C.S. Lewis on God’s Love

All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that ‘God is love’. But they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Of course, what these people mean when they say that God is love is often some- thing quite different: they really mean ‘Love is God’. They really mean that our feelings of love, however and wherever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to be treated with great respect. Perhaps they are: but that is something quite different from what Christians mean by the statement ‘God is love’. They believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else.

And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. (From C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity)

I never thought of God’s multiple-unity in quite that way, but it makes sense. Two-persons, three-persons, who cares? That’s God’s business, and he never told us to figure it out.

“Love is God” is an easy deception to fall into, and amounts to nothing less than idolatry. God is all that he is (duh!), and singling out one or two of his attributes as objects of adoration, while ignoring the rest, is both blasphemy and idolatry. That’s the same as worshiping God because he’s fair. I mean, if God is love, he must be fair. Right?

Wrong! If God were fair, he wouldn’t have allowed his Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. He did that because he’s both loving and just. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV) Because God is just, he couldn’t ignore our sin. Because he’s loving, he provided the perfect Sacrifice to cleanse us of that sin, even if that Sacrifice was his only Son after his own kind.

If that doesn’t make you want to worship him, what will?


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