“God is love…here is the same good news of the gospel of the death of Christ that is believed by a toddler and yet has kept busy some of the greatest minds in human history with its unfathomable profundity” (13). The opening lines of Garry Williams’ book, His Love Endures Forever, set forth the significance of a book that addresses the doctrine of the love of God. It is not a difficult concept to grasp, and yet, it cannot be fully studied and understood. In a culture that asserts that “love is a god,” we as Evangelicals hope to communicate the opposite. But “God is love” must be clearly explained, to avoid falling into error. Williams has sought to bring a robust Reformed presentation of God’s love accessibly to the common reader and does so perfectly in this volume.
Chapters 1 and 2 is a prolegomena of sorts, discussing what we can know about God, and how we know about God (through general and special revelation). Chapter 3 is where Williams begins his discourse on God’s love, asserting that God’s love is “the love that provides the definition and test for all other loves” (52). Chapter 4 discusses the portion of God’s love, and how His love for Himself surpasses His love for us. Then Williams seeks to unpack various aspects of God’s love through single theological concepts, such as adoption (Ch. 5), aseity (Ch. 6), sovereignty (Ch. 7), immutability (Ch. 8), impassability (Ch. 9), omniscience (Ch. 10), justice (Ch. 11), and grace (Ch. 12). While some of these doctrines are more easily understood, this could be the first time the average reader has encountered the aseity or impassability of God, which is significant.
Each chapter closes with an opportunity for meditation and prayer. I found these sections highly beneficial. It is, unfortunately, easy to read systematic treatments of theology that emphasize the study of worship. Having the opportunity to interrupt feeding our minds (with good material, make no mistake) with pouring out our hearts in love for God is important for our spirituality. To truly understand the words of this book is to understand the urgency of our response toward God! That’s why these meditations and prayers need not be skipped. They are extremely helpful for our soul.
Overall, this is a great update to Williams’ book on the love of God. I appreciate the careful attention to these often difficult subjects, the clarity with which Williams speaks, the wide and rich use of key voices in church history, and the worship first approach throughout the book. This is a book you don’t want to miss if you’re looking to “go deeper” in theological study, without purchasing a multi-volume work or a textbook. Great work from Williams and Crossway.