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God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology Hardcover – March 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433522691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433522697
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Gerald Bray is one of our leading evangelical scholars and teachers and he has given us here a magisterial overview of Christian belief and doctrine. A great example of theology in the service of the church.”
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“Soaked in the depth and breadth of the Christian tradition, Gerald Bray brings a rich wisdom to his exceedingly accessible systematic theology. Freshly organizing his approach around love, Bray does not fall into cheap sentimentality, but instead carefully teases out the drama and story of divine love and how it should inform our understanding of countless areas of theology and life. Students and laity in particular will find this volume immensely helpful, and I heartily recommend it to all!”
Kelly M. Kapic, Professor of Theological Studies, Covenant College

“Intimidated by theology books? This is the book for you. Here you’ll find a firm place to stand to take in the full panorama of Christian belief—centered around the wonderful and worship-inspiring truth of the love of God, and firmly anchored in the sure and certain word of God. If you’ve read Lewis’s Mere Christianity or Stott’s Basic Christianity and you long to know more, then you’re ready to move on to Gerald Bray’s God Is Love.”
Stephen J. Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College; Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries

God Is Love is a warm, conversational, and contemporary systematic theology written by one of evangelicalism’s leading thinkers. But it is much more. It is biblically saturated, historically rooted theological wisdom for the people of God.”
Christopher W. Morgan, Dean and Professor of Theology, California Baptist University

“Gerald Bray delivers on his promise—he teaches Christians about the God who is love and about the love that this triune God shows to others. He keeps this promise by pointing insistently to God’s gracious speech in the Bible, and by showing consistently how it all hangs together in the story of this God and his gospel. This book is a gripping lesson from a master teacher. For introduction to biblical doctrine—its sources and its implications—Christians will find no better aid than this new treasure.”
Michael Allen, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Knox Theological Seminary; author, Reformed Theology

About the Author

Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is research professor at Beeson Divinity School and director of research for the Latimer Trust. He is a prolific writer and has authored or edited numerous books, including The Doctrine of GodBiblical Interpretation, God Is Love, and God Has Spoken.


More About the Author

Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is Research Professor at Beeson Divinity School and Director of Research for the Latimer Trust. He is a prolific writer and has authored or edited numerous books, including The Doctrine of God and Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present.

Customer Reviews

This book was a requirement for school and it is outstanding.
Ann M. Calvin
In reading God is Love, I can say that Bray did an admirable job in blending systematic and biblical approaches to theology.
K. Hartman
The thing that we often forget is that God wants us to know him!
Jacob Sweeney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A.W. Tozer once said that "what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us". James reminds us that even the demons believe in God - "and shudder" (James 2.19). What that knowledge of God does in us, to us and through us says more about us that it does about God. The Kingdom of Satan is overrun with theologians more precise in their understanding of God than any university on earth has ever known. Yet, they persist in their rebellion. If we know about God but do not know God, then we are no better than the demonic hordes.

The thing that we often forget is that God wants us to know him! He wants us to walk with him and see him as our loving father. Many theology books have been written and monographs penned which deal with God's love. Gerald Bray has recently completed his text which provides an accessible entrance into Biblical and Systematic theology. His title clearly conveys his guiding principle: "God is Love". That statement comes directly from John's first letter (1 John 4.8).

It also directs his study of theology and the Bible. This is not an exhaustive study of theology. Instead, Bray focuses his study on those things with God has clearly revealed - and the way those revealed things demonstrate the love of God. (If you are seeking a comprehensive theology text read either Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology or Michael Horton's The Christian Faith). He has intentionally left out the technical language and jargon which would prove an impediment to those unfamiliar with biblical and theological studies. Some may consider this a weakness, but it is my opinion that such sensitivities are important. Over 700 pages, this is no "watered-down" text. There is considerable "meat" here for those of all theological persuasions and skill.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Adam Parker on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to read a book on it's own merits, because you don't read a book tabula rasa, without any prejudice or expectations. It's hard to read that way, and it's hard to review that way, and so I only offer a brief preface before reviewing Gerald Bray's book God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology. Bray's book is not written for me.

Gerald Bray begins God is Love by stating that the "main purpose of this book is to set out what God has revealed to us." A fine purpose, if I do say so. His aim, however, is what will make the book either make or break for most readers. He says it "is to reach those who would not normally find systematic theology appealing or even comprehensible." He goes on: "Technical terminology has been avoided and the concepts underlying it have been explained as simply and directly as possible." Up front, I will say, then, that in terms of contemporary systematics, I'm definitely more of a "Michael-Horton's-The-Christian-Faith" man myself. But this book wasn't written for me. And so I will try to review it for what it is, in the context of what it intends to be.

One of my favorite things about Bray's book is that it begins with God's own inter-Trinitarian self-love and then moves from there out to His own love of humanity. The structure of Bray's work left me delighted. I like that Bray has a somewhat presuppositional approach to apologetics and arguing for the truths of Scripture. Of course, he avoids the familiar language, but in the end it is unmistakeable. Another winning aspect of the book is that Bray speaks in a way which is not overly-technical. If you put each chapter of Bray's book up against other contemporary STs - say - Michael Horton's The Christian Faith, you would reckon that Bray is writing for a non-technical crowd.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Luke Geraty on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
God is Love is subtitled, "A Biblical and Systematic Theology." Right out the gate I am going to state that I am not sure exactly why the author or publisher provided that subtitle. It actually locked me into expecting something that Bray's book isn't, and I am glad it isn't. What it is is a mixture of the two theological disciplines. Bray shows how love is a biblical (canonical!) concept that we can view doctrines systematically through. It would probably be best to understand this book as a mixture rather than either/or... though it is more a systematic theology than true biblical theology.

On the back cover, Timothy George writes that the author "is one of our leading evangelical scholars and teachers." I want to first state that God is Love is not just for evangelicals. No, I think all Christians can find a lot to appreciate about what Bray does here. Secondly, I think Bray is adequately called a teacher of the church. I was taught when reading this book. And that teaching was both scholarly, theological, as well as doxological (worship inspiring). In other words, it was the perfect blend of deeper theological concepts written in a devotional manner.

So let's get into the substance of Bray's work...

This is not a true "biblical theology," hence my rejection of its usefulness as description. God is Love is essentially a systematic theology. But unlike many scholarly works by theologians, Bray starts by writing that he writes to "reach those who would not normally find systematic theology appealing or even comprehensible" (p.12). I would say Bray accomplishes this mission well. Highly readable and accessible.

Throughout the rest of God is Love, Bray explores how the apostle John's statement that "God is love" (1 John 4:15) impacts a variety of doctrines.
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