God’s Love, prt. 1

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Image courtesy of Jennuine Captures, licensed under Creative Commons

Today I am beginning a four-part series explaining my theology, which is based on God’s unconditional and never-ending love for us. This is theology, so it uses a lot of scripture passages, and I realize there are many passages I do not use that create questions of interpretation. This is always the case in any theology. My intention with using scriptures is merely to show that my theology has deep Biblical roots. Then I will use other analogies, comparisons, illustrations, and arguments to show that it is compelling, common-sense, and — further — the only theology that will not leave us practicing love in a confused and half-hearted way.

I believe God is love.Scripture is clear on this point, and Jesus was clearer on this point than almost anything else he said. That is where I begin. It is not that the rest of scripture is irrelevant to me, it’s just that — if God is indeed a God of love — the rest of the Bible must be interpreted in the light of God’s love. Of course one may ask, “Why do you choose the parts of scripture that mention God’s love over all the other parts? What about the God’s wrath, anger, and vengeance?” My reply to that question is worked out in the rest of this post. This is my theology of love.

My theology of love is very much centered in what we can already know about love as parents. If you were to say to your children, “Repent, for your mother/father is near,” what would this mean? Would your love be dependent on their repentance? Would you love them any less if they did NOT repent? Of course not. Your love is the constant in this equation. You ask them to repent so they can know, experience, and live in this love connection with you. I believe that spiritual repentance is the same — God asks us to repent so we can know, experience, and live in this love connection between God and us. As I sat next to my daughter in the hospital last summer after her attempted suicide, the greatest source of pain in all of it was the chaos and pain she had been living in, despite how deeply loved she was. Her lack of understanding of this love had nearly catastrophic consequences in her life, and ours too.

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  • http://www.delemares.wordpress.com Sandra Delemare

    This is great. Years ago, when I started writing our church newsletter, God clearly told me, ‘most people need to know that I love them.’ and that’s been the basis of what I write, even if not overtly stated.
    As for being a parent – one of the benefits is getting some insight into how God feels about us.
    I hope your daughter is in a better place now.
    Thanks for this, Dave… Sandra

    • http://davidkflowers.com David Flowers

      Yes, Sandra, both being a parent and being a counselor does this — gives us a bird’s eye view of God’s love. We see so many desperately hurting people. We drop the judgment and notions of shoulds, musts, and oughts, and simply see them for who they are. We see how hard they are trying, how stuck they are, and we have compassion on them. It’s a great thing. And yes, my daughter is MUCH better, thank you.

  • Joanie Williams

    My favorite subject! Waiting for the next one.. Patiently of course. As God would have it. God bless.