Tom Bosse e-mailed me and asked me to review this book. I was quite hesitant to do so, but finally agreed under certain conditions. I was suspicious based on several comments about this book which were made at Bosse's web site. Here are a few of these comments,
"Generations of Bible scholars sought diligently to understand the Trinity. Their futile
efforts simply produced analogies such as St. Patrick's shamrock or the 3-parts of
an egg to convey its meaning. The revelation of what the early Church failed to
realize is now documented in this book."
"If you are merely looking for the same explanations and definitions to the Trinity,
which Bible scholars have rewritten about for centuries, you are in the wrong
The above claims are very ambitious to say the least, especially considering the early Church councils and their final creeds concerning this very doctrine, and many great learned theologians throughout Christian history who have delineated this doctrine in their theological works. After reading Bosse's book, my suspicions were correct.
This book is replete with inept theology and hermeneutics. In fact, there is so much hermeneutical error in this text that I cannot, in the space of this small review, cover all of it. Therefore, I will demonstrate some of the larger and more obvious problems I see in this work.
Simplistically summarized this book declares that God breathed life into mankind, via Adam, and God did this through His spirit. In the beginning our spirit and God's spirit, via creation, were united. When Adam sinned, our spirit was not affected by Adam's sin, but our flesh and soul were. Our spirit and our soul became divided, due to sin, and our blood became "poisoned" with sin. Because of this [Adam's] sin, God needed a way to redeem mankind. Bosse holds to a trichotomy view of mankind (meaning man is a body, soul and spirit). However, he takes this trichotomy view and applies it to the Trinity. This is where the most serious problem lies within this text.
While there are other smaller theological differences which caused me to disagree with quite a few assertions made by Bosse in this text (i.e. the Calvinist/Arminian differences, etc.), there were several larger theological problems asserted by Bosse which not only caused Bosse to fall into grievous error, but also ruined the overall thrust of the work. These larger problems will be the focus of this review.
First, Bosse holds to a semi-Pelagian, if not a near full blown Pelagian view of the doctrine of original sin. Comments such as, "The little child [those smaller and younger than a mere child] does not have the stain of sin; therefore he is able to enter to Kingdom of God." (p. 115). Also, ". . . little children are connected to God's Spirit and remain so until understanding comes to them." (ibid). Bosse teaches that there is an age of accountability, until that time little children are not under the stain of sin.
Second, Bosse holds to a mix of Christological heretical views. At the point of Jesus' incarnation, Bosse begins to draw strong dichotomies between Christ's divinity and Christ's humanity; to the point where Christ's humanity in the incarnation is much more crucial and important, and "outweighs" His divinity, especially after His ascension. Regarding the "state" of Jesus after His ascension Bosse declares, "Remember, God could not redeem man from His divine position. If Jesus had reclaimed His divinity [this assumes He lost it at some point], which He employed after His incarnation, His redemption efforts would have been in vain."
Third, Bosse holds to a type of distorted Arianism. This remark is the most telling of this distorted view, "Did God simply make Jesus from nothing? Certainly not. There was a definite element devised by God the Father to formulate God the Son. Just as man was made from the dust of the earth, Jesus also was made of a substance. What was that substance?" Bosse explains that this "substance" was the Word of God as found in John 1:1-3.
Fourth, Bosses holds to a blatant view of Gnosticism. Bosse teaches throughout this text that the body (flesh) of man is corrupt. This would be quite orthodox had he stopped there. However, he goes on to declare that the flesh is evil and only the spirit is pure, and thus needs to be united with God. The soul and body were severed, so to speak, from the spirit. The spirit of man remained pure, but the soul and body of man became evil. Bosse declares, "the flesh is drawn to Satan and sin, while the spirit seeks after God and righteousness."
Fifth, and the last of the major problems, is the fact that Bosse teaches, in this text, that there was a battle between God and Satan and Satan lost when he killed Jesus, an innocent man. Prior to this Satan had total dominion over the earth and God had to find a way to "win it back." The fact that Jesus did not rebel against His Father, was the one technicality that Satan failed to take into consideration when Satan killed Jesus. Jesus remained obedient, He deposited the sins of mankind into hell itself (which, by the way, is located at the center of the earth), and the victory was accomplished. This whole scenario as Bosse paints it in much greater detail in this book, is wrought with so many theological problems, this issue alone could take up all the space for this review.
I have merely touched on some of the major theological problems of this work and have barely mentioned the hermeneutical "proof-texting" and lack of appropriate exegesis used by Bosse. In the end this book does more damage than it does good. I give it two stars simply for the fact that Bosse declares that one cannot be saved apart from Jesus' death and resurrection. As far as his answering the "mysteries" of the Trinity, he did no such thing. He merely distorted the view to a greater degree. I do not recommend this book at all. It would in fact be better for anyone to avoid it. Instead, I would recommend Athanasius' work "On the Incarnation."