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Thanks to Trevin Wax for this quote from Timothy Stoner’s The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditation on Faith (p. 30):

The love that wins is a holy love.

The love that won on the cross and wins the world is a love that is driven, determined, and defined by holiness.

It is a love that flows out of the heart of a God who is transcendent, majestic, infinite in righteousness, who loves justice as much as he does mercy; who hates wickedness as much as he loves goodness; who blazes with a fiery, passionate love for himself above all things.

He is Creator, Sustainer, Beginning and End.

He is robed in a splendor and eternal purity that is blinding.

He rules, he reigns, he rages and roars, then bends down to whisper love songs to his creatures.

His love is vast and irresistible.

It is also terrifying, and it will spare no expense to give everything away in order to free us from the bondage of sin, purifying for himself a people who are devoted to his glory, a people who have "no ambition except to do good".

So he crushes his precious Son in order to rescue and restore mankind along with his entire creation.

He unleashes perfect judgment on the perfectly obedient sacrifice and then pulls him up out of the grave in a smashing and utter victory.

He is a God who triumphs . . .

He is a burning cyclone of passionate love.

Holy love wins.

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11 thoughts on “Holy Love Wins”

  1. Dan Johnson says:

    This post has had me go to Amazon and buy this book.
    So, so good.
    This encapsulates, quite perfectly, the argument that fundamentalists and neo-calvinists have long had against Rob Bell’s questionable theology.

  2. Dorian says:

    The silence of the commenters is quite telling.

  3. Josh D. says:

    “who blazes with a fiery, passionate love for himself above all things.” makes me not want to be a Christian. How telling is that?

  4. Chris 'from Canada' Vieira says:

    Very timely, Mr. Taylor. Well done.

  5. si says:

    Josh D – such sentences are indeed horrible without a decent grasp of who God is, most relevantly his Tri-unity. Sadly, the reformed camp (which includes me) isn’t amazingly good at expressing this, and often finds it very hard to think Trinitarianly.

    I wouldn’t think highly of a deity that was multi-personal and the persons in it didn’t love the other persons – who are perfect and who have never been not there for each other – more than anything else (it also wouldn’t be a united Godhead – effectively you’d have tri-theism). I can’t even work out why, a God that didn’t love like that would even bother to create – or redeem – I’m not sure it would be possible for such a thing to happen.

    Far from a narcissist, the Triune God who loves himself passionately, is other-centred: focussed on the other persons whom are loved, with love overflowing outward – the very opposite thing indeed. And what a glorious God that is!

  6. Nate says:

    Way to one up Rob Bell. grow up people. this isnt a pissing contest.

  7. Jack V. says:

    His love is irresistable, eh? Only to those who win the einee meinee miney moe game, right?

  8. Jamie Mitchell says:

    Romans 9 makes it clear – God choses some as “vessels of wrath” – those whom He will pour out his wrath and bring glory to Himself as a HOLY God. Then there will be “vessels of mercy” – those whom he choses for salvation and eternal peace with their God. Both cases God brings glory to himself — equally potent – equally glorious — equally awesome. We are NEVER happy that some go to hell, and it does not mean that God is unloving to allow the consequence of the fall to be fulfilled. Rob Bell’s heresy is just a logical conclusion of the pomo/subMergent thelogio that he McClaren, McKnight, Franke and others have been dipping into the hearts of young evangelicals.

  9. Jack V. says:

    Romans 9 makes it clear as mud. If you actually read it, Paul is asking a hypothetical question, not making a definitive declaration. Honestly, the “what if” should have tipped you off.

    What else ya got?

  10. Jamie Mitchell says:

    Jack, jack, Jack…Paul uses “what if” because he is anticipating the questions that the unbelieving Jews have especially about predeastination. He realizes that they would struggle with the truth that God choses who He desires to chose, that’s His divine prerogative. It is clear that there are those whose life will be used to put his wrath on display and others whose life put his mercy on display. Both equally glorifying. Does God not get glorified at the end of revelation when He comes with a blood dipped coat, white horse, big sword and unleashes his wrath — it is YES horrifying but it also glorifying.

  11. Andrew says:


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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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