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(Screenshot: YouTube/Andy Stanley)Andy Stanley preaching before North Point Community Church of Alpharetta, Georgia on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
The concept of a loving God is a "uniquely Christian idea," says North Point Community Church Senior Pastor Andy Stanley in his newest book.
New - Jesus - Unleashed - World - Stanley
Titled Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World, Stanley's latest book was released Tuesday by Zondervan.
In chapter 18, Stanley wrote about the New Testament book of 1 John, at one point focusing on 4:16, which reads in part "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
John - God - Love - World - Stanley
"John equated God with love. This was novel. This was unique. This would change the world," wrote Stanley. "God is love is a uniquely Christian idea."
To justify his theological argument, Stanley contrasted Christian belief in a loving God with the religious views of both Near East paganism and Judaism.
One - Gods - Love - Affairs - Stanley
"No one credited the pagan gods with being love or loving. They were jealous, fickle, capricious, and entertained themselves by trifling in human affairs," Stanley explains.
"For Jews, God was holy. Separate. Unapproachable. He lived behind a curtain. His love was reserved for his covenant people."
Stanley - John - God - Statement - Epic
Stanley describes John's "God is love" statement as being "epic," especially given that it was likely written around the time of the Roman sacking of Jerusalem.
"Many of us have a difficult time believing God is love in light of the suffering we read or hear about," he continues. "John witnessed unspeakable horrors firsthand. Yet he concludes, God is love."
Irresistible - Response - Rise - Number - Americans
Irresistible was written in response to the rise in the number of Americans who have left Christianity and identify as atheist or "religiously unaffiliated."
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