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R.C. Sproul on the Holiness of God

R. C. Sproul’s 1985 book The Holiness of God is considered a modern classic on the topic of God’s character. Even today, Sproul’s thoughts on holiness contain important insights into a subject that can often seem distant and hard to comprehend. While no attribute of God can be neglected without cost, the Biblical portrait of God and redemptive history are seriously distorted when we deny or underestimate God’s holiness. As Sproul himself has highlighted:

[pk_box width=600]”Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice. It does say that he is holy, holy, holy that the whole earth is full of His glory.”[/pk_box]

Ligonier Ministries have now made several of Sproul’s lecture series freely available, including his series on God’s holiness. I’d encourage you to watch it; the subject is not merely one for scholars or theologians but a matter of great importance to every person.

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The Love of God

The great Princeton theologian Charles Hodge writes against the philosophers conception of God’s attribute of Love, concluding that the love of God is not thoroughly dissimilar to a human’s experience of loving another – that is, with feeling and emotion.

His thoughts on this express my own thoughts – only better. That is our understanding of the love of God must be commensurate with the picture given to us by Jesus Christ Himself; of a middle-eastern man who continually waits on his porch for his wayward son to return; who when he sees his son afar off runs to him (in context very undignified), throws his arms around him and kisses him; and who barely pauses for his son’s apology before calling for a big celebration (see Luke 15:11-31).

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