God’s righteous love

My studies this year have taken me in some unexpected directions. But they’ve also often produced some surprising and delightful moments of cross-fertilisation — different lines of investigation sparking off one another. One of these moments has been the synergy between my preparations for the Patristic Trinitarian Thought exam and my project on John Calvin’s hermeneutics.

Along these lines, I thought I’d share this gem with you. It’s from an essay by Bruce McCormack (‘For Us and Our Salvation: Incarnation and Atonement in the Reformed Tradition’, p 27):

It is not enough to affirm that the reconciling activity of the Son of God has its ground in the divine love if we are not then able to affirm in a coherent way that that love is operative at every step along the way in the accomplishment of our redemption. We must show how the divine love comes to expression precisely in the outpouring of wrath and judgement. If we do not, we introduce a contradiction into the being of God between God’s mercy and His righteousness. We make God’s mercy the prison, so to speak, of His righteousness, until such time as righteousness has been fully satisfied.

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