I remember vividly the images evoked as my brother and I read the text of Jonathan Edwards’s famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”:
dangling above the flames of hell…
nearly dumped from the hand of God into the fires below…
This 14-year-old girl was–to say the least–stunned. Having grown up surrounded by the Gospel message and demonstrations of love and mercy, I was not quite sure what to make of the sermon. One half of me loved the justice presented. The other half was terrified of the utter wrath.
So was Brian Zahnd. After struggling with Edwards’s image of God, Zahnd encountered a wonderful truth: God’s greatest demonstration of Himself appeared in Jesus–a clear picture of utter love and self-sacrifice, not anger. In his book Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Zahnd presents his rebuttal (or correction, if you prefer) to Edwards’s infamous sermon.
This book is for Christians who have grown up in the church, who have a lot of Scripture-taught discernment, and who want to research more on presenting (and believing) the Gospel for what it is: utterly GOOD news. Please note that I do offer some words of CAUTION: Don’t take everything Zahnd says as “the Gospel truth”–particularly his theological stances on hell and the book of Revelation. Read with discernment–as you should with any human author. You can pick out some gems and leave the straw.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.