“The book that you are about to embark upon contains the reflections of one man who has meditated deeply upon God’s love.” With that high praise from the author’s pastor in the foreword of the text, the reader anticipates powerful material.
Author Arlen D. Heinicke writes about love, purposely capitalizing the word throughout the text because “…God’s name is Love, just as His Word and His ways, so I capitalize His name and His Love.” Heinicke quotes scriptures, includes personal prayers, and also addresses forgiveness in terms of love: “So only after we have accepted the Love that God has placed in our hearts …can we truly release forgiveness.” The gospel message of salvation is clearly presented several times.
However, the book presents many stumbling blocks. The text rarely supports the titles of the book’s daunting 72 chapters. In “Chapter Eighteen: Memorizing Scripture,” for example, the author opens with “Someone asked me once if I had memorized a favorite verse…,” yet he goes on to talk about “…too many times we choose the wrong kinds of friends,” never again mentioning memorization. This rambling writing style expresses Heinicke’s viewpoints, to be sure, but logical sequence and direction are lacking. The book’s focus on love—and the distracting capitalization of the word—is general and broad and lacks the anticipated powerful message.
The author’s motivation to express God’s love provides the book’s major thrust, and anyone desiring an overview of a Christian’s point of view of the subject may find Heinicke’s words to be a baseline exposure. But readers should be prepared for many challenges with his prose in order to achieve this.
Also available in hardcover.