The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D. A. Carson

Carson, apparently perceiving a hole in the modern Christian’s understanding of love, has recently written four books on the subject. For the Love of God is a two volume set to be used as a daily supplement to the reading of the Word. They are written in a devotional format, but with more substance than normally found in this genre. Love in Hard Places is a companion volume to the book under review and deals with the love of the believer, especially when love is not easy. The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God , as the title suggests, specially addresses God’s love, implying that this is no easy doctrine to understand. Part of the difficulty, Carson proposes, is because of faulty and superficial teaching on this subject in the past, and the sentimental view of God in the present. To correct these errors the author goes straight to the Scriptures to develop a comprehensive picture of God’s love. We find that while God is love His means of expressing that love comes in various ways. And in order to get a good handle on God’s love other issues such as compatiblism, impassibility, wrath, forgiveness, atonement and the nature of God’s emotions also must be examined. This is a big order for such a little book, but as usual Carson does a superb job. This book is well worth the time to study.