The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (Excerpt)

Friday is for Heart Songs

The Love of GodThe following is an excerpt from D.A. Carson’s book The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. The introduction to the excerpt is from Kairos Journal. There is so much mushy thinking and teaching on the love of God and so much of it is often put at odds with his other attributes. Perhaps it couldn’t be otherwise in an age that is as emotionally warped as ours. But like everything else, all our thoughts are to go through a different process.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor. 10:5, NASB 1995)

That “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” requires us to conform our thoughts to the teaching of Scripture and not the speculative and unharnessed imagination of our sin-affected minds. Here’s the article:

God: Aware, Caring, and Unflappable
—Donald A. Carson (1946 – )

Donald A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, shows how modern misconceptions of God are, in reality, practices of idolatry. To think of God only in “emotional” terms separated from other attributes of His being, prepares the way for God to be presented publicly as little more than a super human being—capable of feeling, but powerless over the world and its problems.

The modern therapeutic God may be superficially attractive because he appeals to our emotions, but the cost will soon be high. Implicitly we start thinking of a finite God. God himself is gradually diminished and reduced from what he actually is. And that is idolatry.

Closer to the mark is the recognition that all of God’s emotions, including his love in all its aspects, cannot be divorced from God’s knowledge, God’s power, God’s will. If God loves, it is because he chooses to love; if he suffers, it is because he chooses to suffer. God is impassible in the sense that he sustains no “passions,” no emotion, that makes him vulnerable from the outside, over which he has no control, or which he has not foreseen.1

(1)  D. A. Carson, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2000), 60.

“Lord, let all our thoughts of you be purified by an true picture of who you reveal yourself to be in your word. Make us men and woman who think rightly of you and worship you in spirit and truth. In the name of our Savior we ask it. Amen.”

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