Phillip Gulley and James Mulholland (hereafter McGulley) have managed to find a way of articulating the gospel of grace simply and straightforwardly. Unlike other authors who have contributed greatly to these issues, they do not use complex philosophy, theology, or historical criticism, but instead appeal to the softer, less rational or “subjective” elements – our belief and intuition.
Chad gave an excellent appraisal of this in his summary of chapter 2, “Trusting our experience of God“, and his criticisms – essentially that experience is hard to use to fully justify a theological stance – have been part of my awareness in reading Chapter 3.
In essence, McGulley examines the character of God as a primary departure point. He acknowledges that many poses a less than wholesome image of this character, but his starting point is the life and words of Jesus. From this simple premise and vision he proceeds. Not only by projecting forwards in time, but backwards as well: he revisits the Old Testament, in the light of the Gospel of Love.
On example of a difficult image of God is from Joshua 10:40, which declares, “Joshua left no survivors. He totally destroyed all that breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.” What are we to make of this horrific image? It was bad enough for the Israelites to engage in genocide, but to give as its rationale the express command of God?
In order to hear the effects of texts such as these amongst detractors of the scriptures, let us hear what Richard Dawkins, in his “The God Delusion”, has to say:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a … capriciously malevolent bully.”
McGulley’s way through the mess is this: While he believes it is inspired, he does not accept the “infallibility” of the bible. A responsible reading of the text will “weigh” scripture, thereby elevating some parts while giving lesser weight to others.
To this end, he points out that when asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus did not say, “Why, the whole Law, of course”, but specifically replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind … love your neighbour as yourself.” The idea of weighting of the scriptures has merit, and as they declare “Jesus tipped the scales irrevocably in favour of love.” 
A part of this tipping means placing the writings of the Old Testament (and even parts of the New) in context: “They contributed valuable insights from their experiences with God, building on the witnesses before them and laying the framework for a fuller revelation of God’s character. I believe the life, death and resurrection of Jesus was this fuller revelation.” 
The author explores some aspects of Gods loving character, providing fresh insights into these often clichéd topics: Fatherhood (“I don’t know any perfect parents, but I do know the qualities we expect from good parents”), Holiness (“Holiness is God’s ability to confront evil without being defiled”), and Justice (“My hunger for justice was another obstacle to embracing God’s universal Grace”)
McGulley takes on the story of Lazarus, in the context of texts which are used to support eternal punishment. Using the critical weighting approach, he observes: “Where is the justice in this story? Even when judged by the command of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” the rich man’s sentence seems excessive.” 
But here I feel he might have missed the point. I am of the persuasion that the Lazarus tale is not about punishment per se, but rather about reneging ones responsibilities for stewardship, and that Lazarus specifically represents the Jews rather than the damned. See a fuller exploration in my thoughts on Lazarus and Inclusion.
Still, one might take his point not as an in depth exegesis of Lazarus, but a comment on Lazarus as commonly read.
But the central message comes across clearly, and it is that the character of God is love, and its expressions; forgiveness, mercy, justice, holiness, and restoration. This needs to be our central consciousness and starting point in our attempts to come to terms with amongst other things, the problems of biblical interpretations and specifically the teachings and doctrines of everlasting punitive separation.