God is love? Is God ruled by love? Its a fascinating question, due to more than the small aspect I am on about here. William Pope must have had an experience with Personal Jesus churchianity when he wrote:
There is prevalent among professedly orthodox theologians a tendency to ascribe to the Eternal God a certain all-commanding attribute of LOVE which is so described as to undermine the foundations of the doctrine of the Atonement. It is possible so to exaggerate the Divine compassion as to make it inconsistent with the most obvious facts of experience. The mind may be so possessed by a morbid sentiment of the necessary supremacy of the tenderness of God as to be incapable of steadily contemplating his holy wrath against sin. To such a feeling the whole of Scripture must appear to be written in a language of the most violent and incongruous symbols. It is the purest homage to love, the bond of perfectness in God as well as man, to correct that one-sided view. If it is the royal attribute –which, however, the Scripture does not say– it reigns IN God but not OVER Him. Of the Divine Being it is also said: Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne (Ps. 89:14).
From the final page of William Burt Pope’s treatise on the atonement, in the second volume of his 3-volume Compendium of Christian Theology, published in 1881
(I didn’t read the book, I saw this quoted elsewhere. I have not started on my GBFM yet)