- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Crossway; unknown edition (December 10, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581341261
- ISBN-13: 978-1581341263
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God Paperback – December 10, 1999
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About the Author
D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a plethora of Scripture stating God hates sinners. There is 1 passage that according to many today teaches that God loves the non-elect, but that this love is of a different kind than his love for the elect. If this doctrine appears at all it is indirect, and I remain unconvinced. In this passage we are commanded to pray for our enemies while Christ refused to pray for the world. Nowhere does the Bible state that God loves the non-elect, but it does oftentimes state the opposite. If God gives sun and rain to all, and provides them with food and shelter for a blink of an eye, what love is this as compared to an eternity of suffering? In my opinion, this is not love. What kind of love hides the name of Christ from so many cut off from civilization? For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
When Calvin said that God loves and hates a person simultaneously, as far as I can tell from a quick google search, he was quoting Augustine. Calvin says this several times, but unless I am mistaken, only in reference to the elect before conversion. Not once did I find this quote in reference to the non-elect.
Carson state that there are 5 ways in which God loves that we cannot separate nor must one overrule the others. His work on the intratrinitarian love is helpful. 2nd, God’s love for creation. 3rd, God’s salvific stance for a fallen world. Fourth, God’s special love for his elect, and 5th, his conditional love for his covenant people based upon their obedience.
This short book may be difficult for many to understand. Carson briefly mentions several theological debates without much exposition, including compatibilism and impassibility. Carson believes that God has passions and condemns those who say that God only has a will, as the clear meaning of Scripture contradicts this. The author states that anthropopathisms do not explain the sense of the words. God chooses which passions he will have, so it is possible that God suffer.
The book is an adaptation of a lecture series, and therefore is quite readable and easy to follow, sometimes having a near conversational tone. He covers some very weighty topics, but explains things well enough that this book should be useful and beneficial to lay people as well as seminary students. At less than 100 pages, it does not take terribly long to read, but has lasting value in the life of the believer.
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God loves (Joh3:16) that open the door to spread the Logos and believe in Him.Read more