My 2010 book The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, is coming out in a second edition in April 2017.
Why? Because while the first edition has found a home in classrooms as well as churches, it contained a few obstacles that made it less useful than it could have been in church settings. The second edition of Deep Things is definitely the same content, with no significant additions to or deletions from the main text.
But it has some extra features that I hope will make it much more helpful for churches in particular:
*Shorter Chapters. Several (!) people complained that certain chapters were simply too long. So I chopped the longest ones in half. The chapters, not the people. As a result, the book goes from being eight chapters to fourteen.
The new chapter divisions are all kitted out with titles, epigrams, and such. The standardized chapter lengths should make it easier to break the book up for reading assignments.
I know what some of you are thinking: “But Fred, what about those mysterious secret words you inserted into the first edition just for fun?” Sorry, the main one is now gone. If you go looking for it, instead of finding TRIUNITY you’ll just find TRAIWUENWISTYI.¹
*Study Guide. After Deep Things of God came out in 2010, I used it to teach about the Trinity in a number of churches and Sunday schools, including my home church, Grace EvFree. As I did this, I developed a series of handouts, and I’ve gathered that material here as a 35-page study guide. The study guide, I want to emphasize, was not only written by the author, but was road-tested by the author in congregational teaching settings. If you’ve ever tried to lead a small group with a set of questions that don’t really work, you’ll know that’s an experience worth avoiding. I’ve already eliminated all the clunker questions, having heard them clunk in person. The study guide features 93 questions and 41 glossary entries keyed to the chapters.
*Footnotes. Not endnotes. Footnotes right there on the page for you. This will save readers hundreds of thousands of hours (rough estimate) of page-flipping.
*Slightly larger format, nicer paper. Perty.
*Fixed typos, smoothed style. I had about a dozen minor errors to fix that had been bugging me for years, and Crossway editor Lydia Brownback helped me smooth out some of the less civilized bits of my 2010 writing voice.
So if you’ve got the first edition, there’s no need to worry that it has now become obsolete, since the main content is the same. But the second edition is a definite improvement for church and small group use, and should also work better for academic use. Both editions will be for sale for a while, and both are listed side by side in Crossway’s new catalog. But the second edition will eventually replace the first edition altogether.
Deep Things of God contains my life message: that the Trinity and the Gospel go together. I’m delighted that the book has found an audience in the past seven years, especially among evangelicals, and I’m very happy to have the improved second edition appearing.
Here are endorsements, some old and some new:
“When faced with dark riddles about our triune God, I turn to books by Fred Sanders for help with seeing the light of Scripture. In this book, deep questions find careful answers in a living theology that breathes and pulses with joy. As Sanders reminds us, God’s inner life, ‘in the happy land of the Trinity above all worlds, is a livelier life than any other life.’ This readable book on God’s undiluted life is fantastically perceptive, and it’s been made more valuable now in a second edition with additional features for personal study, Bible meditation, group discussion, and real-life application. Like never before, The Deep Things of God invites new travelers to hike into the glorious terrain of this happy land together.”
—Tony Reinke, staff writer and researcher, desiringGod.org; author, Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books and 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
“What is already an excellent standard work on the Trinity has just become more useful. Like the first edition of his book, Fred Sanders’s second edition aims to show the astonishingly wide relevance of this Christian doctrine to every area of our living and thinking—but now, with the addition of a helpful study guide, study questions, and other aids, the book deserves the widest circulation.”
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
“Sanders has a gift for making the deep things of theology—in this case, the doctrine of the Trinity—clear and compelling rather than shallow and simplistic. This is as good an introduction to the essentially Trinitarian shape of evangelical faith and practice of which I’m aware. Every evangelical should be able to explain how the gospel is Trinitarian and the Trinity a summation of the gospel, and Sanders shows us how. He makes a convincing case that there is nothing wrong with the evangelical church in North America that a good dose of Trinitarian theology, if absorbed into the bloodstream of the body of Christ, could not cure. So take, drink, and prepare to be edified.”
—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, Biblical Authority after Babel and Faith Speaking Understanding
“‘The Trinity’ is not just a doctrine to which the church gives formal assent, nor is it one doctrine among many. It refers to the God who exists eternally and has created and redeemed us, the God of our trust and love, to whom we offer our worship and lives of thanksgiving. There are well-informed books on the Trinity and many accessible ones—but these characteristics don’t always converge in the same volume. They do in The Deep Things of God.”
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story
“Sanders’s book should be required reading for anyone involved in the work of the gospel. It will help readers catch a fresh vision of the depths of the message they strive to proclaim and foster a renewed sense of the grandeur of the Christian life they invite people to enjoy.”
—Mark Hopson, President, National School Project
“As it is with other biblical truths, I’m often asked by people about the Trinity, ‘Does it really matter?’ One might conceivably respond by saying, ‘Apart from the truth of the Trinity, nothing else does!’ If that sounds like an overstatement, this book is precisely what you need. If you’ve been puzzled by the assertion that God is one divine being who subsists in three coequal persons, this book is precisely what you need. If you want to understand how the reality of our triune God affects every dimension of Christian truth and life, this book is precisely what you need. It is remarkably accessible, altogether persuasive, and urgently needed in today’s church. I’m thrilled to see it released in a second edition. If you missed it the first time around, don’t let it happen again. I can’t recommend it too highly.”
—Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
¹Which is an anagram for “I sway triune wit” or “”I/we saw triunity” or “I/We/Us/…Aw, Trinity.”