One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life



About One God in Three Persons

How do the three persons of the Trinity relate to each other? Evangelicals continue to wrestle with this complex issue and its implications for our understanding of men's and women’s roles in both the home and the church.

Challenging feminist theologies that view the Trinity as a model for evangelical egalitarianism, One God in Three Persons turns to the Bible, church history, philosophy, and systematic theology to argue for the eternal submission of the Son to the Father.


Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and has authored God's Lesser Glory, God's Greater Glory, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John Starke is the pastor of preaching at Apostles Church in New York City, New York. He is the coeditor (with Bruce Ware) of One God in Three Persons. He is married to Jena and has three children.


“It is interesting to see how theology gets mixed up with ethics and politics. Recently, a number of writers have appealed to the Trinity to argue that just as Father, Son, and Spirit are equally worthy of worship, so man and woman should play interchangeable roles in marriage, the church, and society. Others argue that although the persons of the Trinity are equal, they are not interchangeable. It is not accidental, for example, that the Son, not the Father, came to the earth to die for our sins. And so it is inappropriate to appeal to the Trinity as a model for political and social egalitarianism. One God in Three Persons contains excellent scholarly essays defending this latter view. I find it thoroughly persuasive and I hope it plays a major role in both theological and social discussions.”
John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“This profoundly insightful book is a major contribution to our understanding of the nature of Tri-unity in God. Its focus on the question of whether the Son is both functionally subordinate to the Father and ontologically equal is of crucial importance for the life of the church and our understanding of the relationship between male and female. No attempt to answer that question can be regarded as adequate that does not give serious consideration to the content of this volume.”
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“What a fascinating banquet for all readers, whether agreeing or disagreeing with the common theme that God’s oneness of essence does not negate eternal taxis (or even eternal subordination) within God’s very being. Adding to the delight is that the authors provide a diversity of careful, weighty arguments within the basic harmony of the book.”
J. Scott Horrell, Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“I am so grateful Ware and Starke are addressing these issues with such insight and wisdom. I pray that pastors see the important implications of this book and use it to teach their flock that God’s creation of male and female is an extraordinarily beautiful reflection of the unity and diversity of the Trinity.”
Susan Hunt, former Director of Women's Ministries, PCA; coauthor, Women's Ministry in the Local Church

'One God in Three Persons is a treasure trove of careful exegesis, theology, church history, and pastoral insight. Ware and Starke have assembled an outstanding team of scholars who have provided an exploration of the Tri-unity of God that is rigorous and refreshing. Furthermore, it is very responsible in its application to questions of male/female relationships in the church and home. Responsible pastors and scholars in this discussion cannot afford to overlook the arguments and applications raised here.'
Rob Lister, Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Talbot School of Theology

Table of Contents

  1. Doctrinal Deviations in Evangelical-Feminist Arguments about the Trinity
    Wayne Grudem
  2. “I Always Do What Pleases Him”: The Father and Son in the Gospel of John
    Christopher W. Cowan
  3. God Is the Head of Christ: Does 1 Corinthians 11:3 Ground Gender Complementarity in the Immanent Trinity?
    Kyle Claunch
  4. “That God May Be All in All”: The Trinity in 1 Corinthians 15
    James M. Hamilton Jr.
  5. Eternal Generation in the Church Fathers
    Robert Letham
  6. True Sonship—Where Dignity and Submission Meet: A Fourth-Century Discussion
    Michael J. Ovey
  7. Augustine and His Interpreters
    John Starke
  8. “To Devote Ourselves to the Blessed Trinity”: Eighteenth-Century Particular Baptists, Andrew Fuller, and the Defense of “Trinitarian Communities”
    Michael A. G. Haykin
  9. An Examination of Three Recent Philosophical Arguments against Hierarchy in the Immanent Trinity
    Philip R. Gons and Andrew David Naselli
  10. Simplicity, Triunity, and the Incomprehensibility of God
    K. Scott Oliphint
  11. Does Affirming an Eternal Authority-Submission Relationship in the Trinity Entail a Denial of Homoousios?: A Response to Millard Erickson and Tom McCall
    Bruce A. Ware


Category: Theology
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 272
ISBN-10: 1-4335-2842-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-2842-2
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 13.4 ounces
Published: April 30, 2015

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