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Life of the Trinity

Trinitarian Letters: Your Adoption and Inclusion in the Life of God by Paul Kurts

Paul Kurts has written a new and quite unique book about the Trinity and incorporation of believers into the life of God. He writes early on that, "The radical truth of this means that in Christ the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and that we have been given fullness in Christ" (3). I really appreciate the way Kurts locates the fundamental reality of being adopted by God and being `in Christ' as providing a foundational plight for theology. He also rightfully places Christ as the intercessor for believers not in some temporary spot but as an eternal intercessor advocating for us on our behalf.

Yet, the book is wrought with problems, both theologically and by its format. First, Kurts writes, "Satan wants us to desperately to believe that God chose some to be saved and in relationship with Him forever, and chose others to be tormented and tortured forever in the eternal flames of `hell fire'....what a terrible lie" (8). Now, I realize many do not believe in double predestination, but most evangelicals believe that the reality of hell exists. Not only this, but Kurts does not put forth an argument as to why he thinks this is wrong. There is no critical engagement with the texts that speak of hell, eternal punishment, or separation from God. There is also no engagement with Matthew 5,10, and Mark 9, many other passages the Book of Revelation that speak about hell. To say that Jesus never preached about hell is to fail to read texts like Matthew 13:49-50 with an open gaze. In another way, Kurts sets love and justice as opposed to one another. He indicates that the concept of hell and Jesus being behind it "simply violates God's love for His children" (9). Rather than a Satanic deception, the concept of Hell was preached by Jesus and affirmed by the Father. For sin to be deal with rightly and God to remain holy and just, there must be a punishment for sin. Kurts cannot believe of love being connected to justice and holiness, but only as a kind of love that wouldn't send anyone to hell. Secondly, by capitalizing multiple words on every page, reading this book was an eye sore. I'm not quite even sure why some words were capitalized and others were not.

Even though these criticisms were right to point out, there were still some very good things in the book related to Christ being victorious over death. Furthermore, the book magnifies the relational aspect of the members of the Trinity. Each member of the Trinity delights and serves one another as a sign of love and fellowship. Yet, even in this discussion, Kurts manages to misconstrue the idea of God's holiness as something legal and wrong-headed. God's holiness is not something antithetical to his being a relational being, but necessary for his display of righteous affections toward his creation. I would have also hoped that Kurts would've pointed us to the direct sources for his teaching, to provide some kind of basis for his arguments also.

Thanks to Speak Easy and West Bow Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for review.


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