Sergiu M. Brădean

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Stephen Seamands, Ministry in the Image of God, (IVP Books, 2005)

Foto 09.03.2014

Foto 09.03.2014

I had to start with the book that reminded me most of my Seminary years. The moment I started reading the book and the list with the names of the theologians who revived the interest for the Trinitarian Theology in the 20th century, (17) I knew I would love this book. It is a great and challenging read, but also clarifying because the view on the Trinity is accessible. It reminded me as a minister of my purpose for ministry, and challenged me not to loose my focus. It also can minister to the soul of pastors and it ministered to my soul!

Dr. Seamands wrote this book starting from the presupposition that the Trinity although accepted by Christians as a truth is not truly understood, explored or made as a life application. Dr. Seamands explains the importance of what the Trinity means to us and how to remodel our lives, our ministries and our relationships after it. Also, Dr. Seamands does a tremendous service to the Church in taking the thought of the recent renaissance in Trinitarian theology and implementing its implications for the practice of theology of ministry. The book begins by considering the nature of God – one God coexisting in three Persons. From this, the Trinitarian contemplation on the nature of God becomes a model for ministry. The purpose statement of the book is: “I have written this book-to demonstrate the significance of the doctrine of the Trinity for the vocation of ministry.”(11). The Trinity is at the heart of our call to ministry, and ministers are called to perfect submission while not losing their distinct personhood. Below are the chapters with my understanding of each in a word (it is not a comprehensive word for the entire chapter, but this is what touched me):

1.Trinitarian Ministry (Centrality): trinity should be central for the life of the church and for the life of the individual. Both, at the level of corporate and individual, the ministry should be rooted in the unity and diversity of the Trinity. Therefore, we are involved in the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Father through the Holy Spirit.

2. Relational Personhood (Vulnerability): This chapter is a reminder that the Gospel and the Trinitarian model call us to open ourselves to relationships. “Many Christians have bought into the cultural notion that religion is an individual, private matter and assume they can believe without belonging.”(39) This chapter presents the concept of “person” in the image of the Trinitarian model. And so, we have to become “persons” in relation to God, Church and family. (more…)