The God We Don't Know

By Jason Byassee Published
Paperback image ISBN: 9781630887865 $13.99 Buy
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Who is this God we worship?

Most people assume they know what they mean when they use the word “God.” They mean a powerful old guy in the sky ready to obliterate us if we do wrong but basically benevolent, if a little senile.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity shows us God is vastly more interesting. God is actually fleshed among us in Jesus, poured out on us in the Holy Spirit’s intoxication of the church. God is three divine persons in perfect harmony and beauty—and God invites us into that unimaginable intimacy. We don’t know this God, but we should.

Trinity uses scripture, the Early Church tradition, and some modern theology to argue that God is a mystery whom we can’t understand but who can shape our misunderstanding to allow for faithful living and holy love of God and neighbor.

“Jason Byassee thinks like a theologian, writes like a journalist, and communicates like a storyteller. We live in a time of trinitarian dissonance, when the central doctrine of the Christian faith is strangely neglected by most Christians. Byassee’s wonderful exploration of the Trinity offers a remedy for that by providing a meat-and-potatoes introduction to the God who is at once Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. An excellent spiritual guide for both mature Christians and those brand new to the Christian faith.” —Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Thompson, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology &Wesleyan Studies, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, TN, and Wesley Scholar for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church

“In trying to communicate the trinitarian relationship, Byassee succeeds in making the indescribable a little more coherent while reminding us of the all-consuming love of God. Trinity is a little book of rigorous thought and deep devotion. It is rare these days to find a work of theology that stirs the intellect, the heart, and the spirit. And I have to admit, in reading this book, I fell in love with the Holy Spirit all over again." —Enuma Okoro, Nigerian-American writer, speaker, and award-winning author of Reluctant Pilgrim, Silence, and Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals


"Jason Byassee here offers a smoothly flowing  account of the biblical basis and patristic refinements of the Church's trinitarian faith.  A careful reading of this little book on the part of investigative Christians will help them to discern the firm shape of classical Christian doctrine concerning the Triune God and to maintain their own beliefs and practices within the historically tried patterns."

-Geoffrey Wainwright

“So it turns out that the God we don’t know is more challenging, interesting, and biblical than the stereotype we often encounter in the culture and, yes, even in the church.  Jason Byassee guides us in into a deeper knowledge of the Triune God,  in a way that is both accessible and mysterious, theological and pastoral.  Trinity: The God We Don’t Know is a fresh wind for the mind and heart!

Ken Carter, Resident Bishop, Florida Area, The United Methodist Church

St. Augustine begins his teaching on the Trinity reminding his readers that nothing is more difficult and yet more necessary. We must neither say too much nor too little. Jason Byassee would make Augustine proud. He is the rare scholar-pastor who takes this unfathomable mystery and makes it accessible without losing its depth. Witty and deadly serious, ancient and future, Byassee's refreshing work illumines the church’s teaching from his pastoral experience and theological study without sacrificing scholarly rigor or practical wisdom. This text should be used in every church and even more by all who will be teaching in every church.

D. Stephen Long

Marquette University

About the Author

Jason Byassee

Jason Byassee is the Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation at Vancouver School of Theology.  He previously served as senior pastor of Boone United Methodist Church, a 1500-member congregation in Boone, NC. He is trained in systematic theology with a PhD from Duke, and he worked as a journalist at and at The Christian Century magazine. He authored six books, including The Gifts of the Small Church and Trinity: The God We Don’t Know with Abingdon Press.