The Love of God: A Canonical Model

The Love of God: A Canonical Model

by John C. Peckham

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Overview

The Love of God: A Canonical Model by John C. Peckham

2015 Readers' Choice Award Winner

"For God so loved the world . . ."

We believe these words, but what do they really mean? Does God choose to love, or does God love necessarily? Is God's love emotional? Does the love of God include desire or enjoyment? Is God's love conditional? Can God receive love from human beings?

Attempts to answer these questions have produced sharply divided pictures of God's relationship to the world. One widely held position is that of classical theism, which understands God as necessary, self-sufficient, perfect, simple, timeless, immutable and impassible. In this view, God is entirely unaffected by the world and his love is thus unconditional, unilateral and arbitrary.

In the twentieth century, process theologians replaced classical theism with an understanding of God as bound up essentially with the world and dependent on it. In this view God necessarily feels all feelings and loves all others, because they are included within himself.

In The Love of God, John Peckham offers a comprehensive canonical interpretation of divine love in dialogue with, and at times in contrast to, both classical and process theism. God's love, he argues, is freely willed, evaluative, emotional and reciprocal, given before but not without conditions. According to Peckham's reading of Scripture, the God who loves the world is both perfect and passible, both self-sufficient and desirous of reciprocal relationships with each person, so that "whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830840793
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 09/07/2015
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John C. Peckham (PhD, Andrews University) is associate professor of theology and Christian philosophy at the Theological Seminary of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He is the author of The Concept of Divine Love in the Context of the God-World Relationship and has published articles on issues of systematic theology and canon in journals such as Trinity Journal, Philosophia Christi, Andrews University Seminary Studies and Themelios.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1. Conflicting Models of Divine Love
2. Toward Addressing the Conflict: A Canonical Approach
3. Agape vs. Eros? The Biblical Semantics of Divine Love
4. The Volitional Aspect of Divine Love
5. The Evaluative Aspect of Divine Love
6. The Emotional Aspect of Divine Love
7. The Foreconditional Aspect of Divine Love
8. The Reciprocal Aspect of Divine Love
9. Who is the God Who Loves?
Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index

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