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Review – Godly jealousy: a theology of intolerant love – Christian Focus (Mentor)

July 2008 | by Philip Eveson

Godly jealousy: a theology of intolerant love

K. Erik Thoennes

Christian Focus (Mentor); 304 pages; £10.99

ISBN:  978-1-84550-027-6

The Ten Commandments contain the statement that God is ‘a jealous God’, but how can we distinguish sinful human jealousy from God’s jealousy? Is it possible for humans to have a righteous jealousy? Is the word ‘zeal’ too general and vague as a substitute for ‘jealousy’? How are we to understand this emotion when applied to God in the light of his unchangeable nature? These are the kind of questions this book seeks to answer.

     The author is a Californian lecturer in Biblical Studies and he begins by tackling the much-neglected subject of the Bible’s teaching on God’s jealousy for his own glory and for the faithfulness of his people – but he does more.

     The second half of the book considers godly

     Arising out of the material covered, conclusions and implications are discussed in the final chapter. Addressed are such issues as religious pluralism, the human-centred nature of too much church life, and a Christianity that is insipid.

     Two appendices present in tabular form all the references to jealousy and zeal in the Old and New Testaments respectively. Besides a bibliography, there is a Scripture, subject and author index.

     Despite some unexplained abbreviations and Hebrew and Greek words in the text – and the many lengthy footnotes – readers of

Philip H. Eveson

Finchley, London

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