Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dunes at Dusk - White Sands, New Mexico (July 2004)

While on the topic of "Singles Awareness Day" and love in general, something I've given a bit of thought to is the simple Christian phrase "God is Love."

I happen to believe that statement to be the truth, but I think there is more to it than most people ever realize. We think of love as this abstract concept that we feel inside. We can even classify different types of love that we feel. Four of the common types are storge (affection), eros (erotic love), philos (brotherly love), and agape (unconditional, self-sacrificing love). The agape form of love was adopted by the Christian church to represent the love God has for his creations.

With all of these different ideas of love floating around, I think the essence of understanding the phrase "God is Love" is the realization that love may not be an abstract thing at all, but may be a very real, yet undetectable, substance moving throughout the universe and binding it together. Perhaps this is how God achieves His omnipresence. When we feel or experience love, perhaps it is this substance we have encountered.

Of course, I don't dispute that this idea may be my own philosophical nonsense, but I think it's interesting at the least.


Blogger Michael said...

I think you're treading dangerously close to pantheism. However I'm no expert.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006  
Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

I disagree. I don't think of the universe as God. I think of love as God's movement throughout the universe. Pantheism limits God to the universe only, while I don't believe God can be confined in any way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006  
Blogger danishmand said...

I agree! the very idea of God being limited erodes our beliefs. I do think that love for God and love is God is very real yet it being tangible or understandable is dependent often our our experiences and perceptions. Our Sufi Saints were of the opinion that you never know God till you know love.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006  
Anonymous Matthew said...

1 John 4:8 (KJV) states, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

The following is taken from the Seventh Day Adventist Bible Commentary on 1 John 4:8.

God is Love. The Greek construction does not make “God” and “love” identical as the English translation may appear to do. Rather love is set forth as an essential quality or attribute of God. The decisive proof that a man that “loveth not” lacks a knowledge of God is contained in the phrase “God is love.” He who does not love proves that he is not personally acquainted with the basic quality in God’s nature. In his simple but sublime statement John reaches the zenith of Christian belief. To the heathen, if there is a supreme deity He is a far-off being with little interest in His worshipers, whereas many malignant spirits are close at hand. So they ignore the God of heaven and seek to placate the devils. In certain Eastern religions, God is an all-pervading mind indifferent to human needs, and hope is centered upon man’s becoming a nothingness in universal nonbeing. The nominal Christian all too often sees God as an angry tyrant who needs to be placated by prayers and penances or the pleadings of His Son.
The ancient Jews sometimes mistakenly thought of God as a tribal deity who favored only His own people, and they thought of Him as possessing magnified forms of their own selfish ambitions and cruelties. The best among them found God revealed in the Holy Writings, but often they failed to gain a true understanding of the divine nature. When the Son of God came to earth, men could see that God is love.
That God is love is a revelation, for men could never have discovered the fact for themselves. The revelation is of supreme importance to man’s welfare. That God is a spirit (John 4:24) is important, but it tells nothing about the possibility of our enjoying happy relations with such a being. That “God is light” (1 John 1:5) is intellectually satisfying, but the thought of an all-pure, all-seeing God may bring fear rather than comfort, for in the light of what we are, what good can such a God find in us? But when we learn that God is love, fear is replaced by trust, and we confidingly place ourselves in the hands of our heavenly Father, knowing that He careth for us (1 Peter 5:7).
That God is love also implies that there is no time when He has not been or will not be love. His nature never changes(see on James 1:17); love has been His dominant quality in the past and will continue to be in the future. We may prove that for ourselves, for as Charles Wesley says, when speaking of his relationship to God: “Through all eternity to prove They Nature and Thy Name is Love!” (The Oxford Book of Christian Verse, p. 332).
The statement that God is love is of infinite value in understanding the plan of salvation. Only Love would give free will to His creatures and run the risk of incurring the suffering that sin has brought to the Godhead and the angels as well as to fallen men. Only Love would be interested in gaining the cheerful voluntary service of those who were free to go their own way. And when sin came, only Love could have the patience and the will to devise a plan that would enable the universe to come to a full understanding of the basic facts in the great controversy between good and evil, and thus ensure against any further uprising of self-seeking and hate. In the warfare against sin, God, being truly love, can use only truth and love, whereas Satan employs cunning lies and cruel force. Only Love could inspire the plan that would permit the Son first to redeem the human race from the guilt and power of sin by His earthly life, death, and resurrection, and then to become the Head of a new and sinless race (cf. On v. 9). By His very nature God was impelled to devise and carry out this amazing plan (John 3:16).

Thursday, February 16, 2006  
Blogger Linz Organist said...

How can something be so simple and yet so complex?

On a different note, I am in love (oh, how losely we use the term) with White Sands and I haven't even been! Your photos are amazing, though, and I hope to someday have my own collection.

Thursday, February 16, 2006  
Blogger X said...

Hey! It's been a while!

I can always depend on your blog for something to think about the rest of the day. I hope midterms went well for you.

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger MBrown said...

Wonderful image here!
This is one area that I have longed to visit.
Hopefully, ... one day soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006  

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