This year we began a new campus outreach we’re calling the Philadelphia Christian Student Initiative. So far it’s still very much in “seed” stage, with some free resources being our first offerings. Over the break, I’m going to post a series of entries from one of them, a booklet entitled How is God Love? It’s a discussion of the fundamental questions we need to answer before we can really have the discussions so many are trying to have today.
Whenever anyone asks something like, “How could God be against this, if it’s about two people in love?” or “Why would God care what someone believes if He’s a God of love?” or “Shouldn’t we stop judging and just be like God, and just, like, love each other?”—they are assuming answers to the questions this booklet addresses, usually without even knowing it.
So before we really start thinking about these things, we’ve got to start here. What do we mean when we say God is love?
How is God love?
Here’s how the booklet begins:
“God is love.”
Why is everyone saying this?
And if we do say it, what do we really mean?
Does God love us like we love each other?
Or is his love…different?
If there’s one thing everyone seems to be able to agree on these days, it’s that God is a loving God.
In fact, just saying “God is love” can pretty much win you friends in any environment. Even people that don’t really give much thought to God will probably nod their heads in approval. If you’re a Christian, you’re on board with this, because you know that it’s right at the heart of the Christian message.
But if we can all agree that God is love (that is, Christians and others), then why do we disagree on other things at the same time? Why can’t we agree on what things God loves, or on how God loves us? A little discussion with people of different persuasions will probably reveal that we humans don’t really fundamentally agree on what this loving God is like at all.
This booklet [in the form of these blog posts] is to help you start thinking through what it means that God is love. Specifically, it’s to help Christians be able to know and discuss this awesome fact, and to understand where the confusion in the larger culture comes from. If you’re not a believer in Christ, this booklet may provide you with some food for thought to help clarify your own thinking about God and who He is. Read on and discover a bigger God than you might have thought possible…[If you want to download the entire booklet to read, without waiting for the posts, you can get it here.]