What is Love?

Love is somewhat of a big deal today. This is true both for Christians and unbelievers. For Christians, we know that God is love (1 John 4:8) and that the greatest commandment in the entire universe is to love God with everything we have (Matt. 22:37). It is hard to overstate the importance of love to the Christian worldview.

Interestingly enough, secular man has made love preeminent as well despite the fact that love has no basis or real meaning in a secular worldview. Francis Schaeffer sheds some light on this, “Though modern man tries to hang everything on the word love, love can easily degenerate into something very much less because he does not understand it. He has no universal for love.” What Schaeffer notes is that without the God Who is love there is no absolute standard for love. So when culture separates love from its source, love loses its meaning and becomes something less than it was designed to be. So modern man has built a lot on the concept of love, and yet he does not know what love is. He wants love, but he does not knows what it is.

This is the status of love in our culture. Despite our culture preaching things like love and tolerance it has no basis to define or understand these things. We must not allow the world's improper thinking on love to shape our view of it.

In a very real way our culture’s warped view of love is its god. This lesser love has become an idol whether it takes the form of erotic love or defining love as mere acceptance; it is an idol that must be removed.

The Christian must look at such a version of love and recognize it as false and as lesser than the beauty of true, biblical love. The problem is many Christians have forgotten what biblical love is. Biblical love is rooted in the character of God. For this reason, it is very counter-intuitive to our culture. Such are the tactics of the world to call good evil and evil good.

This is why I wrote my book, Forgotten Love: Reclaiming Biblical Love (available both in the Riverview library and on Amazon). I have witnessed firsthand both in culture and in the Christian subculture an unbalanced and unbiblical view of love. In Forgotten Love, I do not offer an exhaustive study of biblical love, rather I look at those parts of biblical love which we have ignored and which our culture does not view as loving.

Instead of our culture’s lesser love, I offer a robust and challenging call for authentic love which is based on the character of the God Who is love. It is my hope that if you read it, you will see God, Jesus, and love more clearly. This book is a call for Christians to base their beliefs and practice of love on the character of God as found in Scripture.

Given how vital love is to the Christian faith, andhow distorted the idolatrous view of love is in our culture, it is imperative that Christians recover a biblical view of love. And once we do, we must preach it, live it, and show it to the world because when we do we shall show them the God of the universe and how He displayed love through the work of Christ.