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God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  152 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Building on years of research, writing, and cross-cultural ministry, renowned author and theologian David Wells calls our attention to that which defines God's greatness and gives shape to the Christian life: the holy-love of God.

In God in the Whirlwind, Wells explores the depths of the paradox that God is both holy and loving, showing how his holy-love provides the founda
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published January 31st 2014 by Crossway Books
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Jan 18, 2014 Barb rated it it was amazing
God in the Whirlwind
How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World

Author: David F. Wells
Publisher: Crossway
First published: 2014
Price: $24.99 Hardcover (US dollars)
ISBN: 9781433531316
Classification: Christian
Number of pages: 272

I usually make a few notes when reading a book for review. While reading, “God in the Whirlwind,” I found myself making notes from almost every page. It was then I knew I was reading an exceptional book. In fact, after making so many notes, I finally just decided to “hi
Dec 16, 2013 Cortana rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World by David F. Wells is a path-breaking book which calls on the reader to get back to the heart of God. Living in a materialistic world where culture has reshaped and redefined our faith and belief, it is easy to fall prey to false assumptions and frivolous belief system. The church is in a precarious state, and Christianity seems to be falling apart at its seams.

Through nine insightful chapters David F. Wells urges the church and
Mar 11, 2014 Bob rated it liked it
David Wells states that there is something wrong in the churches & in Christianity today, & I would agree with him. In this book, he explains that we no longer understand God’s character, his Holy-Love. Today we hear a lot about God’s love but not much about his Holiness.

Before I go on, this book is not as good as his others, in fact if you have not read David Wells before I would suggest that you read NO PLACE FOR TRUTH, GOD IN THE WASTELAND, & LOSING OUR VIRTUE first. They are exce
Brad Jones
Mar 03, 2014 Brad Jones rated it liked it
There reader will receive some important takeaways, but there is nothing really new here that a person can't receive from the earlier books of David Wells. The most important takeaway for me was that in our present cultural environment, God has no "weightiness" in the minds and hearts of just about everyone (Christians and non-Christians). We have pretty much reduced God to a therapist and have psychologized who he is. God, for us, must exist on our own terms. Wells issues the clarion call that ...more
Excellent commentary on the idea of God's holy-love amidst our current cultural conditions. Very insightful as to how American evangelicalism has become what it is today, and provides some great categories for engaging those who have bought into our culture's post-modern, therapeutic, me-centered emphasis. Really helpful stuff.
Emmanuel Boston
Aug 31, 2016 Emmanuel Boston rated it it was ok
David Wells’ newest book seeks to examine the Christ-and-Culture discussion by infusing the “Christ” side with a view of God in holy-love.

He comments concerning the various volumes he’s authored over the past 25 years: “I began what would turn out to be five interconnected volumes. These we all in answer to the question originally posed by Pew: What is it that accounts for the loss of the church’s theological character?...These volumes were a sustained cultural analysis” (13).

And he introduces t
Eric Durso
Apr 06, 2016 Eric Durso rated it really liked it
Really good. Chapter one is worth going back to.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 30, 2014 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Really fine stuff.
Oct 20, 2016 SolidFood rated it it was amazing
Too often we as Christians tend to emphasize one of God’s character traits more than others. In this book, the author addresses the importance of keeping God’s holiness and God’s love in balance as working together. They cannot be separate from each other. The atonement is described in a beautiful, moving way – God’s holiness demanding complete righteousness and His love providing that through Christ’s sinless life. As a response to God’s holy-love, we are now free to live for Him instead of for ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
God in the Whirlwind by David Wells is an explanation of God's holy love, how God is so different, even opposite, from how our society has imagined Him to be. "However it happened, the external God has now disappeared and has been replaced by the internal God. Transcendence has been swallowed up by immanence. God is to be found only within the self. And once that happened, the boundary between right and wrong - at least as we had thought about these things - went down like a row of falling ...more
Bentley Crawford
Nov 24, 2013 Bentley Crawford rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Crossway Books this is the newest book from the pen of David F. Wells and looks to be an important contribution not only to the series of books he has written but as well to our own lives as Christians today.

