N. T. Wright’s After You Believe: Love, For Discussion

Regarding love, Wright explains,

Left to myself, doing what comes naturally, I would fail. But the point of love is that it doesn’t.

That is why love is a virtue. It is a language to be learned, a musical instrument to be practiced, a mountain to be climbed via some steep and tricky cliff paths but with the most amazing view from the top. It is one of those things that will last; one of the traits of character which provides a genuine anticipation of that complete humanness we are promised at the end. And it is one of the things, therefore, which can be anticipated in the present on the basis of the future goal, the telos, which is already given in Jesus Christ. It is part of the future which can be drawn down into the present.

(p. 183).


7 Responses

  1. The first on the list of the fruits of the Spirit given in Galatians is “love”.

    I take from this that a God kind of love is a gift from God. Paul said in Romans that God’s love is poured out in our hearts by the Spirit.

    Every person has a natural capacity to love at some level. But loving the unlovable, loving enemies, loving those who do and say evil things to you and about you only comes from God.


  2. And so, how do we “practice” love in the same sense that we practice a violin?

  3. In truth and deed …

    By our love (and faith) being tested in difficult and challenging situations.

    Love doesn’t just “happen”, it is also an act of will. Sometimes we might need to plan how to love a person, use our creatitvity and intelligence.

    Staying married, when the legal allowance to sneak out of the bond through divorce is so inviting.

    Staying in a church that goes through a difficult time, when love grows cold arround you because of lawlessness.

    Loving your children, even when they disobey and go their own way. Waiting fort hem like the father for the prodigal son.

    Taking time to visit sick people. Making it a regular habit to give alms.

    If love is the fulfillment of the Law, keeping God’s commandments without murmuring is an act of love.

    Actually, if we would teach about these things in our sermons more often we would not neet to ask such questions in a Blog, wouldn’t we?


  4. … like a Violin …

    That means in private, where no one can hear you making mistakes? Before the big performance?

    I think: Being alone with the father on a regular basis. Praying for people before trying to love them. Forgiving before God before forgiving them directly. Discussing situations with Him, seeking guidance in His word.

    That’s more like practicing an Instrument … be we love a-cappella, don’t we 😉


  5. Alexander,


  6. Is this an ecstatic utterance?

  7. I realized after I left the above comment that I was on the wrong thread. Sorry.

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