Heute gehen – im Unterschied zu anderen Etappen der Menschheitsgeschichte – viele von einem Gott der Liebe aus. Wenigstens in unseren Breitengraden. Dabei denken sie an bestimmte Qualitäten dieser Liebe:
There is an assumption there about the nature of love. Love is nonjudgmental. It does not condemn anyone. It lets everybody do whatever they want. That is what love means.
Carson zeigt fünf Wege auf, wie die Bibel Gottes Liebe beschreibt:
- There is love of God within the Godhead, within the Triune God. The Bible explicitly speaks of the love of the Fahter for his Son and the love of the Son for the Father (John 3,35; 5,23; 14,31)
- God's love can refer to his general care over his creation. God sends his sun and his rain upon the just and the unjust. That is to say, it is providential and nondiscrimination. (Matthew 5,44-47)
- Sometimes the Bibel speaks of God's love in a kind of moral, inviting, commanding, yearning sense. (Ezek. 18,23+32; 33,11).
- Sometimes God's love is selective. It chooses one and not another. "I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated" (Mal 1,2-3). This is very strong language. In remarkable passages in Deuteronomy 7 and 10, God raises the rhetorical question as to why he chose the nation of Israel.
- Once God is in connection with his own people – usually this means he has entered into a covenant-based relationship with them – then his love is often presented as conditional. "Keep yourselves in God's love." (Jude 21)