Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Review

Ministry in the Image of God, by Stephen Seamands
***** 5 stars

This is a fantastic book and a must-read for anyone involved in Christian ministry. I enjoyed it because, in all my 39 years of being a Christian, I had never heard anything like it.

I had always been of the opinion that the doctrine of the trinity, while undeniably biblical, had to be about the most boring of the Christian doctrines. I regarded it as a fact, but a flat one, something that you sing about occasionally in the doxology.

But as I read this book, I could not believe how the trinity came to life in Seamands' writing. One of my favorite ideas from the book is how he describes various aspects of our lives and relationships as following the pattern of the trinity.

For example, when we are involved in listening to and empathizing with another person, we are exemplifying a quality of the trinity: that of flowing in and out of each other while remaining distinct entities, separate from one another. As we listen to the other person, part of us enters into their experience, and feels the pain or joy they are feeling.

When this happens, we are truly living in the image of the three-personed God.

Seamands' intended audience seems to be those working in ministry, though I am sure any Christian would gain insight from the book. I have incorporated many of his ideas into my ministry, as well as my understanding of the trinity - a doctrine which, thanks to this book, will never again seem boring to me!

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