Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "The God Who Loves"

Rather than move on to another series, I want us to spend one more week on the last week of Jesus. This week, we will be looking at John 21. A major theme throughout that chapter is love and obedience. As I was studying this week, I went back and read John MacArthur's book, "The God Who Loves: He Will Do Whatever It Takes to Draw Us."

What I really like about this book, is that it is a sober treatment of the issue. We all love the fact that "God is Love" but most of us do not understand it. MacArthur takes what Scripture says about this issue and lays out what John means whenever he writes those words. Usually, by referring to the love of God, we mean that God is above being judgmental, wrathful, or angry. And yet, at the same time, we read and study about God killing people throughout all of Scripture from Pharaoh's army in Exodus, to the Israelites in Numbers, to Herod in Acts, to sinners in Revelation. How can these two truths of God be reconciled?

Many simply ignore the wrath and anger of God. They do not try to reconcile these two apparently contradictory characteristics of God; they simply ignore His wrath. We do this as a means to rationalize our sin. This is unfortunate. Because by ignoring the wrath of God we cheapen the love of God. MacArthur gives the reader balance and explains why both the wrath and the love of God are necessary to understand, affirm, and study.

MacArthur has an ability to clearly lay out what Scripture teaches while at the same time warn the reader not to fall for the traps on both sides. Anyone interested in understanding the love of God in deeper and more Biblically, I cannot recommend any other book above this one. John MacArthur has influenced me immensely. His study of Scripture accompanied with decades of pastoral ministry give him important insight and depth. If you want to fully understand what the Bible teaches about God's love, read this book.

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