Book Review: God is Love: A Biblical And Systematic Theology. By Gerald Bray. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.
I received a complimentary copy in kindle format from the publisher for review purposes.
I disagree with far too much of this book to recommend it, but I benefitted from certain sections of it. I am an “eat the meat, spit out the bones” kind of a guy when it comes to books. So even though I disagree with much of the book, I am glad that I read it. As a summary of just a few of the author’s positions that I reject, I offer this list: the author’s eschatological system (which tends towards preterism and amillennialism); his ecclesiology (which favors creeds and liturgical forms of worship; plus he gives far too much credence to churches that are apostate, e.g. the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches); soteriology (Reformed; whereas I would leave more room for God sovereignly granting man freedom to make a real choice), and other strange personal asides throughout the book (discounting the Angel of the Lord as a theophany; seemingly favoring theistic evolution, etc.)
On the positive side, Bray is a lucid writer with clear commitment to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. Most of his footnotes are references to Bible verses, which is much better than bolstering one’s position by endless quotations of theologians and commentaries. He is a gentleman, who obviously strives for peace and forbearance among fellow Christians. His tone is consistently humble and not grandstanding. His chapter on atheism is worth the price of the book. He is obviously erudite and thoughtful with a broad understanding of philosophy and historical theology. Nonetheless, I think he gives too much away in trying to broadly appeal to Christendom (evangelical and otherwise.)