I want to bring Jon Levenson’s The Love of God and John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift into some kind of relation.
Although both books talk about the love of God, they are different, not just because one is by someone with concern for Jewish theology and the other by someone whose concern is Christian theology. Jon Levenson’s book is mostly about our response to God’s love as we take up the command to love God with heart, soul and might. Barclay’s book is mostly about God’s love for us expressed in the gift of Christ, which he says was incongruent and without regard for worth.
Barclay plans a future book about our response to the gift. That one will probably more closely parallel Levenson’s. It is worth noting that both authors see love as reciprocal. Levenson is not only concerned with legalistic obligation. And Barclay is not advocating cheap…
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