R. C. Sproul Jr. has an article on “hesed,” which he translates as “loyal love:”
God loves His people genuinely, immutably, loyally. Both the love and the loyalty are, of course, tightly bound together. That is, just as one cannot love capriciously so one cannot be loyal without love. God is for His people, and will never cease to be for them.
It’s a beautiful idea. But the irony is not lost to me of using an Old Testament Hebrew word to motivate an idea about G-d’s commitment to a group of people who’ve replaced the original group of people that the term referred to. If G-d’s election is irrevocable, then how is it that His election of Israel has been revoked? If His grace ensures the perseverance of the saints, then how is it that the entire original nation that He elected has failed to persevere?
And if His “hesed” for them has failed, then how strong can the idea of “genuine, immutable, loyal” love really be for us?
I’m interested in Orthodox Judaism and Charedi Judaism (Litvish and Chassidish). In Christianity: Orthodox, Reformed, Evangelical, and the Emerging Church. I’m interested in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment society; in Republicans, Democrats and libertarians. I’m interested in the inter-action and re-action of all these groups, and in trying to find a more consistent and integrated way of understanding the merits and demerits of each.
Currently I’m reading the book Love Wins by Rob Bell. This book has sparked a lot of controversy, and I’d like to offer some comments on a few articles written in response to this book. So I’ll probably try to write some kind of review of the book when I’m done, and then I’d like to eventually respond to a series of articles, the first written by Dr. Al Mohler reviewing Rob Bell’s book, the second written by Brian McLauren in response, and the third by Dr. Al Mohler responding to Brian McLauren. I think this particular series of articles reveals some of the bigger issues going on the most clearly. There’s also an interesting article written by Dr. John MacArthur in response to Bell’s book which I’d like to comment on.