The most frustrated I’ve been in a while has been not only flipping through the pages of “None Greater” by Matthew Barrett, but also in contemplating the meaning and implications of so many thought-provoking chapters. Grappling with attributes like impassibility and marveling at the beauty of divine simplicity, this book has caused me both to lie awake at night trying to wrap my head around such deep things and to seek out everything I can on the topic. I’ve also been deeply humbled by Barrett’s presentation in this work. The Creator/creature distinction becomes so apparent while reading this book, it would be hard not to be humbled when faced with such a high view of God.
Throughout the book Barrett deftly takes the reader through the attributes of God. The view he presents is often called “Classical Christian Theism” but is only referred to as such once before he presents us with a historic, orthodox view on the attributes of God. At the beginning of each chapter are quotes and biblical passages relating to the topic of the chapter. This is not the only place where one can find scripture, however, as Barrett’s view is informed by and utilizes the Bible.
Aside from the Bible, the author quotes and is deeply indebted to various voices from church history. Those he seems to draw from the most are what he calls the “A-Team” which is made up of Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, some of the greatest thinkers of the past. Also among those quoted are Stephen Charnock, John Calvin, and other puritans, reformers, and deep Christian thinkers. Short biographies of some of these men can be found interspersed throughout the book’s pages for a greater understanding of who these names belong to.
“None Greater” has quickly become a favourite of mine for this reason: not only is it solid, deep, challenging, and informative, it is also accessible for the layman. In fact, Barrett writes this with the layman in mind. Something this deep is not particularly easy to grasp, it will require the reader be intentional about learning from it, but for the lay-person seeking a greater understanding of theology proper, or theology in general, Barrett’s work is a fantastic place to begin.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.