Love: The Core Of Christian Faith
Christians today feel threatened from all sides. Forces beyond our control crowd us into a “global village,” squeezing us nearer to everyone else… Often distressingly close. Folk of diverse cultures and competing religions are only a mouse-click away. They enter our houses daily through satellite tv. Even inside our own country, a “culture war” seems to have targeted normal Christian values.
This clash of opposing views is sometimes perturbing and infrequently downright frightful. Yet, beneath these obvious conflicts is a core of common hope and spiritual truth… Love! Indeed, only Love – as prescribed by Jesus – will give us the strength to explore, both inside ourselves and in those we view as “the other,” the Problems which now seem unbeatable.
This is the message of a new book, The Love : Of the Fifth Non secular Paradigm, published by The Oracle Institute, an educational charity devoted to lessening the existing spiritual chaos. In this unique collection, 11 aspects of Love are examined by Times top selling authors and Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize winners. The contributing authors come from a broad range of religious and educational backgrounds, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Evangelical Priest Brian McLaren, and Professor Robert Eisenman, who was instrumental in getting the Dead Sea Scrolls freed from the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Tutu’s essay, God Has A Dream, sensibly connects the Psalmist’s phrase, “Be still and know that I am God,” with his own knowledge, “Be still, be quiet, and then you will start to see with the eyes of the heart.” Tutu also teaches us, “As we take time to be still and to be in God’s presence, the qualities of The Lord God are transferred to us,” as one may absorb calming warmth by “sitting in front of a fire on a cold day.”
In Good news for All People, Preacher Brian McLaren reminds fellow Christians, “We still need to come to terms with this little but important detail : Jesus and his message are not simply a present to Christians, but to all of the folk of every religion. And nowhere is that awareness more significant than when we are seeking to understand and practice the way of Love – in particular, the way of unconditional Love.”
P.M.H. Atwater, a deep and tireless analyst on the effects of life-altering brushes with death and top non secular experiences, contributes an essay entitled Our Love for God : How It Expands as We Do. She declares, “Our hunger to reconnect with Almighty God drives us ( even if we deny it ). And that hunger is Love based.” From her studies into the near-death experience, Atwater has learned that both Christians and non-Christians come back consumed by a Love of God and a Love of their neighbors… Just as Jesus modeled in the gospels.