God’s spreading goodness

That God is both one and many in the same moment is both incomprehensible and satisfying. His one-and-many Being grounds his goodness. God, in his unity, is never divisible except as he made space in himself at the cross for us to enter his embrace. All goes wrong if we think of him as a singular “essence” of divinity shared by a collective of three stakeholders. Instead his being as “one” is properly explained through his eternal unity of communion. In his eternal dynamism of love he is ever stable and good. That is, he is fully secure and the source of all security; and he is ever changing as one who is always creating from within the stability of his unchanging love. He is a conversation of love whose personal Word in Christ invites us to hear that love expressed in ways that are ever new.

God, in his triunity, is never alone, lonely, or needy. He enjoys, eternally, the mutual delight of his attractive otherness: of the Father loving the Son, and the Son loving the Father, each by the bonding love communicated to the other by the Spirit. God is love and his love is the bond of his oneness.

In God’s oneness there is a focus, a purpose of mutual love. In God’s triunity there is diversity and a mutual responsiveness to love. Together there is one heart, a heart that expresses itself outwardly to creation as an eternal impulse to give. This is God’s spreading goodness.

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4 Comments

  1. Lee

    Because one loves God first do you suggest that the lesser loves may be superficial only? Does our love of our Bridegroom exclude marriage or perhaps does marriage enhance that Love when the partners have the same goal i.e a love relationship with Him. Genesis 2 v 22-25. Did He not intend them to experience His love together? I do not see Him as a selfish Lover. His Love is contagious.

    Are we not called to love His creation though not more than him. He shared Himself to the cross. Does he not expect us to do likewise more than superficially without sinning? I do not visualize Him as a selfish Bridegroom.

    Lee

    Jul 28 08
    3:26 am
    “…. if God is that loved one, the gift of loving others flows out of his lov

    e as a basis for proper affections and true emotions.”

    Using your quote above, are you saying that “movie” love is appropriate if, as a by product of true love with God, we find ourselves in romantic love with another or are you saying that, even if we find ourselves longing for “movie” love, God and the “eternal marriage” His believers have with Him is enough?

    R N Frost
    Jul 31 08
    5:17 am
    A fair question, Leanne!

    The object of our greatest love defines us because we are responders to what we find lovely: “We love because he first loved us.” So if I love God as my greatest, i.e. as my defining love, then any of my lesser loves grow as those aligned with that love; or, alternatively, our hearts begin to discard those lesser loves because they distract us from the true love of our hearts. If Christ is not attractive enough to displace other loves (as the Creator whose beauty surpasses anything he created) it must be because I still haven’t “seen him” as he is, and may actually love a consumer version of deity. So a transforming love of God comes on the basis of his self disclosure, with the Scriptures offering his heart to us. In hearing his heart we begin to be captured (”tasting and seeing” his goodness) and also to become increasingly more “holy”/Christlike in all our desires even as he is holy, thus being unselfconsciously transformed from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).s

  2. R N Frost

    I’m trying to think how best to make my point, Lee. You read me as treating “lesser loves” as “superficial” which is certainly not in focus for me. But let me comment on superficial love: it is certainly true that a love of pleasure or entertainments (superficial loves) will be intrusions on our love of God, the “greater love” we’re made for and called to. The problem, though, is not one of the force or strength of a love but of direction: a given love moves us either towards God, or towards a self-centered life.

    So my real point is that a profound love for God begins to displace faulty (self-oriented) loves because each of these loves have separate and competing trajectories and outcomes.

    Yet within our love for God there are certainly many “proper” loves [which is your point] that fit within, and are a part of God’s great love for us. So, “yes”, I’m in agreement with you that God’s love is full of wonderful gifts. And as we find delight in the Giver of those gifts and enjoy them “in him” (i.e. without making his gifts into idols), our love for him grows even deeper and stronger.

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