"God is...": Part 3, God is Love

"God is love."

For my part, this is the great claim of the Christian faith. "God is love" is the confession, despite the shipwreck that is the church, that keeps me on the team. These three words define my faith.

This is a claim--love not as an adjective of Divinity but Divinity itself--that is distinctive to Christianity among world religions up to the modern age. And no faith developed after Christianity can fail to reckon with its revolutionary vision. As Tom Holland has shown in his book Dominion, the Christian message about the centrality of love has wholly unmade and reshaped the world. Due to Christianity, love is both the moral and existential reference point of human life. For both theist and atheist, love is what makes a good and meaningful life.

The discussion of love in 1 John is rich. Love is ontology ("God is love"), Christology ("This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son"), epistemology ("The one who loves knows God"), grace ("We love because he first loved us"), and moral vision ("Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister").

And also a lot of mysticism!
"Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."
"Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
Knowing God. Living in God. God living in us. Love creates this mystical union and life.

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