So many of us don’t realize how much we have been affected by the culture around us. Yet the symptoms show up daily. In our reasoning about our culture regarding what’s good and what’s bad. In our attention span and ability to focus on God and His truth. In our conception of God an
Apr 07, 2014 Angel rated it really liked it
Originally posted in

I had a hard time getting into this book. This was the first book I've read from this author and definitely he has become one of my favorites.

As Wells puts it, this book is a journey into the understanding of the character of God. In order to arrive, Wells develop the concept of God's holy-love which is the destination.

Through the book it is shown the way our culture has defined our life and our understanding of who God is and the way he acts. God's holiness an
Eddie Williams
Mar 15, 2014 Eddie Williams rated it it was amazing
God in the Whirlwind is so refreshing in a world of speculative and human centered theologies.
Instead of seeking to progressive further than the bible, we should seek to retreat back to it, and this book does just that.

David Wells calls us back to seeing God in his entirety rather than isolating his character into boxes (i.e his Love, his holiness, his wrath etc.) He challenges us to see how all of these characteristics work together and how God's full character cannot be known when we extract o
"We must train ourselves to set the character of God in the framework that He gave us rather than in the framework we so often use in understanding our lives today." pg 102

There are good books that add to your understanding of things on a small scale and then there are books that open a whole new goldmine for you to dig in. This is one such book. I'm a bit ashamed that this is my first David Wells book because his reputation is well regarded in Evangelical circles but better late than never.

I be
Michelle Kidwell
Nov 26, 2013 Michelle Kidwell rated it it was amazing
Book Review
God In the Whirlwind
How The Love Of God Reorients Our World

David F Wells

There are some books that I think we as Christians should read, and I believe this is one of those books. This book will resonate within you a wonderful book to add to a Christian library.

God in the Whirlwind reminds us the importance of getting back to the heart of God, the heart of our faith.

David F Wells brings up a very valid point in this book...He tells us that instead of using Creation as God's gift to us
Jan 12, 2015 Jenica rated it it was amazing
Not the easiest of reads, but perhaps that was just because I've been very easily distracted these last few weeks. Sorry, Dr. Wells! I know you talked about that in the very first chapter...
But what an edifying book this was!

"Nothing is more important to our understanding of worship than this: we come to the Lord, not because it is our idea to do so, or even because we like to do so, but because he first came to us. Worship is our response to what he has done."

"Our understanding of [God's] gre
Aug 17, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bible study teachers
Recommended to Eric by: Brandon Wolframndon Wolfram
This is a must read for all current Bible Study and Sunday School teachers and preachers. The book addresses concerns with errors in the world view of the culture at large and more particularly, Christians, contrasting the Biblical view of humanity with the therapeutic view prevalent today in the West. Rather than spend a lot of time bashing current errors, Wells restates in commons sense form traditional views on the doctrine of God, reality, sin and redemption. By building from the bottom up, ...more
Adam Bradley
Wells is at his best when he is forcefully offering a Christian critique of how the church has allowed itself to compromise with and be co-opted by our culture in its (post)modernization/ity/ism; unfortunately, he isn't nearly as strong when offering a substantiated alternative.

Chapter 7 ("Walking With God") should have been the apex of Wells' series of books; instead, it merely showcased (for me, anyway) the utter paucity of the conventional Reformed view of the Holy Spirit. Paul's "Spirit" lan
Gene Cornett
Feb 07, 2015 Gene Cornett rated it really liked it
Good paragraph i read this morning:

