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Publication Date: 2014
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Building on years of research, writing, and cross-cultural ministry, renowned author and theologian David Wells calls our attention to that which defines Gods greatness and gives shape to the Christian life: the holy-love of God.
In God in the Whirlwind, Wells explores the depths of the paradox that God is both holy and loving, showing how his holy-love provides the foundation for our understanding of the cross, sanctification, the nature of worship, and our life of service in the world. Whats more, a renewed vision of God's character is the cure for evangelicalisms shallow theology, with its weightless God and sentimental gospel.
Written by one of evangelicalisms most insightful minds, this book will help you stand firm in your faith despite the changing winds and raging storms of the modern world.
David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Distinguished Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean of its Charlotte campus, Wells has also been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and is involved in ministry in Africa. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including a series that was initiated by a Pew grant exploring the nature of Christian faith in the contemporary, modernized world.
In this important book, David Wells begins the process of bringing his influential critique of late modern culture and the church down into practice. Here we have a 'practical theology' for conducting the church's life based on the reality of a God of 'Holy-love.' This particular way of understanding and preaching the doctrine of God, Wells believes, protects the church from either being co-opted by the culture or becoming a ghettoized subculture. Decades of teaching theology is boiled down here into accessible, practical chapters. I'm glad to recommend this volume.
-Timothy J. Keller,
Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
Almost fifteen years ago, I enrolled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in large part so I could learn from David Wells. His books opened my eyes to a host of ecclesiastical problems and to a lost world of glorious truth. As a student, I continued to learn from his deft analysis and careful theological critique. Now it's my pleasure to commend this terrifically unique book, a fitting capstone to all that he has been building in the last two decades. Part biblical theology, part systematic theology, and part cultural reconnaissance, this is a powerful work that my generation - really any generation - cannot afford to ignore. After years of pointing out the shallowness of evangelicalism, this is Wells's masterful summary of what should be our depth, our ballast, our center. What the world needs, and what the church needs, is a fresh encounter with the holy-love of God. This book will help you start down that path.
University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan
In his No Place for Truth and its companion volumes Professor David Wells blew a chilling, chaff-separating wind through contemporary Western Christianity. While he may have sounded like a latter-day Jeremiah, all along his vision was in fact Isaiah-like in its grandeur. Now, in God in the Whirlwind, this is made wonderfully, and at times thrillingly, clear. Here Dr. Wells is again the splendid biblical theologian he has long since proved himself to be - whose work is driven by devotion to the God who is Holy-love, and whose Luther-like desire to 'Let God be God' is clear on every page. Drink safely, deeply, and be satisfied.
-Sinclair B. Ferguson,
Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas
This is a beautiful book. The gospel is presented in all its power and significance for this and any generation. David Wells has the unique ability to make deep and rich truths accessible to any reader. Utterly biblical, thoroughly orthodox, yet fresh and alive, God in the Whirlwind takes us to the very heart of God's character and makes us want, not to study him, but to worship him. I know of no better introduction to the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'and it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee.'
Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
David Wells has long been one of our most penetrating analysts of the cultural confusions that Christians today must contend with and that sometimes distort the Christian message. This book, as he says, emphasizes the 'Christianity' part of 'Christianity and Culture.' Here Dr. Wells models how to communicate the holiness and love of God - as manifested in the gospel, worship, and the Christian life - to a culture that has forgotten what they mean.
-Gene Edward Veith Jr.,
Patrick Henry College; Concordia Theological Seminary
David Wells is like a most-valued guest who after several earlier, eye-opening visits has now stopped back by to sit down and share with us the heart of the matter. Having in previous books shown a world that makes no place for truth, in this one he lights up truth. Theological discourse here becomes a powerful call to the church to see God who stands before us - full of overwhelming holy-love shown finally at the cross.
-Kathleen B. Nielson,
The Gospel Coalition
Bentley CrawfordAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5It's Time We Found Our BearingsNovember 24, 2013Bentley CrawfordAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Thanks to Crossway Books this is the newest book from the pen of David F. Wells and looks to be an important contribution not only to the series of books he has written but as well to our own lives as Christians today.
So many of us don't realize how much we have been affected by the culture around us. Yet the symptoms show up daily. In our reasoning about our culture regarding what's good and what's bad. In our attention span and ability to focus on God and His truth. In our conception of God and what He does for us. In how it is that we can meet with this God and His claims on our daily lives. And so on.
If you are familiar with the work of David Wells you will know that he has written extensively on the impact of culture on the church. Beginning with No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology he was launched into further analysis in God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams, Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision, and Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World. He then summed these up with The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World.
As he says,
"These volumes were a sustained cultural analysis and some critics have complained that they contain no answers to the church's current parlous state. The criticism has some merit. In my mind, I assumed an answer to the dilemmas unearthed and was not always as explicit in setting this out as I should have been."
And so now in this newest book he seeks to offer the answer:
"The more I have been engaged with what has happened in Western culture, the clearer has become my understanding of what has been principally lost in the evangelical Church. It is our understanding of God's character but an understanding in which that character has "weight." We now need to return, as God's people have done so often in the past, to find again what has been lost. And now, in this volume, I have shifted my focus. No longer am I so preoccupied with the culture part of the equation. Now I am look- ing out on life from the other side of things, what is symbolized by "Christ" in the Christ-and-culture juxtaposition of things. This volume reflects on what we have so often lost in our work of framing Christ- and-culture. It is the holy-love of God."
Wells is a sharp guide to the problems of our culture and its influence on us. This book offers a wonderful opportunity to get our bearings as Christians in this world, if we will reflect deeply upon it.
"But there is something important here for us to understand. It is that we must come to our triune God through this world and therefore, in our minds, we must deal with this world. There is no direct flight to God!_ . It is in our world, with all of its complexities, that we must live before the face of God."
"My focus throughout will be to offer a biblical theology of God's character but I will be doing so, all the time, with an awareness of the culture in which we live, at least those of us who live in the modernized West. This is a wonderful journey that Scripture sets before us.
Come, then, let us take our first steps down this road!"
Indeed. And that is just what he does, powerfully putting forth the theme of God's holy-love and how it speaks to us in our culture today. He begins by laying out the gospel from Old Testament to New. Then he spends time looking at God's character, specifically His love and His holiness. And then how the two beautifully meet in the atonement of Jesus Christ, His work on the cross. After that he looks at three things that flow from that: sanctification, worship and service. All with God's holy-love at the center.
This book is very accessible at just 272 pages long and written in a manner that enables a rewarding read.
In sum, set aside the money and take the time to read this important book and let us continue on this journey God has set before us.