Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

What is God like? Is he the angry, violent God that we read about in the Old Testament? Or is he the picture of a loving, compassionate Father that we see in the New Testament? In Brian Zahnd's Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Good News, a pastor tries to correct Christians' false views of God. The book is named after revivalist Jonathan Edwards' most famous sermon for a reason; this sermon that had a profound impact on American evangelicalism also influenced how many American Christians view God today—an angry God.

The initial concern that readers may have is, "But God actually commanded genocide, didn't he?" Zahnd excellently avoids falling into heretical traps such as Arianism, Marcionism, and Gnosticism. He is careful to jump to far conclusions and uses Scripture to back up his points. Without ignoring the passages of Scripture that show God's angry side, he unpacks a Christological argument for how the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ finally closed the book on God's history of violence, replacing it instead with pure, true love.

For those looking to more fully understand God's nature, this is an excellent place to start. It is theologically packed yet not exhaustive, serving well as an introductory text. Perhaps we can all step away deeper in love with the God whose loving embrace holds us together.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as a part of the Blogging for Books program.

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