Western Seminary stands in the great tradition of the Reformation, embracing the five solas. The solas of the Reformation are at the heart of the gospel centered transformation taking place among our students at Western Seminary. There’s not sufficient time to address each one of the five solas, but I’d like to touch briefly on Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Historically (speaking of the 2,000-year history of Christianity), Christians have been leaders, innovators and makers of masterpieces in the realm of creativity/art. Christianity has been central to most of the best painting, music, and architecture in Western civilization. Sadly, the last century or so has seen a decline in this, and a more apathetic and skeptical posture of Christians toward the arts. The reputation of “Christian art” suffered and became more or less synonymous with moralistic, low-quality, sterilized propaganda. But there are signs of progress in reversing this!
I am afraid that we have relegated Christianity to something in our mind and lost the sense of how holistic redemption is, how God communicates what Christianity is through the images that he has given to his church. There is a felt flatness to some versions of Christianity, not an embodied invitation to a historic sacramental Christianity. The historic images that God has given to his church are not the practices that usually come to our mind when we think of what it means to be a Christian.
Is Reformed Christianity compatible with catholicity (orthodoxy, as broadly and historically embraced)? This, in short, is the question that this monograph addresses. Penned by two professors of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, this self-proclaimed “manifesto” enters an ongoing conversation regarding the potential for and practice of doctrinal and hermeneutical retrieval.
To think about the Trinity is to think hard. But though the work is challenging, I would argue that the payoff is worth it. So, to help reap the rewards of this doctrine, I have provided a list of my top 5 (more or less) recent books that will help the church fall in love with the mysterious beauty of our one God in three persons.