Love is the foundational ethic of Christianity. It is firmly rooted in the Scriptural witness, and as such Miroslav Volf in this book Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Emnities calls Christians to "make determined steps toward love" both existentially and ethically. We are to reflect the nature and action of our creator. This is faith. This is hope. And, this is love: when our being exudes love, and when our actions communicate the Spirit of God that lives within us. The New Testament, building on the Hebrew Scriptures, defines God's essential nature as love (1 John 4.9).
To regurgitate an old saying, this quite obviously does not mean "love is god". Yet, it does mean God, in his being, is love; and therefore, his every act defines love (not his every act is defined by love). There is no discrepancy in his being. God is love, and therefore whatever he does, love is in. In light of this theological reality, we must understand that humanity was created by love, and for love, and to reciprocate within our own being, love. Human life is only truly lived, and only truly flourishes, when human life is love. Thus, Volf discusses love in the myriad contexts in which we live/love. He shows how love is, and must be manifested in every area of our lives, and how living that reality not only opens up, frees, and makes faithful our own lives, he shows how our love can help others find life.
Miroslav Volfs writing beautifully points away from the pettiness and selfishness so prominent in our culture today and toward the love that Christians are called to exemplify. His insights in this volume will inform and inspire all who wish to follow that path of love.
Miroslav Volf is Director of the Yale Center for Faith andCulture and Henry B. Wright Professor of SystematicTheology at Yale Divinity School. His other books includeExclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration ofIdentity, Otherness, and Reconciliation.
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