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The Love That Is God
An Invitation to Christian Faith
Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt
Foreword by Sarah Coakley

PAPERBACK; Published: 8/11/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7795-6
Price: $ 20.99
147 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5 x 8
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 “God is love is the radical claim of Christianity,” writes Frederick Bauerschmidt at the beginning of this little meditation on the essentials of Christian faith. In a rich yet accessible style reminiscent of C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton, Bauerschmidt breathes life back into that claim, drawing from Scripture, great Christian and non-Christian writers of the past, and his own lived experience to show just how countercultural and subversive Christianity is actually meant to be. Eschewing the abstract and dogmatic in favor of the relational and inviting, he offers something for everyone, from lifelong churchgoers and students of religion to the growing population of “nones” among younger generations who are increasingly seeking spiritual fulfillment outside of institutional Christianity. 

With further reading suggestions (both scriptural and nonscriptural) at the end of each chapter, The Love That Is God is the perfect starting point of a spiritual journey into deeper relationship with God.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Sarah Coakley
1. God is love.
2. The love that is God is crucified love.
3. We are called to friendship with the risen Jesus.
4. We cannot love God if we do not love each other.
5. We live our love out from the community created by the Spirit.
Homiletic Epilogue

Publishers Weekly
“Bauerschmidt draws from various eras of Catholic thought, with readings from Thomas Aquinas, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dorothy Day, and Julian of Norwich as he builds his view for a resurgence of demanding, communal love that will appeal across denominations. Christians looking to rekindle their commitments will enjoy this genial call to action.”
Love—he has to be kidding—but Bauerschmidt is not kidding. He has written an extraordinary account of love to help us understand better what we are doing when we say we believe in God. In doing so he has avoided the great enemies of any attempt to write about love—that is, sentimentality and rationalism. His chapter on friendship alone is worth the price of the book. I cannot help but believe that this book is destined to become a classic.”
— Stanley Hauerwas
Duke Divinity School
“I make it a point to read at least one ‘introduction to Christianity’ book each year, to remind myself of what it is I believe (or want to believe). This one is as beautiful and beguiling an example of the genre as I have seen. It is humble, not assuming it has a right to your attention but seeking instead to invite your curiosity. It is generous and ecumenical, yielding space to voices like those of St. Catherine of Siena, Dorothy Day, and Dr. King. In our day of shrill and overheated religious grandstanding, its quiet witness to the God of cruciform love made me want to become a Christian all over again.”
—Wesley Hill
Trinity School for Ministry
“In his compelling and well-written book, Bauerschmidt seeks to revitalize the affirmation that ‘God is love itself.’ His argument will resonate especially with those who struggle to see how Christianity matters in this postmodern world. He shows how this love is actualized in the death and resurrection of Jesus, a love shared by the friends of Jesus who gather in Spirit-created communities of care and service. Bauerschmidt’s is a persuasive apologetic for the power and practicality of the core Christian message.”
— Richard Peace
Fuller Theological Seminary
“Edifying, uplifting, instructive—these are the words that came to mind as I read The Love That Is God. Frederick Bauerschmidt’s book is a spiritual and theological meditation on the radical claim that God is love—presented through the stories and images of the Scriptures and the wisdom of the church’s beloved teachers: Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Julian of Norwich, John Chrysostom, Richard of St. Victor, Thomas Aquinas, Thérèse of Lisieux, Dorothy Day.”
— Robert Louis Wilken
University of Virginia
“Drawing upon a rich variety of sources from Scripture and tradition, Bauerschmidt has written an exquisite meditation on five essential elements of the Christian faith. It combines erudition with a beautiful simplicity of expression, which will make its insights accessible and illuminating in many educational contexts: college, university, and seminary instruction, pastoral ministry, and catechetics. This little book would also make a lovely gift of inspired spiritual reading for any Christian to savor again and again.”
— Kelley Spoerl
Saint Anselm College
“What is love, and how does it work? The opening words of this relevant book’s introduction provide a key to how to be a Christian in our times: ‘Being a Christian is difficult. . . . difficult because love that goes all the way to the cross is difficult.’ Bauerschmidt describes obstacles to loving and to being a Christian in our current culture and churches. Read slowly and seriously, this book can change our personal lives, renew our churches, and hopefully have a profound effect on our digital and oppressive culture. This book could help heal our painful polarizations. Heartfelt love (from and for God, ourselves, and others) is what we can believe, and how we are to live. Bauerschmidt makes this exceptionally clear and comprehensible for all.”
— Dean Borgman
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
“In a period of destabilizing world suffering such as we are now passing through, this is a book that takes us back to the raw basics of our faith and restores hope in the cruciform God of Love of whom it speaks so eloquently.”
— Sarah Coakley
from the foreword
“[Bauerschmidt] does not paint love in Pollyanna terms. Love is tough and messy, even (and especially) within the church. . . . For pastors, those new to the faith, or those in search of refreshment or reacquaintance with Christian faith.”
First Things
“Lucid rays of light make the reader sit up and take note. The portrayal of Jesus’s life as ‘the manifestation in history of the eternal joy that is Father, Son, and Spirit’ is wonderfully reminiscent of Herbert McCabe’s Christology.”
Modern Theology
“’Destined to become a classic’—Stanley Hauerwas’ prediction on the back cover—effectively encapsulates one’s feeling upon completing this riveting book. . . . This is the kind of book you can only hope to compose after decades of excellent teaching, passionate scholarly engagement, and fidelity to a truth that keeps you alive. We can only wish and pray that this book meets the general public.”