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God the Almighty: Power, Wisdom, Holiness, Love (Christian Foundations)

, 2006
ISBN: 9780830879403

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God is variously portrayed as vulnerable (Jürgen Moltmann, Clark Pinnock), as lover (Norman Pittenger, Ronald Goetz), as friend (Alfred North Whitehead, Sallie McFague) and as empowerer (Rosemary Radford Ruether). Bloesch agrees that many of these proposals have some biblical merit. But what is lacking, he argues, “is a strong affirmation of the holiness and almightiness of God.”

In this volume, while Bloesch offers cogent criticisms of the classical view of God, he skillfully seeks to hold in faithful tension “the polarities that are reflected in God’s nature and activity—his majesty as well as his vulnerability, his sovereignty as well as his grace, his wholly otherness as well as his unsurpassable closeness, his holiness as well as his love.”

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“From my perspective God’s love and holiness constitute the inner nature of the living God. These two perfections coalesce in such a way that we may speak of the holy love of God (as did Forsyth) and of his merciful holiness. In the depth of God’s love is revealed the beauty of his holiness. In the glory of his holiness is revealed the breadth of his love. The apex of God’s holiness is the holiness of his love. The apex of God’s love is the beauty of his holiness. God’s love transcends his holiness even while it infuses and upholds it. His holiness is adorned and crowned by the magnitude of his love.” (Page 141)

“Biblical faith portrays God as having two sides: holiness and love.” (Page 139)

“Holiness and love are alone the true nature of God. Wrath is the reaction of God, the necessary reaction of God’s holiness against sin.” (Page 142)

“Holiness is not simply the good but the dynamic energy of God that consumes and overwhelms the one who experiences it. ‘Holiness’ is a transmoral term that does not annul the ethical but opens up a new dimension of reality for the seeker after truth.” (Page 138)

“I believe that we must continue to affirm the immutability of God not in the sense that God is static and unbending but in the sense that God remains true to himself and to his purposes.” (Page 94)

Praise for the Print Edition

This work will be read by all who are interested in the renewal of systematic theology in our time. It is an inspiring, balanced, instructive, rigorous inquiry.

—Thomas C. Oden, Professor Emeritus, Drew University

I haven't read any theological work as biblically and historically rich, as intellectually satisfying, or as spiritually exhilarating as Bloesch's [early volumes of Christian Foundations] since Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics.

—David Gill in Christianity Today

Product Details

  • Title: God the Almighty: Power, Wisdom, Holiness, Love
  • Authors: Donald Bloesch
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 325

Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010) earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and was professor of theology emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He did postdoctoral work at the universities of Oxford, Tübingen and Basel. He wrote numerous books, including Faith and Its Counterfeits, Evangelical Theology in Transition, Theological Notebook: Volume 3, Essentials of Evangelical Theology, The Future of Evangelical Christianity, The Struggle of Prayer, Spirituality Old New, Freedom for Obedience and the seven-volume Christian Foundations series. He also served for a time as president of the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society.

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  1. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    This is the 3rd book in Bloesch's Christian Foundations series, and I am embarking on my second read of these volumes quite some time after the first. In this volume, the Author manages to cover quite a bit about God given the book is only just over 300 pages including indexes. I do enjoy reading Bloesch. I enjoy the way he covers many different views - though often quite briefly, and sometimes I would enjoy more. I enjoy how he then brings forward his view and an argument for it. I also like his positive view on Luther, Calvin and Barth - though he is not afraid to criticise. Whilst examining Philosophical and Theological (both old and new) views on God, Bloesch keeps drawing us back to the Biblical picture of God, especially the God portrayed in the Gospels - and I believe correctly identifies Hellenistic and other influences that have taken us away from our Hebrew / Jewish roots. If there was a downside, it would be that the "Mystery of the Trinity" is a chapter rather than an additional book in the series. It is quite a good chapter, hence my regret that there is not more - much more :)
  2. Ray Timmermans
  3. Dr Johann Joubert
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