About the Theme of the Week Each week on Colson Center.org, BreakPoint Radio and BreakPoint.org, WorldviewChurch.org and other channels we publish a great deal of new content around a vital theme. The Two-Minute Warning, John Stonestreet's weekly video commentary, is often (but not always) the cornerstone of the weekly theme.
But the Greatest of These....
By: Shane Morris|Published: June 28, 2012 12:00 AM
"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;" wrote St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, "but the greatest of these is love."
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." said Jesus in Matthew 22. "This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
No other virtue is spoken of in such terms by our Lord or His Apostles. And as John Stonestreet, Timothy George, T. M. Moore and others explain this week at The Colson Center for Christian Worldview, no other virtue has been as deeply and ubiquitously misunderstood as love.
We live in a culture which has reduced the Greatest Virtue to a frivolity: "We love our wireless plans; we love our sports teams; we love our coffee in the morning," says John Stonestreet. But not only have we allowed "love" to become synonymous with our feelings toward objects. We have allowed it to become synonymous with our feelings toward people. The result, as we discover this week, is a "love" which comes and goes with the whims of emotions.
But biblical love, the kind used in 1 Corinthians 13 and Matthew 22 and denoted by the Greek word ἀγάπη (Agápe), is not conditional upon feelings, but upon commitment. In other words, it doesn't come and go. It "is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, it does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. It never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
We hope you've taken joy and encouragement from our series on the seven Christian virtues. If you'd like more, or know someone you would like to bless with this teaching, check out our convenient, Renewing Virtue flash drive study.
Explore This Week's Theme
In this week's Two-Minute Warning, John Stonestreet and Timothy George explain how, as with a popped balloon, we've managed to deflate a robust understanding of love, turning it into a one-dimensional sentiment. What is love, and why is it called the greatest virtue? >>Watch now.
In this week's Talking Points, T. M. Moore agrees with the old Beatles song, "All You Need is Love," but takes exception to the meaning so many assigned it decades ago. The kind of love which sufficiently wraps up all of the virtues, he says, is the kind of love Christ referred to when he said, "upon this hangs all the Law and Prophets." >>Read more.
In Thursday's BreakPoint Commentary, John Stonestreet confronts the biggest myth about any virtue. Love, he says, is so much more than a feeling. Contrary to what our culture teaches, mere emotions don't make love. Love is something which must be carried out regardles of feelings, and consists in the will. >>Read more.