Hi Luke, was just passing by this thread and saw this statement from you. I know a lot of people, especially Calvinists, that feel this same way, that we should not overemphasize love as God’s main characteristic at the expense of the others, like His justice. They see God’s love and justice as being in opposition. Maybe I shouldn’t say this? Forgive me, it’s almost too predictable that you might feel the same? Perhaps, though, there is something different to your view? It seems we’re so influenced in our understanding of the nature of God from what we’ve been exposed to in our reading and as we interpret it with the help of surrounding influential teachers.
Someone that’s greatly influenced me is Thomas Talbott. In Thomas Talbott’s book, The Inescapeable Love of God , he makes a good case for why God’s justice, love, mercy, are united in purpose, that everything God’s justice requires God’s love also requires. It was a revolutionary concept for me, one I’d never heard. After studying it, It opened my eyes to see how the word justice in the OT was not God treating people just as they deserved, but desiring to see them be made whole. And, of course, there are all the references to justice being to care for the poor, etc. and that we should follow the way of justice, which I assume is to love our enemies.
If you have not read him he’s an interesting read. And there is all kinds of free stuff he’s written on the net. From what I gather, without reading closer, you are a Calvinist? Maybe not, but if you are, I really enjoyed reading a discussion he had with Piper. Maybe you are familiar with Piper? In that discussion I especially liked Talbott’s read of Romans Chapters 9-11. If you are interested, I’ll have to see if I can get the link. It’s probably on the site somewhere. I apologize this is totally off the subject of Trinitarianism.
Even as I understand God’s love, as everything, I’m able to take more seriously his disdain for sin and the consequences that are needed for correction. I strongly disagree that to uphold love is to do so at the expense of other characteristics. I think this is a serious misjudgement, although I understand how it happens.
Whenever I read Paul’s words that it’s God’s love that compels us, I’m encouraged that love, indeed, is everything! I’m also struck with the fact that it says God IS love and never does it say God IS wrath, though I’d agree he judges and there are consequences as a result of our sin. This may mean little to you and is probably nothing as significant as the whole of the scripture that I think testifies to the faithful love God has for his creation as he seeks to reconcile it all. Col. 1:20.
I think it’s nice that you take an interest in dialoguing here, for your cousin’s sake. That’s very thoughtful! You all are great people!! I wish I had a cousin that would dialogue about these things, really. It’s great to be able to talk calmly about our convictions, even as we feel passionately that our own are the correct ones.