I’ve been ploughing through Participating in God: A Pastoral Doctrine of the Trinity by Paul Fiddes for some time now. In common with many books on Trinitarian theology (even those which call themselves pastoral) it is pretty hard going. It does, however, make very rewarding reading.
There is much about this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The chapter on the Triune God and Questions of Power and Authority was absolutely excellent. International mission agencies would do well to muse on some of the issues that Fiddes raises here. I found the section on intercessory prayer fascinating; it gave the most convincing explanation of why prayer is important and what it acheives that I have ever read and was worth the price of the book alone.
However, I did also find myself a little troubled at times. Fiddes pushes the notion of the Trinity as relationships further than I am comfortable with. He makes an extremely convincing case for his position, but I was still left feeling slightly uneasy. In a sense, I’d like to follow up reading Participating in God: A Pastoral Doctrine of the Trinity with an equally heavyweight book which takes an opposite tack on the nature of the Trinity. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which one I should read – and there are books in other fields calling out for my attention.
All in all, this is a book which has given me a great deal to reflect on. If you are interested in Trinitarian Theology, then you really must read it; it’s as simple as that. I suspect that most readers of this blog will be as uncomfortable reading this book as I was at times: but the good stuff is well worth reading and it is always good to be challenged!