It would be quite mistaken, then, for us to think of the Bible as being simply a manual, or a set of instructions, or a textbook. It is so much more than this. It is the way in which God makes himself personally present to us. Undoubtedly, there are moments when God’s presence seems more real to us than at others, and there are times when we may, even though reading his Word, feel deserted. Job knew something of this loneliness, and so did the psalmists. Howeve
David Batten
Oct 16, 2015 David Batten rated it really liked it
This book is gold when it comes to looking at modern culture through the lens of the Christian theology. Wells is a master at diagnosing western societies idolatries, and putting his finger on where our view of God is deficient. It feels a little old hat at points, and I'd find myself thinking, 'Yes I agree, I've heard this before'. But then he turns and points out how the theology I believe exactly explains why thus or that aspect of the world feels so broken or unsatisfying, and I'd underline ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing
This is another outstanding work by David Wells. In focusing on the Holy-love of God Wells demonstrates how God's grace totally transforms our lives bu transforming our vision of God, our worship of god and our service for God. This is a great capstone to the series that began in 1993 with "No Place for Truth." Wells' work contains wonderful insights into postmodernism and how as Christians we can respond with a sound, counter-cultural witness. Buy and read this book!
Aug 14, 2015 E rated it it was ok
I did not find this work compelling. It meanders all over the place. He'll talk about justification for a while, discuss the character of God, critique modern culture, offer application to believers, without a lot of clear structure. And the things he says are not exactly original. His previous works of cultural criticism are very helpful, but this does not add to the discussion, despite its goal to provide "answers" to the "questions" his other works raise.
Pete Williamson
I've always been a big fan of David Wells' writing. Unlike the others, which were focused on how the surrounding culture has come to influence and invade the church, this one is much more of a devotional on an important aspect of theology proper - the holy-love of God. There's currently a great deal on it (hardcover!) at the Westminster Theol. Seminary bookstore (
Dec 27, 2014 Ryan rated it it was amazing
I took far too long to read this, but even with weeks between chapters I found it a great read. Wells is a perceptive cultural critic and helps bring God's holy-love to bear on living out the Christian life. Moreover, Wells is a good writer, playing with images and language that made this a pleasant read.
Feb 11, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic volume. Not an addition to the previous volumes but certainly a companion. Wells' positive vision of God's character and the effect that should have on on the individual and corporate life of the Christian is superb. His biblical-theological treatment of the themes was excellent and somewhat unexpected from a systematic theologian. A must read.
Bauer Evans
Many friends are saying this is the "best book" they read in 2014. His style is a little prosaic for my tastes, but the content is challenging, convicting. His chapter on the Holiness of God is reminiscent of RC Sproul's classic, "The Holiness of God" from the 1980's.
Gary Paulson
Jun 26, 2014 Gary Paulson rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, a-netgalley
God's character is very much misunderstood. This book does a great job of showing that not only are God's Holiness & Love not at odds with each other or that they somehow balance each other, but that they are inseparable and that neither can be understood if separated from the other.
Anthony Alvarado
Nov 28, 2014 Anthony Alvarado rated it it was amazing
His main sections on what holiness is and why we need to understand it and seek it are worth the cost of the whole book. Do I understand God's wrath or merely hide my inner chafing at it? Do I see freedom in holiness? Great book.
Richard Minor
Mar 13, 2016 Richard Minor rated it it was amazing
David Wells has, in the past, has given excellent critiques of Western Culture from a Christian perspective. This is different. This is the way forward from the chaos. And it is again an excellent work.
Tyler Hurst
Wells makes a fantastic point, but the book starts off a little slow and rehashes a bit of the argument from the prior works in his evangelical project.
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David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Distinguished Senior Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In addition to serving as academic dean of its Charlotte campus, Wells has also been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and is involved in ministry in Africa.

He is the author of numerous articles and books, including a series that was initi
More about David F. Wells...

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“As Jonathan Edwards observed a long time ago, we act on our strongest motive. If our strongest motive, our deepest desire, is to know God, it will generate the discipline that we need to pursue this, because we will want to know God more than anything else. If this is not our strongest motive, we will find ourselves with multiple, alternative, and competing foci. These will inevitably distract us.” 2 likes
“We are summoned to know him only on his terms. He is not known on our terms. This summons is heard in and through his Word. It is not heard through our intuitions.” 2 likes
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