malcolm B. Yarnell III, Research Professor of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Who Is the Holy Spirit? and God the Trinity

“This book is easily the best introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity that I know of. Scott Swain shows not just that the Bible teaches the Trinity but how it does so. With lucid brevity he introduces crucial, classical distinctions that help us discern the Bible’s Trinitarian grammar. Reading this book will help you to proclaim and praise the triune God more fluently. I plan to give away many copies to members of my church.” - Bobby Jamieson, Associate Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; author, Jesus’ Death and Heavenly Offering in Hebrews