I just finished reading Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. For years, I have believed I lived and taught a very high view of God. After reading this book, I believe I still teach and think shallowly when it comes to God. I plan on reviewing the book very soon, but for now I wanted to share part of his conclusion to the book.
"In the early fourth century, Arius went for a precooked God, ready-baked in his mind. Ignoring the way, the truth and life, he defined God without the Son, and the fallout was catastrophic: without the Son, God cannot truly be a Father; thus alone, he is not truly love. Thus he can have no fellowship to share with us, no Son to bring us close, no Spirit through whom we might know him. Arius was left with a very thin gruel: a life of self-dependent effort under the all-seeing eye of his distant and loveless God.
The tragedy is that we all think like Arius every day. We think of God without the Son. We think of 'God,' and not the Father of the Son. But from there it really doesn't take long before you find that you are just a whole lot more interesting than this 'God.' And could you but see yourself, you would notice that you are fast becoming like this 'God': all inward-looking and fruitless . . . However, starting with Jesus, Athanasius found himself with a God who could not have been more different from the God of Arius. It wasn't that he found himself with some extra small description of God ('the Trinity'): Athanasius had a God of love, a kind Father who draws us to share his eternal love and fellowship.
The choice remains: Which God will we have? Which God will we proclaim? Without Jesus the Son, we cannot know that God is truly a loving Father. Without Jesus the Son, we cannot know him as our loving Father. But as Luther discovered, through Jesus we may know that God is a Father, and 'we may look into His fatherly heart and sense how boundlessly He loves us. That would warm our hearts, setting them aglow.' Yes it would, and more: it would bring about reformation" (129-130).