The Greatest of These is Love

Another thought on faith, doubt and Christianity.

In I Corinthians 13, the famous chapter on love, Paul makes the following observation about the value of faith:

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Paul's final conclusion is this:
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What I take away from this is what I've been arguing in the last few posts on doubt and faith: The defining criterion of Christianity isn't faith. It's love.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

6 thoughts on “The Greatest of These is Love”

  1. This whole discussion is rocking my boat in a big way. My faith has been one where living out faith is very important, but the foundation is propositional truth and the creeds are critical.

    Lately the intellectual doubts have mounted and I'm basically left feeling like I'm just a rotten Christian (to say it in plain English).

    Should hold fast to certain things that I know might not be true? It's not a very honest way to live. Your recent posts on doubt have given me a lot to think about and an outlet. It's helpful to have some alternatives and to realize I might not be crazy. Thanks!


  2. Dr. Beck, thank you for corroborating something I have felt deep down for a long time, but could not generally express. I'm not crazy!

  3. then how do you define sex oops,i mean love...
    we do ,Richard live in a convoluted republic of law... compared to the god of scripture...Rom.15:1-8
    for instance.
    rich constant

  4. Let us not forget that the word here translated 'love' and commonly 'charity' is agape, the same we find in John 3:16 in describing God's love for the world, in Matthew 22:37-39 we find it used to describe the way in which we are to love God, and to love our neighbour. Finally I will mention John 14:15 - If ye love (agape) me, keep my commandments.

  5. But don't you find that it is impossible to truly love (reference your posts on acknowledging our neediness in order to love) without faith? True love takes great courage.

Leave a Reply