‘I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty.’ We Christians solemnly profess our faith in God. One may ask: who is this God of our faith-profession? What is our image of God — how we perceive God? In this book, Wilfrid Harrington ventures an answer.
God, strictly-speaking, is Mystery. Yet, this gracious God has made himself known ‘for us and for our salvation’ — in the words of Scripture and, ultimately, in the Word-made-flesh: Jesus of Nazareth. The focus here is on the Old Testament. The reason is because, for many, the God of the Old Testament is a forbidding figure. It is a misperception that calls out for challenge. It will be shown that God is consistently gracious and loving and displays unyielding concern for us. Traditionally, God has been cast as a just Judge. Consideration of the biblical notion of justice will suggest that this role be re-examined. And, in place of a ‘wrathful’ God we should look to a suffering God. There can be no questioning the mercy of God. What must be questioned is our tendency to limit its range. The author of the first letter of John has proclaimed: ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:7,16). This God of love is manifest in the Scripture of Israel. He is a gracious Parent, alert to human suffering, forgiving of human sin. This is the God we need. This is our God.
About the Author
Wilfred John Harrington is an Irish Dominican. His theological studies were completed in Rome and his biblical studies at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. He is Professor emeritus of the Milltown institute of Theology and Philosophy. He lectures in Scripture at the Priory Institute, Dublin, and at summer school in the U.S.A. The Loving God is his fifty-first book.